June 23, 2024


The business lovers

Want to Be a CFO? Consider Some Numeric Body Art

There are all sorts of means to get on an upwardly cell monitor that may culminate in a CFO appointment.

Even obtaining a tattoo.

Just check with Dave Raszeja. He’s acquired a single on his appropriate arm that sports activities the very first one hundred digits of pi.

Dave Raszeja

“Getting the pi tattoo was possibly a single of my much better vocation moves,” states Raszeja, who will acquire on his very first CFO job on March 1 at Penn Mutual Everyday living Insurance coverage, a $3.3 billion revenue firm that manages some $33 billion in property.

He’d been at Penn Mutual for 4 many years when, in 2005 at age thirty, he donned the tattoo to memorialize his enthusiasm for arithmetic. A handful of many years previously he’d been enthusiastically pursuing a graduate diploma in theoretical math, studying this sort of knotty topics as algebraic topology. Immediately after he acquired his diploma, nevertheless, he switched his vocation concentration.

“At some stage it grew to become noticeable that I was likely to have to do the job considerably tougher or develop into considerably smarter, and neither appeared imminent,” Raszeja states. “I had to get a task, so I made a decision to follow the actuarial vocation route.”

Which is what brought him to Penn Mutual. By 2005, he’d been an actuary-in-education for most of the past 4 many years. 1 day, although having lunch in the firm cafeteria with a colleague, then-firm CEO Robert Chappell, who had a pattern of randomly sitting with folks at lunch, plopped down future to them.

“He questioned what we did, and we described that we ended up actuaries,” Raszeja remembers. “He reported that was exciting, due to the fact he’d been considering the firm could do a good deal more with arithmetic to develop into more data driven and analytically targeted.”

Raszeja’s piece of pi

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

The CEO then relayed the story to the head of Penn Mutual’s expenditure functionality, who contacted Raszeja and questioned him to come and job interview for an open hedging quantitative investigation posture.

He landed the task. “I basically located it a small complicated to go there and converse to individuals folks,” he states. “It was a complete new place of fiscal arithmetic that I hadn’t been exposed to. But they did a great task instructing me about derivatives and quantitative investigation.”

Raszeja was taken with the energetic environment in the expenditure section, when compared to the more staid a single in actuarial. It was frequently loud and raucous. There ended up energetic congratulations immediately after excellent trades ended up designed. He and the other younger quants realized about derivatives in part by developing derivative “contracts” amongst them and betting pennies on inventory industry effects. “It was a speedy-paced frame of mind,” he states.

He currently knew he loved the stimulation of getting on diverse roles. He’d still left the actuarial place a couple many years previously to fill in for a recently departed staff in reinsurance administration. It was mostly a clerical task, involving the preparing of billing reviews, for example.

“It may seem that it was a snoozer, but I located I could assistance folks style and design slick spreadsheets to get the billing carried out [more promptly],” Raszeja states. “It was pretty amazing to make that form of effects early in my vocation.”

He didn’t focus in keeping in roles for very long durations of time. Raszeja has carried out 10 diverse careers at Penn Mutual. The headquarters creating has 6 wings, and he’s worked in 5 of them. “If I could get a task in profits, I’d really round out my résumé,” he jokes.

When the firm begun an enterprise risk management section, its very first chief had been head of mounted income in the expenditure place. He brought Raszeja alongside with him, yet again in a quantitative investigation job.

“It was the very first time I appeared across the complete firm, as perfectly as the broker-seller affiliates, making an attempt to broadly comprehend not just finance but also folks and method and how all of individuals issues worked with each other,” he states. “I was about 8 many years into my vocation, and I never believe quite a few folks get that check out of a firm the dimension of Penn Mutual that early.”

His future quit was as chief of mortality management. It was a bit “wonky,” he states, but he put in sufficient time with the company’s direct underwriter, from whom he realized a good deal about profits.

There ended up also some granular but exciting issues to deal with. At the time the firm Raszeja was debating whether or not to allow everyday living insurance plan buyers to smoke “celebratory cigars” — as a single may do, say, when participating in golfing as soon as a thirty day period — without the need of getting charged smokers’ prices. “It was an exciting task on the simple facet,” he states.

Immediately after a couple many years, he located himself again in an actuarial job, but he made a decision he most well-liked the wide check out of enterprise risk management. The firm, nevertheless, had recently decentralized ERM, so Raszeja still left to acquire a risk management posture in Cigna’s global team. The task gave him international encounter, which includes repeated excursions to Asia, and the prospect to see how a considerably more substantial firm differed from an operational standpoint.

Ethics and Risk

Immediately after he’d put in thirteen months at Cigna, Penn Mutual, which was planning to reverse study course and go again to centralized risk management, brought him again as chief risk officer. In 2014, he was questioned to acquire on the more job of chief ethics officer. “I’m the only particular person I have at any time heard of who had both equally of individuals roles at the identical time,” he states.

The ethics posture was important for his vocation. Although the careers he’d had ahead of ended up analytical in character, this was mostly a folks-targeted write-up. “It really set me up to hone my leadership abilities for the long run,” he states.

In 2019, although nonetheless chief risk officer, Raszeja was named senior vice president of fiscal management and specified as the successor to CFO Susan Deakins, who was planning to retire in early 2020. “She’s a mentor and I have been wanting in excess of her shoulder,” he states. “She’s been pretty generous with her time and has set me up for achievements, so it should be a smooth changeover.”

The very first priority in his new write-up will be to go on shifting ahead with data architecture updates. The fiscal functions ramifications of having legacy techniques is an concern for most of the insurance plan industry nowadays.

Raszeja states he’s been fortuitous to expend his vocation with Penn Mutual, due to the fact shifting around the firm is remarkably inspired. “It’s a excellent healthy for me,” he states. “You listen to a good deal that you just cannot get ahead unless of course you improve careers, and I concur, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to depart the firm — if you are in the appropriate firm.”

He notes that an exciting element of his vocation has been that in just about every task he’s had to use “different parts” of himself.

“I’m hearing more recently about folks bringing their complete selves to do the job, and I’m satisfied that you can do that right here,” he states. “And if a tattoo can give you some upward mobility, I believe which is a pretty progressive and inclusive office.”

actuarial, chief risk officer, Dave Raszeja, derivatives, enterprise risk management, arithmetic, Penn Mutual, pi, quantitative investigation, Robert Chappell, Susan Deakins