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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Actuary of the future: Stephen Renshaw

Friends Life's Stephen Renshaw is a big fan of colour-coding and does a mean turn as a gangster rapper


Employer and area of work
Friends Life – life insurance.

How would your best friend describe you?
He says “Overpaid and incompetent”. I am now looking for a new best friend.

What motivates you?
The feeling of satisfaction you get from achieving something.

What would be your personal motto?
If at first you don’t succeed... I find this particularly relevant when it comes to the exams.

Who do you most admire and why?
After watching him bat for two days at Brisbane last winter and another day at Edgbaston this summer, I’ll say Alistair Cook. A fellow left-handed opening batsman, albeit one who tends to spend slightly longer at the crease than I do.

What’s your most ‘actuarial’ habit?
I can’t stand messy spreadsheets. When given a new spreadsheet to play with, I refuse to do anything else with it until I have tidied it up and made it compatible with my own colour-coding system.

How do you relax away from the office?
I enjoy playing sports (cricket, golf, squash, football), pub quizzes and also going on holidays.

Tell us something unusual about yourself
On a recent skiing holiday I won a karaoke competition by performing Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me and Mr Boombastic.

Alternative career choice?
Based on the above, probably a gangster rapper!

Greatest risk you have ever taken?  
Due to my actuarial nature I try to avoid excessive risks. Although I did put £5 on the favourite at the races last week in an attempt to recoup my earlier losses - fortunately this risk proved to be successful!

What's your most treasured possession?
My collection of Tranmere Rovers football shirts, dating back to 1990.

If you ruled the world, what would you change first?
I'd make a lot of actuaries very happy by abolishing the EU gender directive.

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