July 24, 2024


Passion For Business

Want to Be a CFO? Consider Some Numeric Body Art

Want to Be a CFO? Consider Some Numeric Body Art

There are all varieties of strategies to get on an upwardly mobile monitor that might culminate in a CFO appointment.

Even receiving a tattoo.

Just request Dave Raszeja. He’s obtained just one on his correct arm that sporting activities the to start with 100 digits of pi.

Want to Be a CFO? Consider Some Numeric Body Art

Dave Raszeja

“Getting the pi tattoo was most likely just one of my improved job moves,” says Raszeja, who will acquire on his to start with CFO position on March one at Penn Mutual Lifetime Coverage, a $3.3 billion income corporation that manages some $33 billion in property.

He’d been at Penn Mutual for 4 several years when, in 2005 at age thirty, he donned the tattoo to memorialize his passion for mathematics. A couple several years before he’d been enthusiastically pursuing a graduate diploma in theoretical math, learning this sort of knotty subject areas as algebraic topology. Soon after he obtained his diploma, although, he switched his job emphasis.

“At some point it became noticeable that I was going to have to do the job a lot harder or become a lot smarter, and neither seemed imminent,” Raszeja says. “I experienced to get a job, so I made a decision to observe the actuarial job route.”

Which is what introduced him to Penn Mutual. By 2005, he’d been an actuary-in-education for most of the previous 4 several years. One working day, even though owning lunch in the corporation cafeteria with a colleague, then-corporation CEO Robert Chappell, who experienced a pattern of randomly sitting with people today at lunch, plopped down following to them.

“He requested what we did, and we discussed that we ended up actuaries,” Raszeja remembers. “He claimed that was appealing, since he’d been imagining the corporation could do a good deal extra with mathematics to become extra information driven and analytically concentrated.”

Raszeja’s piece of pi

His colleague thereupon claimed, “Hey, this guy’s obtained pi tattooed on his arm.” Chappell requested to see it, so Raszeja rolled up his sleeve.

The CEO then relayed the story to the head of Penn Mutual’s expense functionality, who contacted Raszeja and requested him to come and interview for an open up hedging quantitative evaluation place.

He landed the job. “I truly uncovered it a minimal overwhelming to go there and speak to all those people,” he says. “It was a complete new area of money mathematics that I hadn’t been uncovered to. But they did a wonderful job teaching me about derivatives and quantitative evaluation.”

Raszeja was taken with the lively ambiance in the expense department, in contrast to the extra staid just one in actuarial. It was frequently loud and raucous. There ended up lively congratulations following superior trades ended up made. He and the other younger quants uncovered about derivatives in portion by producing derivative “contracts” in between them and betting pennies on inventory current market outcomes. “It was a speedy-paced mentality,” he says.

He now understood he enjoyed the stimulation of having on unique roles. He’d remaining the actuarial area a pair several years before to fill in for a just lately departed employee in reinsurance administration. It was mainly a clerical job, involving the planning of billing reviews, for case in point.

“It could look that it was a snoozer, but I uncovered I could assistance people today layout slick spreadsheets to get the billing performed [extra rapidly],” Raszeja says. “It was pretty neat to make that type of influence early in my job.”

He did not focus in being in roles for extended periods of time. Raszeja has executed 10 unique jobs at Penn Mutual. The headquarters setting up has 6 wings, and he’s labored in 5 of them. “If I could get a job in sales, I’d really spherical out my résumé,” he jokes.

When the corporation begun an company hazard administration department, its to start with chief experienced been head of preset cash flow in the expense area. He introduced Raszeja together with him, all over again in a quantitative evaluation position.

“It was the to start with time I appeared across the complete corporation, as effectively as the broker-seller affiliate marketers, attempting to broadly have an understanding of not just finance but also people today and strategy and how all of all those points labored alongside one another,” he says. “I was about eight several years into my job, and I do not assume numerous people today get that view of a corporation the size of Penn Mutual that early.”

His following stop was as chief of mortality administration. It was a bit “wonky,” he says, but he used ample time with the company’s guide underwriter, from whom he uncovered a good deal about sales.

There ended up also some granular but appealing difficulties to deal with. At the time the corporation Raszeja was debating irrespective of whether to allow for existence insurance plan consumers to smoke “celebratory cigars” — as just one could do, say, when actively playing golfing after a month — without remaining charged smokers’ costs. “It was an appealing job on the realistic facet,” he says.

Soon after a pair several years, he uncovered himself back in an actuarial position, but he made a decision he most well-liked the wide view of company hazard administration. But the corporation experienced just lately decentralized ERM, and Raszeja remaining the corporation to acquire a hazard administration place in Cigna’s global team. The job gave him international encounter, together with repeated outings to Asia, and the possibility to see how a a lot even bigger corporation differed from an operational standpoint.

Ethics and Threat

Soon after he’d used 13 months at Cigna, Penn Mutual, which was setting up to reverse training course and go back to centralized hazard administration, introduced him back as main hazard officer. In 2014, he was requested to acquire on the additional position of main ethics officer. “I’m the only person I have at any time read of who experienced the two of all those roles at the same time,” he says.

The ethics place was critical for his job. Although the jobs he’d experienced just before ended up analytical in nature, this was mainly a people today-concentrated write-up. “It really established me up to hone my management abilities for the long term,” he says.

In 2019, even though however main hazard officer, Raszeja was named senior vice president of money administration and specified as the successor to CFO Susan Deakins, who was setting up to retire in early 2020. “She’s a mentor and I have been searching over her shoulder,” he says. “She’s been extremely generous with her time and has established me up for success, so it need to be a clean changeover.”

The to start with priority in his new write-up will be to continue on going ahead with information architecture upgrades. The money operations ramifications of owning legacy programs is an problem for most of the insurance plan business today.

Raszeja says he’s been fortunate to shell out his job with Penn Mutual, since going close to the corporation is hugely inspired. “It’s a superior in good shape for me,” he says. “You hear a good deal that you just cannot get forward except you transform jobs, and I concur, but that doesn’t signify you have to go away the corporation — if you’re in the correct corporation.”

He notes that an appealing component of his job has been that in every job he’s experienced to use “different parts” of himself.

“I’m listening to extra recently about people today bringing their complete selves to do the job, and I’m content that you can do that below,” he says. “And if a tattoo can give you some upward mobility, I assume that is a pretty progressive and inclusive office.”

actuarial, main hazard officer, Dave Raszeja, derivatives, company hazard administration, mathematics, Penn Mutual, pi, quantitative evaluation, Robert Chappell, Susan Deakins