Sharanjit Paddam

Sharanjit Paddam

Alumni career story

Principal – Climate & ESG Risk at Finity Consulting

MScTech ‘12 (Mathematics) – UNSW Science

A bit about me...

I am an actuary with over 27 years’ experience in consulting and senior executive roles at general insurers in London and Sydney. My expertise is in non-financial risk management and strategy, including climate risk, risk culture and strategic, environmental and social risks. I advise insurers, banks, investors and governments on climate risk management, analytics, strategy and reporting.

Quick-fire Q&A:

Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?

Change happens gradually then suddenly

What are you reading/listening to?

I’m reading (very slowly) Category Theory in Context by Emily Riehl, while listening to Gerard Cousin’s new album Lullabies.

What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?

Recently we acquired a dog. Walking Cotton on a daily basis with my sons in our local park has had a wonderful impact on my life.

How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today?

I really enjoyed and valued my interactions with Professor Norman Wildberger, who supervised my masters project in hyperbolic geometry. I treasure the hours we spent cracking some problems together, which really helped dispel the myth that mathematics is only for the young!

How do you remain resilient in your line of work?

By being grounded in my family – playing with my children and partnering with my wife.

What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW?

Very much working with my supervisor Professor Wildberger.

Why is science important?

As an actuary, my focus is on helping companies and governments make strategic decisions in the light of uncertainty. Science and especially mathematics and statistics are the basis for the advice I provide, whether that is about climate science, the behaviour of cyclones, bushfires and floods, consumer behaviour, or data analytics. Despite the many and varied improvements science has brought to our lives - not least the COVID-19 vaccination - we’re seeing science being undermined through the actions of many. Now, more than ever, science needs to be the basis on which we make decisions.

Sharanjit Paddam is Principal of Climate Risk at Finity Consulting.

In 2022 he was named Insurance Leader of the Year by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance, and presented this talk at TEDx Sydney.