24 May 2017

Meet your future boss: Jean-Philippe Simon – Manager, applied analytics team

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Hello, Jean-Philippe. What is your position at Promutuel Insurance?

Hi! I’ve been working at Promutuel Insurance for a little over seven years now and have been manager of the applied analytics team for 18 months.

Great! Can you tell us about the key turning points of your career? 

I started off as a corporate actuarial intern at one of the biggest property and casualty insurance companies in Québec. At the time, one of the managers put in charge of creating an actuarial department offered me a job on his team shortly after my internship ended.

A few years later, I joined Groupe Promutuel. The first few years, my work consisted mainly of processing databases for the purpose of creating tools to better analyze and represent data.

Looking back, I realize that starting off my career by developing my programming abilities and deepening my understanding of basic actuarial concepts was the best thing that ever happened to me. It allowed me to progress quickly on an underwriting team where I was able to work in both home and auto insurance. When you understand data, calculation algorithms, and actuarial concepts, you can be flexible and excel, whatever the assignment!

Later I had the opportunity to join a new R&D team, which enabled me to take part in implementing a number of predictive modeling projects affecting all business sectors.

Eighteen months ago, I became the manager of this applied analytics team. Being manager gives me the opportunity to develop new skills. In a nutshell, I’ve had a very exciting, challenging, and rewarding career!

Now that we know a bit more about you, tell us about your team and what it does. 

It is a multidisciplinary team whose members have very different backgrounds.  We have a geographer responsible for all geography-related analyses, a few people specialized in data management and transformation for various actuarial purposes, and a number of actuaries in charge of advanced modeling and research.

What has been your team’s biggest achievement in recent years?

I would say implementing generalized linear models in home, auto, and business insurance. These models have significantly advanced our underwriting change processes. 

How would you describe the atmosphere on your team?

It’s friendly to ensure that all members feel comfortable contributing and learning. On an analytics team, I think the important thing is having a culture where you challenge ideas, are open-minded, and work together.

What types of backgrounds do you look for?

It’s hard to say, because I don’t look for any in particular.  I want a balance between technical programming and statistics skills and business knowledge. Actually, I look for people who are eager to learn, aren’t afraid of challenging their thinking, like sharing their knowledge, and are involved.

What makes your team the best and most fun to work on?

The size of the team, which fosters each member’s growth. Projects are always new, and people have the latitude to tackle them. We work in close collaboration with the other teams.

How do you motivate your troops?

For me, motivation requires transparency and getting people involved in the direction the team takes. The feeling of being able to influence the direction projects take or even which projects get the green light is an important factor in building employee commitment.

Thank you, Jean-Philippe! How can people interested in joining the team contact you?

Contact me on LinkedIn, send me an invitation, tell me about your background and, most importantly, your goals.

See all our new positions at www.promutuelassurance.ca/fr/carriere-equipe-actuariat.