Sarah graduated and joined LCP as a Pensions Actuarial Analyst in 2008. She qualified in 2014, making her way up to Senior Consultant in 2018 and is now a Partner. Her specialist areas include liability management, de-risking, pension risk capital, team leadership and early careers recruitment.
What attracted you to your role?
I wanted to continue my education in Maths and understood that the actuarial profession was highly regarded. I wanted an interesting and challenging career that played to my strengths and where I could work with people. I also wanted to find something rewarding, where I had an opportunity to make a difference to people's lives. An actuarial consulting role offered these opportunities as well as the right mix of work-life balance and reward.
I joined LCP over 14 years ago and have never looked back. I chose LCP due to its strong reputation in the industry, its friendly, supportive and inclusive culture, and the opportunities for career development that come from its partnership. We are very lucky at LCP to have so much variety in the projects we get involved in and to work with so many different types of clients. LCP has proved to be a fun place to work, with a really sociable atmosphere.
I chose the Winchester office because I wanted the best of both worlds – to explore the Hampshire countryside and Dorset coast at the weekends but also to travel into London to get the hustle and bustle when I wanted it.
What are your main duties?
I am responsible for the delivery of advice to a range of clients. I usually have several projects on the go at any one time and through those I interact with a wide variety of other specialists (for example lawyers, regulators, investment specialists, insurers), as well as working with company boards, finance teams and trustees of pension schemes. I have worked with a range of clients, from small businesses to multinational corporations, and across various industries, including financial services, transportation, and manufacturing.
Typically, this is strategic advice for large pension schemes where we are talking hundreds of millions of pounds of investments, using complex financial models we have developed in-house and we help our clients to understand the results. As part of the role, we often travel around the country to meet with clients, and sometimes speak to the pension scheme members themselves to explain the changes being made to their benefits.
Recently, I joined our longevity de-risking team, which involves brokering large scale transactions with insurers.
I also help our firm to win new clients, by working on tender opportunities and by building networks and relationships with other advisers. Internally, I have been heavily involved in team leadership / people development, as well as recruitment.
What skills are useful in this profession?
To be successful as an actuarial consultant, you need a broad range of skills, including advanced mathematical and analytical abilities, excellent problem-solving skills, to be reactive and to have the ability to work well under pressure. You should be motivated and hard-working. Because you will be working on multiple projects at one time, it is important to be well organized. You need to enjoy working with people and in teams, and have strong communication, presentation and relationship building skills.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession?
Do your research. Speak to people in the profession to find out more about the different types of role (eg consultancy versus in-house) and opportunities. If you are at university, there should be several career events where you can do this. If this is proving difficult, reach out to firms on linkedin.
Increase your business awareness. Do your research on topical issues and read the latest articles on companies’ websites.
Try it out. Apply for some real-world experience, whether that be work experience or an internship. Not only will this give you an opportunity to find out if this is something you would enjoy, but it will look good on your CV when you come to apply for graduate roles / jobs.