Meet the actuarial team member – Megan Gill

Megan Gill

Actuarial Trainee

What does the actuarial team do

Our main area of work is providing clients with pensions consultancy services. This involves actuarial valuations, pension cost accounting, and other work that clients ask us to do. Generally the five offices of the firm operate independently, but we do work together on some client accounts.

What is your role within the actuarial team?

I’m an actuarial trainee based in Basingstoke, and I’ve been at First Actuarial for over a year now, on the graduate programme.

At the moment, my role is to be a ‘doer’. This means that my main responsibility is to complete actuarial calculations in valuations and pension cost accounting work, as well as ad hoc projects. We have a system of doers, checkers and reviewers. One person does the work, someone else checks it, and then the actuary reviews it. It’s experience-based, so as you gain experience, you move towards checking and reviewing.

What will your work involve today?

Today I’ve been sending out requests for data, ahead of various valuations coming up at the end of the year. And I’ve got a couple of individual member calculations to look at. I’ve also been looking over work that some of our recent graduates have completed. So I’m starting move towards a checker role – checking the work of other graduates before it’s passed on to someone more senior.

How does First Actuarial support your professional development?

In terms of professional development, everyone on the graduate programme is assigned a mentor who’s usually one of the reviewer actuaries. We have regular catch-ups, in which we can raise any queries and arrange any training we need. We also have study mentors, who work with us along similar lines.

First Actuarial covers the costs of our professional exams. And we get a set amount of study days for each exam, based on the recommended study time for that module.

We also have regular technical training to make sure we keep up with changes in the outside world, such as new legislation, standards and regulations.

Quote Mark

We get a lot of support. Our system of doing, checking and reviewing means that senior members of staff give us a lot of feedback on our work. So we definitely learn very quickly on the job. Everyone’s always happy to explain things and clear up any issues, which is really helpful.

How do you see your career progressing at First Actuarial?

I’m an actuarial student at the moment, so the next big step will be when I qualify, which will bring its own responsibilities. The eventual goal is to work towards a more senior role such as a management or Scheme Actuary position.

Can you describe the working culture at First Actuarial?

I think the culture is the main thing for me. The company strikes the right balance between professionalism and being a laid-back, easygoing culture.

We get a lot of support. Our system of doing, checking and reviewing means that senior members of staff give us a lot of feedback on our work. So we definitely learn very quickly on the job. Everyone’s always happy to explain things and clear up any issues, which is really helpful.

What makes you happy about working for First Actuarial?

Everyone gets along very well in the office. It’s very easy to access more senior members of the company – here in Basingstoke, for example, everyone sits in the same office. All the partners are accessible – we work directly with them, even as new graduates, which I really like. In bigger companies that would be a lot harder. There’s a strong sense that the company really cares about its employees.

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