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Assistant Actuary - Model Development

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Date: Mar 4, 2019

Location: West Des Moines, IA, US, 50266

Company: Sammons Financial Group

Sammons® Financial Group’s (SFG) member companies offer some of today’s most sought after life insurance, annuity, and retirement planning products. Unlike most financial organizations, our companies are not publicly traded, which means we’re focused on long-term value rather than short-term earnings pressures. As a privately held company, our leaders and employees remain consistently focused on long-term growth, making decisions that allow us to deliver on our commitments to customers, distribution partners, our employees, and our communities. Individually, our companies provide value in the products and services they offer. Together we represent a history of strength and longevity. 


Here is what you can expect when you join SFG:

  • A Casual dress code which includes jeans. 
  • A rich company culture driven by private ownership and intentional leadership that inspires employees to engage in our healthy, high-performing and values based culture.
  • Healthy balance between work and personal lives.  Friday afternoons off all year long, competitive PTO and generous number of paid holidays. 
  • Great benefits including medical, dental, vision, wellness plan, charitable giving programs, education assistance… to name a few!
  • ESOP- A generous 100% company funded retirement plan. 


Here's what you can expect as the Assistant Actuary - Model Development:

This position can be located in Chicago, IL, Des Moines, IA, Fargo, ND, Sioux Falls, SD or remotely.

You will serve as a leader within the Model Development area of the Corporate Modeling department in implementing changes to actuarial models in accordance with Company’s Model Governance process. Serve as a leader in the development and execution of accurate and efficient tools and processes to support the actuarial function(s) related to this role.   Analyze, summarize and present management information to drive decisions.  Understand Sammons Financial Group (SFG) financial objectives and ensure processes and implement product support to meet those objectives.  Manage multiple projects and work collaboratively with other departments, providing technical guidance as needed.  Lead special projects as directed.

  1. Provide leadership in implementing changes to models in accordance with Company’s Model Governance process. Work with fixed, indexed and variable universal life insurance, term life insurance, whole life insurance, immediate annuities, and fixed, indexed and variable deferred annuities.
  2. Apply strong knowledge of SFG products related to area of focus.  Understand new and key products, how their features impact risks, and make recommendations regarding how to incorporate into existing models and/or actuarial processes. 
  3. Apply expertise with insurance contracts and actuarial related regulations to perform existing functions.  Recommend enhancements to existing processes or develop new processes to accommodate regulatory changes.  Prepare actuarial memorandums and/or disclosures in compliance with regulations related to area of focus.
  4. Develop and recommend reasonable assumptions.  Apply as needed for actuarial calculations and/or financial projections.  Leverage company data, industry data and/or any other information indicating a potential change in the future experience to support individual assumptions.  Use actuarial models to understand and explain the impact of a change in assumptions.  Ensure assumptions and sources of underlying data are well documented.
  5. Create, understand, validate and interpret complex financial models which may include models for reporting of assets, liabilities, solvency and profitability measures, product pricing and financial projections.  Choose the appropriate assumptions and modeling approach while using the right tools and methods to maximize efficiency and accuracy.  Analyze the results for reasonableness and explain the results of both deterministic and stochastic projections.  Ensure proper model governance, peer review and documentation are completed. Provide leadership with developing and maintaining replication tools used for validation.
  6. Leverage knowledge of accounting standards and other reporting requirements covering insurance and assets backing liabilities to understand, analyze and explain the impact of product or assumptions changes on financial reporting.  This includes balance sheets and income statements produced by actuarial models.  Assist in interpreting and implementing changes in accounting and/or actuarial standards.
  7. Utilize spreadsheets, databases and other data analytic software as needed to perform data analysis and summarize, manipulate, transform and aggregate data efficiently and accurately.  Perform checks to confirm the robustness of the data and analysis. Communicate clearly and effectively the key points of the analysis to management team.
  8. Understand concepts of relevant actuarial risks and the implications of failing to manage risk.  Quantify risk exposure and use model projections to produce management information to measure and to monitor on-going experience.  Assist in developing risk mitigation techniques to ensure risks are within acceptable SFG limits.
  9. Lead special projects as required.  Effectively plan and prioritize your work in accordance with department and/or company objectives and priorities. Complete projects on time and with high standard and accuracy.
  10. Develop relationships and collaborate with other departments and business units.  Communicate effectively with other actuarial teams to ensure consistency in modeling approaches and assumptions across actuarial functions.  As needed, perform actuarial tasks to support other areas of the company. Develop relationships with others outside the Company, including outside vendors that provide service.



  • Must have a Bachelor's degree, preferably in the area of mathematics, or a business related field.

  • Extensive experience with actuarial modeling software, preferably MG-ALFA

  • Prefer at least 6-8 years of experience in the field of Actuarial Science.

  • FSA preferred. Will consider near-FSA actively pursuing completion of FSA or career ASA.

  • Prior experience in a controlled Model Governance environment a plus

  • Prior experience with SQL and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is desired

  • Demonstrate a superior level of mathematical ability, attention to detail and strong analytical skills

  • Demonstrate strong computer skills including proficiency in the use of applicable technical tools

  • Demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills including the ability to present highly technical information to non- technical audiences

  • Ability to apply insurance industry knowledge, preferably in the fields of individual life and annuities

  • Ability to identify and direct the analysis of problems or questions and provide recommendations to appropriate audiences

  • Ability to work both individually and as part of a team

  • Highly organized with the demonstrated ability to prioritize multiple projects and to switch priorities as necessary

  • Ability to work effectively in an office environment

  • Commitment to embrace SFG shared values (Respect, Accountability, Integrity, and Openness)

  • Due to the financial nature and level of accountability of this position, a credit and criminal background check is required

Nearest Major Market: Des Moines

Job Segment: Accounting, Finance