Want to Be a CFO? Consider Some Numeric Body Art

Jannie Delucca

There are all kinds of approaches to get on an upwardly cellular observe that might culminate in a CFO appointment.

Even receiving a tattoo.

Just question Dave Raszeja. He’s acquired 1 on his correct arm that athletics the to start with a hundred digits of pi.

Dave Raszeja

“Getting the pi tattoo was in all probability 1 of my better job moves,” states Raszeja, who will just take on his to start with CFO part on March 1 at Penn Mutual Everyday living Insurance policies, a $3.3 billion profits organization that manages some $33 billion in assets.

He’d been at Penn Mutual for 4 yrs when, in 2005 at age thirty, he donned the tattoo to memorialize his enthusiasm for arithmetic. A couple of yrs before he’d been enthusiastically pursuing a graduate diploma in theoretical math, learning these kinds of knotty matters as algebraic topology. Right after he acquired his diploma, though, he switched his job aim.

“At some issue it became apparent that I was heading to have to perform a lot harder or develop into a lot smarter, and neither appeared imminent,” Raszeja states. “I had to get a work, so I decided to adhere to the actuarial job path.”

That’s what brought him to Penn Mutual. By 2005, he’d been an actuary-in-teaching for most of the past 4 yrs. Just one day, though obtaining lunch in the organization cafeteria with a colleague, then-organization CEO Robert Chappell, who had a behavior of randomly sitting with people at lunch, plopped down subsequent to them.

“He questioned what we did, and we stated that we ended up actuaries,” Raszeja recalls. “He explained that was intriguing, simply because he’d been pondering the organization could do a great deal more with arithmetic to develop into more info driven and analytically centered.”

Raszeja’s piece of pi

His colleague thereupon explained, “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 investment purpose, who contacted Raszeja and questioned him to appear and job interview for an open hedging quantitative analysis placement.

He landed the work. “I in fact observed it a minor challenging to go there and discuss to people folks,” he states. “It was a whole new spot of money arithmetic that I hadn’t been exposed to. But they did a wonderful work educating me about derivatives and quantitative analysis.”

Raszeja was taken with the energetic ambiance in the investment department, in contrast to the more staid 1 in actuarial. It was frequently loud and raucous. There ended up energetic congratulations just after good trades ended up manufactured. He and the other young quants figured out about derivatives in portion by making by-product “contracts” in between them and betting pennies on inventory current market final results. “It was a rapid-paced attitude,” he states.

He presently understood he savored the stimulation of taking on unique roles. He’d still left the actuarial spot a pair yrs before to fill in for a just lately departed employee in reinsurance administration. It was largely a clerical work, involving the planning of billing reviews, for illustration.

“It could seem to be that it was a snoozer, but I observed I could help people layout slick spreadsheets to get the billing completed [more promptly],” Raszeja states. “It was rather interesting to make that sort of impression early in my job.”

He didn’t focus in being in roles for prolonged intervals of time. Raszeja has done 10 unique work opportunities at Penn Mutual. The headquarters making has six wings, and he’s worked in 5 of them. “If I could get a work in income, I’d definitely round out my résumé,” he jokes.

When the organization began an enterprise threat administration department, its to start with chief had been head of mounted money in the investment spot. He brought Raszeja along with him, all over again in a quantitative analysis part.

“It was the to start with time I seemed across the whole organization, as effectively as the broker-supplier affiliates, hoping to broadly have an understanding of not just finance but also people and approach and how all of people factors worked collectively,” he states. “I was about eight yrs into my job, and I really don’t consider a lot of people get that check out of a organization the dimensions of Penn Mutual that early.”

His subsequent end was as chief of mortality administration. It was a little bit “wonky,” he states, but he invested enough time with the company’s guide underwriter, from whom he figured out a great deal about income.

There ended up also some granular but intriguing troubles to tackle. At the time the organization Raszeja was debating whether to allow for life insurance policies prospects to smoke “celebratory cigars” — as 1 could do, say, when participating in golfing at the time a month — with no currently being charged smokers’ premiums. “It was an intriguing work on the practical side,” he states.

Right after a pair yrs, he observed himself back in an actuarial part, but he decided he most popular the broad check out of enterprise threat administration. But the organization had just lately decentralized ERM, and Raszeja still left the organization to just take a threat administration placement in Cigna’s international team. The work gave him world wide encounter, such as frequent journeys to Asia, and the chance to see how a a lot more substantial organization differed from an operational standpoint.

Ethics and Threat

Right after he’d invested 13 months at Cigna, Penn Mutual, which was setting up to reverse program and go back to centralized threat administration, brought him back as chief threat officer. In 2014, he was questioned to just take on the supplemental part of chief ethics officer. “I’m the only human being I’ve ever heard of who had the two of people roles at the similar time,” he states.

The ethics placement was significant for his job. Although the work opportunities he’d had ahead of ended up analytical in mother nature, this was largely a people-centered put up. “It definitely set me up to hone my management skills for the future,” he states.

In 2019, though nonetheless chief threat officer, Raszeja was named senior vice president of money administration and selected as the successor to CFO Susan Deakins, who was setting up to retire in early 2020. “She’s a mentor and I’ve been looking about her shoulder,” he states. “She’s been very generous with her time and has set me up for achievement, so it really should be a easy changeover.”

The to start with priority in his new put up will be to go on shifting forward with info architecture updates. The money functions ramifications of obtaining legacy programs is an issue for most of the insurance policies field these days.

Raszeja states he’s been fortuitous to spend his job with Penn Mutual, simply because shifting all around the organization is extremely inspired. “It’s a good suit for me,” he states. “You hear a great deal that you can not get ahead until you change work opportunities, and I agree, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to leave the organization — if you are in the correct organization.”

He notes that an intriguing factor of his job has been that in every work he’s had to use “different parts” of himself.

“I’m hearing more currently about people bringing their whole selves to perform, and I’m joyful that you can do that listed here,” he states. “And if a tattoo can give you some upward mobility, I consider which is a rather progressive and inclusive place of work.”

actuarial, chief threat officer, Dave Raszeja, derivatives, enterprise threat administration, arithmetic, Penn Mutual, pi, quantitative analysis, Robert Chappell, Susan Deakins

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