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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Actuary of the future: Stephen Paines

Employer and area of work
Government Actuary’s Department. Pensions

Date entered Profession
1 September 2008.

Describe yourself in three words
Cheerful yet impatient.

Tell us your formula for success
Don’t try to be something you’re not — in other words, be yourself.

What would you describe as your best attribute?
My hard-won scepticism.

And your worst habit?
I’m frequently being chastised for failing to put the toilet seat down.

What is most likely to irritate you about others?
A lack of humility.

Alternative career?
The original plan was teaching, but that didn’t work out.

How do you relax away from the office?
Gluing myself to the TV to watch Frasier DVDs, much to my girlfriend’s chagrin.

Tell us something unusual about yourself
I once appeared on The Weakest Link. I’m not telling you how it went!

Do you have a famous look-a-like?
When I was younger I was once compared to Tim Henman. But I don’t see the resemblance.

What three items would you take to a desert island?
Sunhat, suncream and a dog-eared copy of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole.

Which actor would play you in a film of your life?
No idea. Colin Firth?

Best piece of advice you have ever been given?
‘Become an actuary’.

What has been your greatest extravagance?
Having a car despite living in London; it burns on my conscience.

Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
Definitely half-full: things are going to plan.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
Probably trespassing as a kid: I was chased by the police once — although that seems a little tame. ____________________________________________________________

If you would like to nominate someone for Actuary of the Future, please e-mail AOTF@the-actuary.org.uk