Actuarial Pricing Team Are Some of Argo’s Unsung Heroes

Q&A: Actuarial Pricing Team

Argo’s unsung heroes are the operational teams that help keep the business on track every day.

The London-based Actuarial Pricing team works alongside underwriters to assist in the maintenance of pricing models, case pricing, portfolio reviews and the business planning process. They are also involved in tracking the performance of individual accounts and assessing the impact of underwriting actions. By monitoring the performance of classes as a whole, they are able to ferret out potential opportunities or threats.

Get to know more about these team members, including the superpower they would find most useful to help them in their roles.

Iyad Paloba headshot
Iyad Paloba
Head of Pricing
Iyad Paloba headshot
Iyad
Paloba
Head of Pricing
What is a typical day for your team?
Talking to my team or an underwriter about an individual account pricing. Working on an analysis to support a review of a rating model or a class. Completing an analysis to look at a class performance.
How does Argo benefit from your team’s work?
We provide everyday support for account pricing and input into the planning process by identifying profitable classes and making recommendations on business strategy.
What one superpower would make your job easier?
Multiplicity (i.e., to clone, or to multiply … bad play on words!)
Omar Khan headshot
Omar Khan
Deputy Head of Pricing
Omar Khan headshot
Omar
Khan
Deputy Head of Pricing
Tell us about a problem you solved or challenge the team overcame that had a big impact on Argo – for employees, broker partners or both.
Early in the year, we developed a dashboard that brought together various sources of information at Argo and presented them in an easy-to-use format that gave underwriters, actuaries and the executives a quicker way to source answers.
What is something your team does that would surprise people?
Team Fasting Day – the team fasts alongside me during Ramadhan. It is great to see other members of the team supporting me and taking an interest in why I fast.
How does Argo benefit from your team’s work?
As part of the business planning process, we help underwriters plan the year ahead. By providing information on the historical performance of the book, we’re able to drive a more profitable business mix.
Roy Williams headshot
Roy Williams
Specialty Pricing Actuary
Roy Williams headshot
Roy
Williams
Specialty Pricing Actuary
What is something your team does that would surprise people?
Actuaries have a misconceived reputation for being slightly reserved. However, we value communication as a key skill and prioritise hiring strong communicators to build relationships within the business. As a side note – we do not make up the numbers!
Tell us about a problem you solved or challenge the team overcame that had a big impact on Argo – employees, broker partners or both.
Working with the class underwriters, we have developed a pricing model for the new terrorism class, allowing underwriters to hit the ground running and begin writing and building the business for the January 1 renewals.
What one superpower would make your job easier?
Hypnotism – to persuade underwriters to follow the true way of the data!
Krishna Nakarja headshot
Krishna Nakarja
Liability Pricing Actuary
Krishna Nakarja headshot
Krishna
Nakarja
Liability Pricing Actuary
What is something your team does that would surprise people?
It takes three to six years to fully qualify as an actuary, so some of the team devote a considerable amount of time to study for exams. Even after qualifying, we take up continuous professional development (CPD) to build our technical and professional skills.
Tell us about a problem you solved or challenge the team overcame that had a big impact on Argo – employees, broker partners or both.
In a very short space of time, we developed a robust loss ratio forecasting model for our Lloyd’s syndicate business planning process (SBF) and demonstrated it to the Argo Board, Lloyd’s and external auditors. It proved to be very impactful, providing a transparent view of how Argo’s historical performance translated to our forecast and also providing useful insights for the Syndicate 1200 business.
What one superpower would make your job easier?
I am named after our Hindu God, and so I can’t say I really need any more superpowers! Jokes aside, if I could have a superpower, though, it would be to slow down time. This is not for the obvious reason – to get more work done – but actually to spend more time thinking before carrying out a task and hence be more productive.
Amy Keller headshot
Amy Keller
Project Pricing Actuary
Amy Keller headshot
Amy
Keller
Project Pricing Actuary
What is something your team does that would surprise people?
We don’t always arrive at the pricing the underwriter would like, but we are keen to come up with solutions for what changes could be made to improve the profitability of the contract. It might look like we permanently have our heads in a spreadsheet, but we are a friendly team who enjoy working with everyone across the business, so don’t hesitate to give us a call if you need our help!
Tell us about a problem you solved or challenge the team overcame that had a big impact on Argo – employees, broker partners or both.
Over the last 18 months, the team have developed a robust data-driven internal planning process to deliver the business plan to Lloyd’s. The data for this process has been recently automated so that it can be run quarterly and produce reports that monitor actual versus plan. This will assist with monitoring underwriting strategy and identifying trends – and therefore help with decision-making across the business.
How does Argo benefit from your team’s work?
Our work feeds into lots of pricing decisions, so we would hope to see evidence of our work in the profitability of the business.
Gemma Young headshot
Gemma Young
Specialty Pricing Actuary
Gemma Young headshot
Gemma
Young
Specialty Pricing Actuary
Tell us about a problem you solved or challenge the team overcame that had a big impact on Argo – employees, broker partners or both.
The team recently built a comprehensive business planning analysis template from scratch. This was used to improve the accuracy of the process, to increase the understanding of the performance of each class and the validity of plan loss ratios that are provided to the regulator.
How does Argo benefit from your team’s work?
We review all of the key accounts, so when a big-ticket policy is renewed or a large new account is written, it is likely the pricing team have assisted in setting terms on these that work well for Argo. We then hope the account runs well and all of the work we put in shows through in the results!
What one superpower would make your job easier?
The ability to see into the future … even though many would say actuaries can do that already!
Barney Savill headshot
Barney Savill
Property Pricing Actuary
Barney Savill headshot
Barney
Savill
Property Pricing Actuary
What is something your team does that would surprise people?
We cover all pricing-related work for international property insurance.
Tell us about a problem you solved or challenge the team overcame that had a big impact on Argo – employees, broker partners or both.
Although it wasn’t just our team working on this, one of our big achievements this year was to update the property fire model on the ARPS platform. There is still plenty of work to do, but it was a big step forward in how we price the non-catastrophe side of property.
How does Argo benefit from your team’s work?
The easiest way to see it if you are not on the underwriting side is probably the loss ratios in the business plan, which we spend hours working out with the underwriting teams. But I am sure many people also see the rating tools that are used for far more than just pricing business.

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