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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

In the hot seat: Wallace Mair

How do you introduce yourslf to people who ask what you do?
‘Have you ever heard of actuaries? Well, I am not one but’
How did you end up in your current role?
It was the interviewing panel’s fault!
What was the toughest challenge of your career?
Having to make staff redundant at one stage.
What good books/movies have you read/seen lately?
The man who loved numbers, and I am now ploughing my way
through Nelson Mandela’s autobiography.
What famous person do you most admire?
Jesus Christ for obvious reasons, and Evelyn Glennie, the deaf
What is the one lesson you would pass on to young members of the
To seek help from more experienced actuaries when you are out of
your depth.
What will be the most significant issues facing the actuarial
profession in the next decade?
The threat from other professions trying to muscle in on actuarial
territory, and the globalisation of business.
What one thing would you
My hairstyle!
What three items would you
bring to a desert island?
A barrel of cider, a bottle of
suntan lotion for the top of my head, and a boat for when the cider
runs out!
What was your dream career when you were younger (and now!),
and what went wrong?
A professional footballer wearing the no 4 shirt, and a bad knee at
least that’s my excuse!
What do you ‘rant and rave’ about most?)
My wife’s navigational skills (or lack of them).
Where did you go on holiday this year?
A week earlier in the year in the Greek Island of Zakynthos and I am
fortunate enough to be about to go on holiday to the Italian lakes.
How do you spend your free time?
Gardening, eating out, sport (watching, these days!), and crawling on
the floor with my baby grandson.