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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Actuary of the future: Thomas Smith


Employer and area of work: AIG – general insurance, reserving.

How would your best friend describe you? Practically perfect in every way? Or maybe just dependable. Depends what mood they’re in.


What motivates you? Not letting other people down. I don’t really like failing things either.

What would be your personal motto? Be open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brain falls out.

Name five dream companions to be stuck on a desert island with? Richard Gasquet for beach tennis; Avicii for parties; Bear Grylls if times got tough; Kevin Ashman (the genius from Eggheads) to solve all my problems; Michael Phelps – there’ll be a lot of water around, so he could teach me.

What’s your most ‘actuarial’ habit? Not believing what people say without credible evidence behind it. Though I’ll tend to agree to keep them happy.

If you could learn one random skill, what would you learn? Lip reading. That could be so useful. Mind reading would be more useful, but I’m not sure that’s learnable yet!

Favourite Excel function? SUMPRODUCT. There’s so many possibilities!

How do you relax away from the office? If I’m not in bed there’s an outdoor pool at the gym – that’s pretty good for relaxing (weather permitting).

Alternative career choice? Tube driver.

Tell us something unusual about yourself I’ve lived in a round house most of my life. The novelty wears off faster than you’d think though.

Greatest risk you have ever taken? Given this is in the public domain and my mum might see, I’m not sure I can answer!

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet? Someone who lived in 1966 – I can’t imagine that ever happening again.

What’s your most treasured possession? My laptop – tablets are just nowhere near as good, whatever people say.

What are the top three things you would like to achieve in your lifetime? Top 1,000 in the world in fantasy football, visit every continent, and become fluent in French.

If you ruled the world, what would you change first? Ban tomatoes, they ruin everything. 

Do you know an actuary destined for greatness? You can nominate an Actuary of the Future by emailing aotf@theactuary.com