Servaas Houben (31)
Senior actuary at insurance company Prudential in London
‘Living in London is absurdly expensive”
By Rentsje de Gruyter
“When I studied econometrics, I had never heard of actuaries. I considered becoming an actuary myself after a former classmate told me what actuaries do. They calculate future obligations of insurers and pension funds. These can fluctuate every day, for example, due to new rules and regulations. Hence actuaries have to update their calculations continuously. Constant developments in calculation techniques, requires actuaries to develop themselves all the time, which is something I enjoy.”
“I have been working in the United Kingdom for the past three years now, and since last summer at Prudential in London, a major British insurer. I manage a group of actuaries, who model the main factors that may influence the Prudential’s financial strength. Dependent on how positive or negative these factors turn out we create financial scenarios.
“I might return to the Netherlands sometime in the future, however I would prefer working for myself then. My wife Kareljan and I intend to raise a family and Amsterdam seems therefore a better, quieter environment than London. Moreover, life here is absurdly expensive. Although the salary level in London is high, one does not feel wealthy in London, especially as the renting prices are high. Kareljan can find work anywhere as she is an accountant. But unlike her name suggests, she does not speak Dutch yet. She Trinidadian – Her father invented an original name for his daughter.”
“Last year we had our civil wedding a couple of weeks ago we organised the church wedding. The location of our wedding was in the South of Limburg, where I grew up. We had a wonderful rented castle where our 65 guests also staying. For dinner they got all kinds of local dishes such as asparagus with ham and eggs. “