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FALL 2017


Alabama I-Day 2017 focuses on managing the risk of disaster

RISK EXPERTS CONVENE IN TUSCALOOSA BY VICTORIA MARTINEZ The annual Alabama Insurance Day (IDay) took place Wednesday, Oct. 11 in the Bryant Conference Center on the University of Alabama campus. The 34-year-old tradition celebrated its 11th year on the UA campus and featured multiple keynote speakers and a career fair for participating UA students. This year’s conference included a compelling series of experts on disaster risk management. Among

those experts were: Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and Alabama Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling, Author and WorldCom whistleblower Cynthia Cooper, and Shari Natovitz, risk manager for the World Trade Center rebuild. Additional speakers included Thomas Butler, Esq., Shareholder at Maynard Cooper & Gale, Andrew Culhane, Assistant Vice President of Chubb Specialty Insurance, Andrew Martin, CLU, ChFC, President (retired) of First Protective, Gary Meggs, Risk Manager (retired) of Southern Company, Michael Patterson, Esq., Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama,


Student Accomplishments Dai-ichi Life Visiting Scholar Spencer Risk Manager in Residence ACIIR in the News

and Andrew Torelli, Area Senior Vice President of Arthur J. Gallagher. “The quality of the speakers is unparalleled,” said Reid Jones, a UA senior majoring in finance with a specialization in actuarial science and minors in computing technology and economics. “As a student, there is no other event on campus that allows you access to so many high caliber speakers in such a short time. Throughout the day I was able to learn more about the various risks associated with flood disasters, employee practices, big data, terrorism, and more. I really value UA’s commitment to such a valuable networking and learning experience.” The conference is hosted by the Alabama Insurance and Risk Management Education Foundation (AIRMEF) in cooperation with the Alabama Department of Insurance, the Alabama Insurance Planning Commission (AIPC), and The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce. Alabama I-Day profits provide scholarships and other benefits for students enrolled in the IRMAS Program at the University of Alabama. Culverhouse Dean Kay Palan welcomed the audience at lunch. Afterwards, UA Athletic Director Greg Byrne shared insight into his

Culverhouse Dean Kay Palan

first year in Tuscaloosa, much of which has been spent learning, evaluating, building relationships and identifying ways for the Alabama athletic department to improve while remaining true to its history and tradition. “Seeing the young people we have, I am excited about our future. We can continue to get better together," Byrne said during his luncheon address. “This year’s I-Day was extremely timely,” said Don Curtin, Chairman of the Alabama Insurance Planning Committee. “Given the recent activity of weather events, it was very educational for the audience to hear how Mayor Maddox and Shari Natovitz responded and managed the recovery and rebuilding in their cities. These are valuable lessons for all of us in the insurance industry.” In addition, nearly 20 companies were on display during the career fair and many were recruiting students for internships and entry-level positions. Five signed copies of Cynthia Cooper’s book, “Extraordinary Circumstances: The Journey of a Corporate Whistleblower”, were raffled off as door prizes as well as two tickets to the Alabama v. LSU and Alabama v. Mercer football games, and an iPad to student attendees of the career fair. “Attending I-Day was a very beneficial experience for me. I learned much more about the industry and how the techniques and practices I learned about in class are applied to real life situations,” said Elizabeth Good, a senior majoring in finance with a specialization in personal wealth management. “It provided a good perspective on how risk management and insurance is so important and cannot be ignored, which I hope to convey to my clients one day.”

L-R: Dr. William Rabel, Timothy Boyle, Laura LePere, John Glowacki, and AIIA EVP & CEO Bill Sager

CULVERHOUSE SENIORS AWARDED PRESTIGIOUS INSURANCE SCHOLARSHIPS ARTICLE BY VICTORIA MARTINEZ PHOTO BY LEE HEDGEPETH REPRINTED FROM CULVERHOUSE NEWS 10/03/2017 Three students in the University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration have received significant scholarships to promote their entry into careers in the insurance industry in the state of Alabama. Timothy Boyle, John Glowacki, and Laura LePere were chosen from among a large number of applicants to receive the highly competitive Capps-Calhoun scholarships presented by the Excalibur Education Foundation, the educational arm of the Alabama Independent Insurance Agents (AIIA) and the Alabama Young Agents Committee. They received the scholarships in a ceremony September 21 in the Insurance Hall of Fame Museum, located in Alston Hall on the University of Alabama campus. The scholarship recognizes outstanding juniors and seniors who attend a college or university in Alabama and plan to pursue a career in the insurance field. To date, more than $60,000 has been awarded. Executive Vice President and CEO of Alabama Independent Insurance Agents, Bill Sager, presented the scholarships to the students, all majoring in Finance with a specialization in Insurance and Risk Management.

“These young people are the future of our profession and we are especially pleased to recognize them and help them fund their college education,” said Sager. “Over the years I have been highly impressed with students from the University of Alabama and Laura, Tim, and John are among the finest young people I have ever met.” AIIA is a non-profit organization that has been serving agents and companies since 1896 through a variety of coverage choices like auto, home, business, life and health as well as retirement and employee-benefit products. In addition, to serving their customers, the organization seeks to serve the community through its Young Agents program and Capps-Calhoun scholarship. “After I graduate in the spring, I plan to return to North Carolina to work with my father in his independent insurance agency. After working under him for a couple of years, I plan to start opening my own offices along the east coast,” said recipient, Timothy Boyle. “Along with the scholarship, the Alabama Independent Insurance Agents invited me to their Young Agents Conference, this past July, in Pensacola. That weekend, I was able to meet with over 200 agents and providers from across the state in a relaxed vacation setting. It was truly the perfect networking opportunity.”

UA SENIOR SPENDS FALL BREAK HELPING HOUSTONIANS pews, while the rest of us went back to The Red Cross to complete the work there. By the end of our service trip, we helped to sanitize and package close to 8,000 cots that are now ready to be shipped off to other shelters. While we were there, The Red Cross was able to close their last shelter in Houston and finished relocating all those who were in the shelters.

BY JENNIFER CINQUEMANI At the University of Alabama students always look forward to Fall Break. A few days off to rest, get ahead on school work, or visit family and friends. Beyond Bama, a program that is part of the Center for Service and Leadership, gives students another way to spend their breaks. They take students on alternative breaks to serve in national and international communities. This Fall Break, I had the opportunity, along with almost 100 other students, to travel to Houston, TX to aid in Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts. We spent three days volunteering at The Red Cross, working alongside members from AmeriCorps. These members spend 10-12 months volunteering their time and services to meet community needs in a variety of sectors. They were stationed in Houston for about 40 days when we got there, and they could not thank us enough for the “breath of fresh air” we brought with us. It was an awesome experience getting to work with and learn from them. They opened our eyes to the future we all could have in serving communities.  Our main goal was to help clean over 40,000 cots that were used in various shelters across the Houston area. By lunchtime on our first day, we had finished the amount of work that would have taken the AmeriCorps volunteers three days to complete.  At the end of the second day, we had completed enough work, that on the third day we were split up. A portion of the students (accompanied by chaperones) traveled to a local church to remove molded  

Even with all the work we completed, we had time to partake in events in the community as well. The Red Cross held a viewing party for the World Series and got to socialize with other volunteers. I had the chance to sit down with one of the volunteers who do behind the scenes work dealing with paperwork, finances, and getting the equipment needed to best serve the community. We talked about all the different sectors that make up the large organization. He encouraged me to get involved with my local chapter and help the community I live in. They are extremely interested in getting younger volunteers involved, and seeing how excited and ready we were to volunteer gave them hope for the future of The Red Cross. During our downtime, we played a lot of Uno, talked for hours (a lot of conversation comes up on a 10-hour bus ride), and got to check out the Kemah Boardwalk. The people I met on this trip from The Red Cross, AmeriCorps, and UA all helped to make the weekend one I will remember forever. I encourage everyone to look into the programs offered by the Center for Service and Leadership, and get involved in some way.

TOKYO TO TUSCALOOSA: JAPANESE SCHOLAR STUDIES LIFE INSURANCE AT THE CAPSTONE ARTICLE BY ADAM DODSON PHOTO BY CAROLINE JAPAL REPRINTED FROM CRIMSON WHITE 09/19/2017 While some students cross the Black Warrior River to get to the University of Alabama, one visiting scholar crossed the Pacific Ocean to do the same. From Tokyo to Tuscaloosa, a rising employee of a prominent Japanese insurance company recently began his scholar in residence program at the University. Masaki Kishida is an up-and-coming employee of Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co., Ltd., which operates out of Tokyo. Dai-ichi and Culverhouse have a long-standing relationship that dates back to the 1980's, when the life insurance company's owner, Tsuneta Yato, contributed towards Alston Hall's Insurance Hall of Fame and Lecture Hall. This relationship then led to the creation of the scholar in residence program that Kishida began three months ago, as well as the Dai-ichi internship program that accepts two Culverhouse students each year. Kishida's research centers around new models in the life insurance industry and is operating under the guidance of the Insurance, Risk Management and Actuarial Science (IRMAS) Program. Kishida is taking classes and conducting his research at Marillyn A. Hewson Data Analytics Lab. He hopes that he can help his company operate at a more efficient level upon his return to Tokyo. "I want to use my experience here to help with my projects back in Japan," said Kishida. "I want to be able to provide additional value to my company." Kishida is originally from Sendai of the Miyagi Prefecture and attended college at the University of Tokyo before working in Tokyo with Dai-ichi. Traveling from Tokyo to Tuscaloosa, Kishida has been immersed in new lifestyles and cultures, and he 

admitted that he has needed help along the way. Kishida said that the biggest challenge for him since his arrival in Tuscaloosa has been the language barrier. William Rabel, teaching chair of Insurance and Financial Services at the University, and IRMAS coordinator Reginald Allison, have been more than helpful with this adjustment, he said. Last weekend, Kishida became involved in the most integral part of Tuscaloosa: Alabama football. He attended his first game and said he has never been in a stadium the size of Bryant-Denny. “[Game day is] like a festival,” Kishida said. Although he has only been in America for three months out of the year-long program, Kishida has already taken note of some occupational differences between Tokyo and the South. "College and work here is very different than in Japan," said Kishida. "The professional culture is more informal at the University of Alabama than in Japan."

Kishida is the second company member to participate in the residence program with Culverhouse. During his time at the University, Rabel said that he has seen members of Dai-ichi fall in love with certain aspects of Tuscaloosa. "Dai-ichi personnel have become great fans of The University of Alabama," said Rabel. "Frequently when executives come on business from Tokyo they visit the University to see the Insurance Hall of Fame Museum, Mr. Yano’s portrait in the Lecture Hall and tour the campus and Tuscaloosa. It is always an enriching experience for them and for those with whom they interact." After completing the program, Kishida will return to Tokyo to continue his work for Daiichi, although some of its employees work in Alabama. Three years ago, Dai-ichi bought their Birmingham subsidiary, Protective Life Insurance Co. By doing this, they significantly increased their presence in Alabama and further enhanced the mutually beneficial relationship that exists between them and The University of Alabama.


IRMAS HIRES TWO NEW FACULTY BY KAYLIN BOWEN REPRINTED FROM CULVERHOUSE NEWS 09/29/2017 As the first full month of classes draws to a close at the University of Alabama, two new hires in the Culverhouse College of Commerce have settled into their roles. Dr. George Zanjani, ACAS and Dr. Daniel Bauer joined the college’s Insurance & Financial Services, Risk Management, and Actuarial Science (IRMAS) program over the summer. Bauer and Zanjani bring with them more than 30 entries in academic publications, and the intent to continue to grow their scholarly literature. Their addition to Culverhouse is part of an ongoing strategic plan to grow and improve the college for years to come. Prior to joining the university, Zanjani served as the inaugural holder of the AAMGA Distinguished Chair in Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) and an associate professor in the RMI Department of Georgia State University (GSU). He served as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for eight years, specializing in policy work relating to insurance issues in the broader financial system. “I have a lot to be excited about in joining the IRMAS program,” said Zanjani. “Most importantly, I think Bill Rabel, Robert McLeod, Lars Powell, Harris Schlesinger and the other faculty and staff involved with insurance education and research at Culverhouse have built an incredible foundation for success at Culverhouse.” Zanjani fills the position of Frank Park Samford Chair of Insurance, which was previously held by Harris Schlesinger, who passed away in 2015. The Chair of Insurance is named in memory of Frank Park Samford Sr., a member of the Alabama Men's Hall of Fame and the namesake of Samford University. Bauer has also worked at Georgia State University before making the transition to UA. He held the position of Batten Chair in Actuarial Science and Director of GSU’s Master of Mathematical Risk Management program. Additionally, Bauer taught actuarial science, statistics/analytics, and quantitative methods in finance in the Risk Management and Insurance Department at the Robinson College of Business at GSU.

“With UA’s legacy in insurance education and research…I believe UA has the potential to become one of the global hubs for insurance-related research,” said Bauer. “I am very excited to be a part of this.” Bauer has been appointed the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company Endowed Chair in Actuarial Science and Risk Management. This chair is in honor of Tsuneta Yano, the founder of Dai-ichi Life. Bauer is the first to hold this title. Bauer and Zanjani’s addition to the department brings with it new ideas and experience. “With myself and Daniel Bauer joining the faculty, I think we have an excellent opportunity to build on the foundation set before us,” said Zanjani. “For example, in the actuarial space, the revolution in "Big Data" and analytics is expanding opportunities for actuaries to add value, and we will strive to prepare our students for this new world.” Additionally, their added enthusiasm has the potential to invigorate students to start their own research. “The students are motivated and extremely smart— and based on my experience in the first weeks,

Dr. Daniel Bauer there seems to be a lot of interest in actuarial science,” said Bauer. “With the support of the college administration, I believe we can develop a world-class program.” The IRMAS program educates students on how risks are managed and financed. The program is provided through the Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies. The curriculum includes traditional classroom instruction as well as opportunities for professional development within the industry. The IRMAS program works with numerous departments within Culverhouse. The Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research (ACIIR), which provides highly credible information and research insight for the benefit key stakeholders across the State of Alabama, and IRMAS partners on many projects including the upcoming Alabama Insurance Day held at the Bryant Conference Center on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

Dr. George Zanjani, ACAS

“George and Daniel are both excellent teachers and researchers,” said Lars Powell, Director of ACIIR. “It is not exaggerating to say they are among the best insurance minds anywhere. Having access to their expertise will expand ACIIR's capabilities.”

UA SENIOR ATTENDS REGIONAL MEETING OF ACTUARIES BY SHANNON LI The Casualty Actuaries of the Southeast's fall 2017 meeting was the first actuarial conference I have had the fortune to attend- honestly, I wish I had gone to meetings like this earlier in my college career. This entire experience was eye-opening and afforded me insight and opportunities that I could not have obtained through standard education or vocational outreach methods. CASE’s biggest benefit is the introduction to the breadth of knowledge and work culture of the Casualty Actuarial sector. There were over one hundred students and industry professionals in attendance; many of these professionals also lead recruitment at the university’s Business Career Fair and networking events (e.g. PWC, Willis Towers Watson, Pinnacle, etc). This type of exposure cultivated distinct recognition and rapport with active industry professionals. What I personally liked most about this event were the fantastic presentations on hot topics by prestigious guest speakers: there was Nick Irwin, the lead cyber risk actuary at ISO (Verisk Analytics), who delivered a riveting presentation about topics like cyber exposure in the marketplace and the limitations and predictions of cyber risk analytics; Jeremy Hoch of Merlinos presented his insight about industry limitations, trends and potential for predictive analytics. Attendees were also re-introduced to CAS updates and professional standards with Leslie Marlo of Madison Inc. and the CAS Professionalism Committee; Hospital Professional Liability Insurance was discussed by Josh Youdovin and Tim Mosler; Stu Mathewson illuminated the impacts of weather on casualties in his presentation of the Actuarial Climate Index. Through their presentations I immeasurably broadened the educational platform that I had from the classroom; in other words, I gained a real-time understanding of what industry aspects and fields specifically appealed to me!

This conference exactly lived up to my expectations: it was well organized, extremely informative, offered me exclusive access and presented valuable facetime with practicing professionals/recruiters. There is no better way to familiarize yourself with the Casualty Actuarial content and culture than to attend conferences like this CASE meeting. I highly recommend this to all students interested in pursuing a living in Casualty Actuarial industries; this opportunity would probably afford the most benefit for students seeking to expand their awareness of what the industry has to offer. The Casualty Actuaries of the Southeast (CASE) is an affiliate of the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), a professional organization of actuaries whose purpose is the advancement of the body of knowledge of actuarial science applied to property, casualty, and similar risk exposures. CASE held its annual fall meeting on September 18, 2017 on the campus of Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.

AIS BOARD MEMBERS VISIT WESTFIELD HQ IN OHIO BY ELIZABETH PEPLINSKI At the beginning of November, I and two other AIS members traveled to Ohio for Westfield Insurance College Days. The company invited universities to nominate students to visit their campus (all-expenses paid), network with employees, learn more about the industry, and socialize with fellow RMI students. Each day was packed with a mixture of professional and fun social events; overall, it was a great experience! Upon landing in Akron on Wednesday, a driver picked us up and took us to Westfield’s campus – I call it a campus because it consists of several beautiful buildings, the Westfield Inn, and three golf courses! Shortly after our arrival, we went to lunch, where we met the program coordinators as well as the other students. The rest of the day consisted of icebreakers, more food (yum!), and socializing. I got to be pretty good friends with just about everyone, and we all still stay in touch (mostly through Snapchat). Thursday morning, Connie Frey and Carla Bowerman told us a little about the history of Westfield (which, interestingly enough, was actually started by a group of farmers in the area who couldn’t find adequate insurance plans anywhere else). Carla also talked about things to do in the Cleveland/Akron area, why Westfield is a great company to work for, and why we should continue to pursue a career in insurance. Additionally, Andy Farver discussed different internships and graduate development programs with Westfield, all of which sound like great opportunities. Afterward, we got to rotate through tables and talk to actual employees from different sectors of the company for about 20 minutes each. I networked with people from a variety of areas, such as underwriting, claims, and surety. Each presenter talked a little bit about what they did and left time for students to ask questions. I really appreciated the opportunity to hear from all kinds of workers, as I usually tend to gravitate toward the actuaries/underwriters. In fact, I found the claims presentation to be one of the most interesting! At any 

L-R: Austin Houston, Shannon Li, and Elizabeth Peplinski

rate, one thing seemed to be constant: each employee enjoyed working in the insurance industry and found the work to be satisfying and fulfilling. In addition to the professional workshops, we had some good ol’ fashioned competition! The Westfield chefs assisted the students in making apple pies for a pie decorating contest. I, unfortunately, did not win, but I think that has something to do with the fact that I decorated my pie with the Alabama script A (tough crowd). We also visited downtown Medina, where we enjoyed dinner, mini golf, and a personal tour of the yearround Christmas store/attraction, Castle Noel! The night ended with us all hanging out at the Inn and teasing Andy about stealing the bathrobes from our hotel rooms. All in all, I had a blast in Ohio! My favorite part was befriending a bunch of insurance students and company employees, all of whom I would not have met had it not been for College Days. As an actuarial student, it can be easy to get caught up in the numbers and analytical side of insurance, but this trip was a good reminder that insurance is about relationships and fun, too!

CULVERHOUSE HOSTS RISK MANAGER SHARI NATOVITZ coverage, earned her a place on Business Insurance's 2016 Risk Management Honor Roll. “Natovitz’s presentation provided a window into what it is truly like to manage risk on a massive scale while being thrust onto a global stage. The information and experiences that she shared with my fellow students and I gave way to a better knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the industry and what it takes to get from step one to completion on a project of such great size and magnitude,” said Noah Killingsworth, a senior majoring in finance with specializations in investment management and insurance and risk management.

BY VICTORIA MARTINEZ REPRINTED FROM CULVERHOUSE NEWS 10/14/2017 The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce was among 27 schools that were awarded a grant by The Spencer Education Foundation to host a risk manager in residence. For nearly 20 years, Spencer Educational Foundation has been bringing risk managers into the classroom so that students can hear about the profession first-hand. Shari Natovitz, Senior Vice President and Director of Risk Management for Silverstein Properties, visited the college Oct. 1012, 2017. During her visit, she spoke to students in the Insurance, Risk Management, and Actuarial Science (IRMAS) program about her experience as a risk manager for residential and commercial construction properties. Natovitz is s responsible for providing leadership, direction and creating solutions for the risk management challenges of the World Trade Center development project. Her efforts to rebuild amid challenges, and in the midst of complex litigation over insurance 

Killingsworth further explained that, “I felt that she imparted to us a better comprehension of risk management in its entirety, thoroughly encompassing property, liability, and legal risks. Her lecture left students with a lasting impression of what it takes to make it in today’s competitive industry and what to strive for along the way.” In addition to speaking with students, Natovitz was also a keynote speaker at the 2017 Alabama Insurance Day. She was among other experts of disaster risk management to discuss aspects of the industry. “Attending this lecture by Ms. Natovitz was a great privilege,” said Rachel McCombs, a senior majoring in finance with specializations in actuarial science and mathematics. “I would highly encourage anyone who has the chance to hear her speak to seize that opportunity, as you will not be disappointed.”


BY SARA LAWSON Most of my fall semester of junior year was spent probably like most business students – searching for internships, interviewing for said internships, studying for the 15+ hours of classes I was also taking, as well as attempting to maintain some sort of social and personal life. As a member of the Alabama Insurance Society, I went to a meeting onenight featuring Northwestern Mutual and I loved the idea that this company was implementing. The idea of not just interning or shadowing,  but actually trying out the career on your own with few restrictions regarding what you can do. I immediately applied for the internship and waited for a response. Before I could even come up for air, my first interview with Northwestern Mutual was scheduled right before finals. I quickly learned that this internship was like no other I had interviewed for or probably ever would in the future. Before the actual interview, I was asked to complete a personality test to gauge how compatible I might be with this type of career, which I thought spoke volumes about this company and the time they put into hiring the right people. The interview process was easy. Not because I breezed my way through it, but because the people there are amazing. I immediately felt at home with my Growth and Development Director, Brad King and couldn’t imagine myself working anywhere else for the summer.   After accepting the internship, I was asked to study for and pass the state of Alabama life and health insurance test so that I could become a fully licensed life and health   

insurance agent, which is another way I knew this internship was different from others. Immediately after passing my test I was able to be hired and was given an agent number by the state of Alabama. Wow! I liked the sound of that. I worked alongside 6 other interns for the summer. I walked in the door the first day and hit the ground running. We spent our first few days calling people and setting meetings with them. After setting a meeting was when the real magic began and along came the joint work. The joint work experience is another way I believe this internship is absolutely unique to any other. When you set a meeting with a client you get to bring on a full-time representative from the company to help lead you along. That is where the bulk of the learning came from. Just getting to sit there and absorb the art of the business and see how this company does so much more than just sell insurance, or even manage money, they change lives. Northwestern Mutual is probably the most unique internship experience I could have ever had because of the nature of the company in general. They do not just sell insurance; they do wealth management, savings, investments, and work on marrying insurance and investments personal to you as a person or family. That to me was the number one thing I learned this summer. What Northwestern Mutual does as a company is lifechanging for so many people and to even get the opportunity to be a part of it was amazing and lifechanging for me as not only a student but also a person and I could not have asked for a better experience.

UA RESEARCHERS USE INNOVATIVE LAB TO STUDY STORM SHELTER DESIGNS Engineering researchers are testing walls of storm shelters designed to the standards developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to see how they withstand debris strikes. For the test, the researchers are using debris cannons — tubes that use compressed air to launch debris, in this case wooden two-by-fours, at 100 mph. The tests are part of an ongoing effort to better understand the effect of wind-borne debris during severe weather events on structures.  “Once we improve our understanding, maybe we can make a contribution toward the fundamental design of these types of structures,” said Dr. Wei Song, UA assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering. View the full story here.

ACIIR DIRECTOR TALKS INSURANCE MARKETS The Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research Executive Director Lars Powell spoke to WBRC Fox 6 News about the possibility of change in insurance markets, tips for shopping around, and what questions to ask an insurance agent on Sept. 13. “Our number one piece of advice is to shop around,” said Powell. “We can’t reiterate this enough.” View the full story here.

ELEVEN STUDENTS ATTENDED INSURANCE FRATERNITY’S 46TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN DALLAS “I had an interview with Nationwide and made great connections with the recruiter of AIG as well. It was a pleasant surprise to realize they were just as happy to make the connections with me, as I was to be building a relationship with them,” Ty Turner, a junior majoring in finance with a specialization in actuarial science, said.

"I could not attend any other event that would better prepare and assist me as I BY VICTORIA MARTINEZ search for my career REPRINTED FROM CULVERHOUSE NEWS 10/01/2017 after graduate Eleven members of the University of Alabama’s Epsilon chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma attended the fraternity’s 46th Annual International Conference from Sept. 28 school."  to Sept. 30, 2017 in Dallas, Texas.  – Jack Roberts Gamma Iota Sigma is the only international collegiate fraternity for students interested in insurance, risk management, and actuarial science professions. Culverhouse’s Insurance, Risk Management, and Actuarial Science (IRMAS) program advises and sponsors one of the oldest chapters of the fraternity. The students in attendance learned more about the industry, interacted with more than 60 companies at one of the largest career fairs of its kind, and networked with over 800 industry professionals, and students and advisors from 57 colleges and universities. “I enjoyed the different panels they had during the educational sections,” said Kylie Stoneback, a senior majoring in finance with a specialization in insurance and risk management. “I found these very helpful for myself because with me recently adding the insurance specialization to my finance degree, I didn’t really know all the different routes you could take in insurance. So the panels explained them more in detail and all the opportunities that are offered in each one.” In addition to the learning and networking opportunities, the students were able to interview with companies like Nationwide, Hartford, Munich Reinsurance, and Markel. One student went as far as having an interview set up before arriving.

During the awards banquet, the Epsilon Chapter received honors in four of the International Chapter Award categories. Those awards were: alumni relations, chapter management, membership development, and public relations. Additionally, the chapter received the Well-Rounded Chapter Award in recognition of operating effectively in all areas of chapter management. The Conference concluded with a closing reception in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. At the stadium the students were able to tour the facilities and suites, visit the cheerleader’s locker room, and hang out on the field.

AIS PRESIDENT REFLECTS ON INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE BY LAURA LEPERE I am a planner, a Type A personality as one can be. I love guidelines, structure, and lists. This personality type made actuarial science so attractive to me. While I didn’t start with this career path, the transition was seamless. I realized that interning was a large part of the pathway to becoming an actuary. After switching majors and having no exams passed, I quickly grasped that getting an actuarial internship would be nearly impossible. Thankfully, I was able to land an underwriting internship with State Farm in Atlanta after my sophomore year. I fell in love with underwriting and questioned my newly forged “career path.” In my mind, the only way to decide whether to keep pursuing actuarial science was to spend a summer doing actuarial work. I made a list of every insurance company I could think of then applied to every internship I could find online for those companies. I attended the career fair at UA, the I-Day career fair, and the Gamma Iota Sigma career fair. I spent roughly 3-5 hours a week interviewing with various companies. Then Jim Yablecki came to an Alabama Insurance Society Actuarial Group meeting to talk about Cigna located in Bloomfield, CT. Ironically enough, I was at an interview in Connecticut when Jim spoke and conducted interviews on campus. Although I wasn’t on campus at the time, Cigna was extremely accommodating and allowed me to have a phone interview. I was very open with Cigna that I was much further in the interview process with other companies and I had offer deadlines approaching. Cigna followed up with a Skype interview and gave me an offer the very next day.  I was extremely appreciative of how Cigna accommodate my time frame and schedule. I accepted my offer within days and felt at ease to have my summer planned out. From the start of the internship, I could tell Cigna really cares for their employees. All the interns were housed in beautifully furnished apartments walking distance from the office.

Cigna’s intern committee planned a multitude of events – both social and work-related. The social events ranged from bowling to baseball games to happy hours. The work related events included a speaker series, insurance educational workshops, Microsoft training, and case studies. During the course of the internship, I obtained more applicable knowledge than I would in a whole year of school. Furthermore, Cigna thoroughly encourages actuarial interns to set up lunches with FSA (Fellow of Society of Actuaries) credentialed employees. I was able to attend an FSA lunch with the Chief Financial Officer. We even had a speaker series with the CEO, David Cordani! The accessibility to upper management was above and beyond what I would expect from such a large company. My advice to students looking for internships would be to persevere. Internship season is a stressful one; it’s important to keep applying, keep interviewing and keep your head up. Finally, take advantage of Alabama Insurance Society events and speakers and be sure to get involved in any way you can.

STUDENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS Samuel Albert accepted an Actuarial Analyst

Sara Lawson spent the summer interning with

Phillips Brooks passed Exam FM in October 2017.

Northwestern Mutual and passed the life and health insurance exam. She also accepted a position with Regions' Debt Products Program in Birmingham, AL.

Brock Colvin spent the summer interning with

Laura LePere accepted a position with Hartford’s

position with Protective Life in Birmingham, AL.

Harris Fowler Insurance, an independent agency in Albertville, AL and obtained his life insurance certification.

Zachary Dutton spent the summer interning with Protective Life in Birmingham, AL.

Brighton Farrar passed Exam P in July 2017 and Exam FM in October 2017.

Stephen Fletcher passed Exam P in January 2017

Exam FM in October 2017. He also spent the summer as an actuarial intern with Protective Life in Birmingham, AL.

Kelly Greene accepted a Project Manager position with AmWINS in Birmingham, AL.

Donald Holt passed Exam FM in June 2017. Austin Houston , Shannon Li , and Elizabeth Peplinski were selected to attend Westfield

Insurance College Days in Ohio in November 2017.

Kayla Jones spent the summer as an actuarial intern with Alfac in Columbus, GA.

SURGE Underwriting Trainee Program in Florida.

Zachary Lyles spent the summer interning with the

Clinical Effectiveness team of Norton Healthcare in Louisville, KY and with the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Washington, D.C. He also accepted a position with Boeing’s Business Career Foundation Program in St. Louis, MO.

Casey McGuirt spent the summer interning with

SCOR Global Life Americas in Charlotte, NC and accepted a position with Bank of America’s Finance Management Analyst Program in Charlotte, NC.

Hudson Morris accepted a CAT Modeler position with Holborn in New York.

Elizabeth Peplinski accepted a summer internship with Cigna’s Actuarial Executive Development Program in Nashville, TN.

Nicole Putre passed Exam P in July 2017 and spent

the fall semester studying abroad at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

Jack Roberts spent the summer as an actuarial

Julie Knight passed Exam P.

intern with the Prosperity Life Insurance Co. in Roanoke, VA.

Nicholas Laffey spent the summer interning with

Avery Schmitz passed Exam C in February 2017.

SCOR Global Life Americas in Charlotte, NC and accepted an Actuarial Analyst position with the company. He also passed Exam C in June 2017 and was selected by the Actuarial Foundation as a recipient of a 2017 Curtis E. Huntington Memorial Scholarship. 

Brennen Slaney passed Exam P in July 2017 and

was accepted to UA’s Accelerated Master’s Program for Applied Statistics, which he will begin in spring 2018. He also accepted a summer actuarial internship with Western & Southern in Cincinnati, OH.

Laine Smith spent the summer as a life pricing

actuarial intern with Protective Life in Birmingham, AL.

John Solvay completed the Disability Income Associate professional designation through America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) in November 2017.

Robert Stokes accepted a position with the Claims

Department of American Mining Insurance Group, a W. R. Berkley Company in Birmingham, AL.

Josh Taggart accepted a summer internship with

Cigna’s Actuarial Executive Development Program in Nashville, TN and passed Exam P in November 2017.

Yuwen Yu was accepted to Columbia University's

Master of Science in Actuarial Science program in New York.

SUMMER GRADS Bachelors of Science in Commerce and Business Administration William Alexander Larry - Birmingham, AL Major: Finance, Specialization: Insurance

FALL GRADS Bachelors of Science in Commerce and Business Administration Phillips J. Brooks - Northport, AL magna cum laude , Major: Finance, Specialization: Investment Management, Minor: Mathematics Rachel Elizabeth Hughes - Bridgeport, AL Major: Finance, Specialization: Insurance

IRMAS SCHOLARS Alabama Association of Health Underwriters (AAHU) – Richard K. Beecham Endowed Scholarship Zachary J. Dutton

State Farm – Robert W. Hodgkins Endowed Scholarship Timothy S. Boyle William B. Colvin Stephen Fletcher John F. Glowacki Jackson C. Goodwin Ethan Hester James T. Hite Austin R. Houston Kayla N. Jones Noah Killingsworth Zachery V. Lyles Jack A. Lyons Harris Z. Parks Nicole J. Putre Avery J. Schmitz Brennen L. Slaney Tyesha C. Turner Fan Yin

Alabama Chapter of RIMS™ – Maxie Glen Jackson Memorial Endowed Scholarship Casey W. McGuirt

Jack L. McKewen Endowed Scholarship Elizabeth L. Good Laura K. LePere

Jarvis W. Palmer Endowed Scholarship Blake Burkhalter Sara Lawson Laine Smith Joshua Taggart



Alabama Center for Insurance Information     and Research Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama CRC Insurance Services, Inc. Holborn Corporation Lockton Companies McGriff, Seibels & Williams, Inc. Pilot Catastrophe Services, Inc. PricewaterhouseCoopers ProAssurance Corporation Protective Life Insurance Co. Willis Towers Watson

Alfa Corporation AmWINS Group, Inc. Hand Arendall, LLC SCOR Global Life SE Spencer Educational Foundation

BRONZE SPONSORS AlaCOMP Alabama Retail Comp Butler Snow, LLP Commerical Sector Insurance Brokers FCCI Insurance Group Harris Madden & Powell, Inc. Maynard Cooper & Gale, P.C. Palomar Insurance Corporation Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, Inc. The Sheffield Group The University of Alabama's IRMAS Program:      In Memory of Dr. John S. Bickley Warren Averett CPAs & Advisors Zenith Insurance Company

SILVER SPONSORS Alabama Independent Insurance Agents, Inc. American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co. American Mining Insurance Group Auto-Owners Insurance AXA Advisors Cobbs Allen EMC Insurance Companies Gen Re Corporation HealthMarkets, Inc. Heritage Insurance Kerper Bowron, LLC Life Insurance Company of Alabama Milliman, Inc. National Security Group, Inc. Nelson Taplin Goldwater S&P Dow Jones Indices Southland Benefit Solutions Wealth Solutions Group, LLC Westfield Insurance

UofAlabama IRMAS Program Newsletter: Fall 2017  
UofAlabama IRMAS Program Newsletter: Fall 2017