Transform·action: a passion for building

I'm Andrew Howe, an actuary with 20+ years' commercial experience. I set up Transformaction to deliver services in product development, pricing, modelling, analytics and risk management. I supply bench strength and drive, using a hands-on approach. I can help you build products, processes and teams. Working together, we'll find and deliver smart ideas and dramatic improvements. If you are a company which faces strategic, competitive or technical challenges – or you just lack resource – contact me.

Here are the services I offer.

Value: product development and pricing

He has the rare quality of being an "idea guy" that is also capable (and willing) to roll up his sleeves and help implement the idea so that the result is successful. Client Manager and Vice President

I have a passion for building. I design, model and price products, typically in highly price-sensitive markets. A good example would be insurance products, where models usually project future cashflows for many years.

Beyond pricing, value also comes from optimising distribution, marketing, underwriting and other elements of business acquisition. Then, after this, actively managing customer and distributor retention and expenses.

Example:

  • Taking a company with an expense overrun of 200% of revenue
  • Delivering 70+ products in 18 months
  • Making it profitable in under 2 years

This value focus has been a richly rewarding for over 20 years. There is a strong link with business intelligence and more formal (statistical) modelling – covered below – to help decision making.

Most of my value-based work has an emphasis on customers or products. More recently I've also been involved in value-building of a more corporate nature; M&A work, including discovery, risk management, synergy identification and modelling. Rather intense, but great fun too.

Analytics: over 15 years' experience

Andrew is very much a "can do" actuary. His initial work way back in 2004 was a major factor in launching our data analytics programme. This was key to the start of Legal & General's focus on business retention and improving business quality. Commercial Manager (Distribution Quality & Retention) at Legal & General

I have two offerings, one long-established, the other more recent:

Robust business intelligence: This may involve modelling and optimisation algorithms, but has at its core the collection and interrogation of large quantities of data, to gain insight and improve business decision making.

Building and leading teams, or working alone, I've tackled:

  • Taking 400,000 pdfs and producing an actionable database
  • Building an expert system based on rules, text and the Google API
  • Harvesting structured content from tens of thousands of web pages
  • Delivering systems from Excel/VBA/Powerpivot/SQL...
  • ... right up to full MSSQL server models with billions of records

Predictive analytics and machine learning. This developing service includes standard curve fitting techniques, supervised and unsupervised learning and much more. I have a range of tools to tackle these challenges, including Excel/VBA (yes, that's possible!) and Python – especially where machine learning libraries are required. I do not currently use R, but am open to appropriately structured projects.

I aim to deliver a full analytics site in late 2017. Meanwhile here are my introductory analytics pages.

Risk: smarter than 3 lines of defence

You have shone a light on risk management. Head of Compliance

Too often risk management is identified only with regulation-based work. This work is necessary and should be done well, but optimised capital is just the starting point – in fact the denominator – in maximising risk-adjusted value. You should also cover the numerator; uncertain outcomes affect day-to-day and expected profits.

James Lam suggests that good risk management entails three major business applications: loss reduction, uncertainty management and performance optimisation. My 3 lines of attack implementation is:

  • Grounded in your core business objectives and activities.
  • Focused on increasing the market value of your firm.

The three lines of attack explains why a supermarket with a 5% profit margin should aim to run out of stock most of the time. It can guide outsourcing decisions and help determine the right proportion of debt – despite M&M.

I cover more conventional "soft" risk areas too: risk frameworks, intelligent controls and smart risk registers. I supply spreadsheet, database and web-based software. Is your risk management slow and distant? Call me.

Pop along to my dedicated risk management site to discover the UK's two best-kept risk management secrets.

Andrew easily ensured the day-to-day aspects of the risk management framework operated smoothly. Chief Actuary and Finance Director

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  • Email: a n d r e w (at) our domain or
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