Actuarial Science Students Win Travelers Case Competition

A team of six St. Thomas actuarial science majors competed and took first place, winning a $1,500 prize, in the eighth annual Travelers Actuarial Case Competition, held Oct. 9, in St. Paul. St. Thomas also took first place in 2012 and 2013.

The team, consisting of seniors Jordan Gronli and Tim van Larrhoven and juniors Krista Gauger, Erin Lamos, Tim Shaughnessy and Michael Walsh, competed against teams from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, St. Olaf College and the University of Northern Iowa. Professors Heekyung Youn and Wenyuan Zheng escorted the team.

In a four-hour period, the student teams researched, organized and prepared a case with the theme of "Competition and Profitability.” The team was to consider pricing policies in order to avoid adverse selection, determine where to grow or contract business, and monitor their profitability. Following lunch, the teams presented their findings and resulting strategies to a panel of three actuarial and business leaders from Travelers.

According to the Actuarial Case Competition professor’s guide, Travelers invites schools it believes to be developing “the caliber of student who could be successful at the company.” The competition provides students an opportunity to apply their studies to a real-world problem in a business setting. The winning team is chosen based on quality of research and analysis, understanding and articulation of the case, creativity of the recommendations, quality of the presentation and teamwork.

The competition was sponsored by Travelers' Actuarial Leadership Development Program (ALDP) and the Casualty Actuarial Society.