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The Resume of SMC's President

Sarah L. M. Christiansen, Ph.D., FSA, MAAA


A consulting actuary with internal and external experience, including specific experience in creating, developing, and maintaining mathematical models, and in designing original user friendly APL software tailored to the needs of the specific user. A reputation for quality work, quick learning, and a good speaker at professional meetings. Strengths include a broad background in interest rate scenarios, assets and liabilities, and taking an intelligent, analytical approach to various problems. Capable of working with high level insurance professionals to accomplish management and technical goals.
SMC ACTUARIAL CONSULTANTS, Inc. Georgetown, TX                                                       2006 - present
SMC ACTUARIAL CONSULTANTS, Ltd. Adel, IA                                                                   2001 - 2005

  • Insurance Strategies Consulting, LLC
    • Ran model office simulations for product development.
    • Worked on several State Insurance Examination, evaluating reserves.
    • Cashflow tested a small company (primarily life insurance) using TAS.
    • Certified X factors for term life insurance reserve calculations.
  • Principal Financial Group Departments:
    • Actuarial Corporate: Evaluated interest rate scenarios and obtained cashflows for MBS, a necessary part of 2001 cashflow testing in a cost effective manner.
    • Individual Actuarial: Revised the APL workspace for the illustration system for a new life insurance product thus enabling the company to meet a critical deadline.
    • Medical-Claims Quality: Created stratified sampling solutions for insured business and mail processing center enabling quality to be determined with fewer reviews freeing time for the auditing team to review the work of new hires. The department manager estimates that the savings in salary and benefits is $70,000 per year.
    • RIS - Actuarial - Nippon: Peer Review of Cashflow testing
THE PRINCIPAL FINANCIAL GROUP, Des Moines, Iowa 50392-0650                                                     1985 - 2001

Associate Actuary - Financial                                                                                                  1994 - 2001
Provided primary support to the appointed actuary for the actuarial opinion and memorandum, coordinating all of the cashflow testing process, maintained all of the common internal APL modules, setting common assumptions for expenses, asset defaults and summarized and analyzed results. Developed revisions and maintained the interest rate scenario models for cashflow testing and for setting the annuity crediting rate. On the asset side, coordinated with the IS department in developing cashflows for all of the various asset classes. Researched and/or developed models for cashflows of derivatives and other asset based securities. Provided support to other areas as needed, including internal consulting on annuity modeling. Represented the company on a number of industry committees.

  • Revised all of the models from mainframe APL to user friendly PC APL complete with input forms, simplifying the work of the line actuaries.
  • Created representative scenario methodology, which enabled the company to test only 50 stochastic scenarios and have the reliability of 1000. Published research results in the North American Actuarial Journal (see publications).
  • Modeled the cashflow runout with alternative reinvestment strategies including multiple combinations of different maturities of each asset type for the static reinvestment strategy enabling the cashflow testing model to be used for comparison of the interest rate risk associated with different investment strategies without having to actually invest funds in the specific manner.

Senior Actuarial Associate                                                                                                         1991 - 1993
Developed stratified sampling procedure for group claims area enabling them to offer a financial quality guarantee for ASO business (revised and maintained through 2001).

Actuarial Associate                                                                                                                     1988 - 1990

Created cash flow testing module for interest sensitive life insurance, including an interest rate-crediting scheme in a very short period of time to comply with a change in Regulation 126 without requiring the use of outside consultants.

Actuarial Assistant                                                                                                                       1985 - 1988

Revised valuation methodology that minimized deficiency reserves, which are not tax deductible, saving the company money. Prepared substandard mortality tables for the company's life insurance valuation system.

Fellowship in the Society of Actuaries
Ph.D. (Mathematics) University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
MA (Mathematics) University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
BA (Honors) (Mathematics) University of California-Riverside, Riverside, California
Committee on Finance Research, SoA, 1996-2008, Chair 1998 - 2008
Member Research Project Oversight Committee, 1998 - 2004
Member Finance Practice Advancement Council, 1998 -2004
Member CKER (Committee on Knowledge Extension Research), 1999 - present
Education and Research Section Council 2013-2016 2008- 2010 1997 - 2000, Chair, 2000, 1992 - 1995, Vice Chair, 1995
Spring Program Committee, 1991 - 1994 and 1997 and 1998
Co-chaired Actuarial Research Conference with Dr. Stuart Klugman 1999
Education and Examination Committee V480 (Derivatives), 1992 - 1995, Vice Chair, 1994 - 1995
Finance and Investment Education Objectives Committee 1995 - 1998
Speaker at many Society of Actuaries meetings
Invited Speaker at the Interest Rate Seminar NY 2000
Project Oversight Group (POG) member for stochastic calculus text
"Representative Interest Rate Scenarios" NAAJ Vol. 2 No. 3 (1998), pp. 29-60.
With Buchacker, K. "Stability of Representative Crediting Rate Scenarios Under Monte Carlo Simulations", Journal of Actuarial Practice, Vol. 6 (1998), pp. 113-148.
Workshop: "Representative Interest Rate Scenarios", Contingencies, September/October 1998, pp. 56-60.
"The Markov Chain Interest Rate Generator Revisited", J. Actuarial Practice, Vol. 2 No. 1 (1994), pp. 101-124.
"A Practical Guide to Interest Rate Generators for C-3 Risk Analysis", TSA XLIV (1992), pp. 101-134.
"The Malpractice Crisis" Health Section News, April 1992, pg. 5.
Many Articles in the Education and Research Section Newsletter.

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