Head of Product Modelling and Development

at Discovery
Location Johannesburg, South Africa
Date Posted Oct 21, 2020
Category Market & Customer Research Jobs
Job Type Full-time


Discovery Life is an ever growing fast-paced and dynamic environment that provides innovative risk assurance to individual clients. This environment thrives on customer engagement and customer experience as well as mutually beneficial relationships with our brokers and other stakeholders.  It is important for our employees to provide a world class service to our internal and external clients, thereby ensuring long and sustainable relationships


Key Purpose

The primary function of the role:

  • Ideation of and research into new innovations, and
  • delivering the required technical actuarial and documentation work
  • for new products and enhancements for product launches,
  • from the initial brainstorming to the implementation stage,
  • considering all stakeholders and aspects involved.



The role has emphasis on the

  • sound actuarial modelling of all proposals,
  • and of the various required forms of written documentation,
  • acquiring and taking into account all of the inputs from the key stakeholders during the product development cycle,
  • and providing continual feedback into the direction of the launch proposal.



Areas of responsibility may include but not limited to


  • Direct and guide skilled actuarial staff to develop sound models with well-considered pricing methodologies and bases to quantify the financial impacts of new products/benefits/features with which to produce accurate and on-time results throughout the product development cycle in order to drive informed management decisions, including critiquing and checking results throughout


  • Contribute creatively and critically, and with insight into the underlying actuarial modelling and the dynamics thereof, to the decision-making process throughout the product development cycle, ensuring that innovative products are launched which meet customers’ needs and treat them fairly, and which demonstrate robustness to all angles of critique, especially the actuarial soundness and actuarial evaluation criteria, culminating in the successful Actuarial Committee signoff of product launches.
  • Plan, drive, direct and review the continually updated integration of all key stakeholders’ interests in product specifications that reflect product decisions which are appropriately optimized and clearly and comprehensively specified to ensure the smooth and desired implementation across all affected areas.
  • Guide, drive, oversee and review the delivery of critical documentation involving product launches and rate reviews in the appropriate formats, i.e. Actuarial Committee documents, TCF documents, final rates and values, test models and policy wording.
  • Ensure growth of and provide specialist assistance, support and mentorship to the members of the Product Modelling and Development team, particularly at a technical actuarial level, to ensure that they reach full potential and become increasingly independent and efficient at achieving the required demands and providing valuable feedback and critique themselves.
  • Complete and address various ongoing requests and queries accurately, fully and timeously to ensure that the relevant parties are optimally enabled with the necessary direction and assistance from our side to proceed in the best way.
  • Co-operate with the key stakeholders – including the reinsurers, Chief Medical Officer, Valuations team, Technical Marketing team, Business Analysts and Systems teams, Testing and Quotes Teams, Claims team, Underwriting team, Legal and Compliance areas, as well as the applicable Discovery businesses outside of Life – to ensure a successful product implementation.




Education and Experience



  • Matric with Mathematics
  • Relevant Bachelor’s / Honours degree in Actuarial Science from an accredited institution.
  • Fully qualified (Fellow) Actuary
  • FASSA/FFA/FIA (or equivalent)
  • At least 4 years of working experience in a Life (Risk) Product Development context.



  • 6 years or more of working experience, at least 4 of which in a Life (Risk) Product Development context
  • Experience in people management
  • Ability to navigate the connections between all the aspects of product development to the various business areas


Technical Skills and Knowledge



  • Excellent communication skills
  • Prophet experience
  • Excel actuarial cashflow modelling



  • Experience in working with Databases e.g. SQL
  • DCS
  • Access experience
  • PowerPoint proficiency.
  • Statistical/Data Science modelling with software such as Python and R Studio
Only registered members can apply for jobs.