Meet the professor - An Interview with Eric Beutner December 23rd, 2017

Where and what did you study? 

I studied Mathematics with a minor in Economics at the University in Bonn and received my PhD at the RWTH Aachen in 2005. I then worked as a Postdoc in Aachen until 2008 before starting in Maastricht

What are you currently doing research on? 

I started with the probabilistic side of mathematical finance building models to show the existence of risk minimising strategies. Eventually I became more interested in statistics around 2009. For instance, if an insurance company has portfolios with n clients, how do you estimate the risk of an entire portfolio?

How does someone become an actuary?

To become an actuary, one should take actuarial courses, such as the Master’s courses offered at this faculty, and pass examinations that are required by nationally organised actuarial institutions. Then one would find a position for actuarial work, for example in insurance companies.

What are qualities that your ideal actuary should have?

The ideal actuary should have a very good quantitative training and should be able to explain the results of their perhaps sophisticated methods in an accessible way to people who do not have that same background. Those are probably the two most important things. 

Where else can actuaries find employment other than insurance or pension companies, which are two commonly known employers for actuaries?

Actuaries can also work for regulators and in consulting.

What is interesting about working in the actuarial field? 

What I find interesting is that it allows you to combine both probability theory and statistics. You can combine all the techniques you’ve learned in the bachelor’s and apply them to derive models for questions such as: how long do we live on average and how does this affect our pension systems? What I also find nice about it is that you can address relevant societal questions with quantitative methods. So you’re not only focusing on the statistical side, you would also need an interest in finance.