Program Report: The Masters of Financial Insurance (MFI) Program

by Sam Broverman & Sebastian Jaimungal

The third student cohort of the Masters of Financial Insurance (MFI) professional program will graduate this fall, and we will welcome our fourth group of bright and energetic students. The program was created to fill the gap of graduates, who have the unique blend of know-how in data science, mathematical finance, and insurance modeling. The feedback we are getting from our industry partners hiring our students is exceptional, and this is due to their talent, ability, and drive. We are very proud of our students’ excellent reputation.
The coming year will have 27 students enroled. That’s almost triple the enrolment of the first year of the program – and a testament to the continually growing interest in our program. The MFI’s course content continues to evolve with the rapid evolution of the insurance industry. In the 2019-20 academic year, a new course titled “Numerical Methods for Finance and Insurance” will be offered to further enhance the data science and computational components of the program.
The MFI program’s fall reception continues to be a very popular annual event with over 100 industry partners attending, including partners from insurance and reinsurance, investment banks, pension plans, capital markets, regulatory reporting, and FinTech. The reception provides an excellent opportunity for industry partners to meet students and faculty and helps with the recruitment process. We also announced last year’s MFI prize winners at this event.

Another major networking event for our students was the MMF Symposium this January, which exposed our students to current topics and issues facing the industry. Some of our MFI students also attended the 2019 Actuarial Students’ National Association (ASNA) Convention held in Montreal.
A key focus of the MFI program is its strong connection to industry. The program incorporates traditional lecture-style courses, along with courses based on case-studies and a series of lectures and industrial seminars on specific individual topics. Many of the courses are given by industry professionals, who are experts in their fields. Being located in Toronto, Canada’s financial centre, provides exceptional opportunities to involve leading industry professionals into the MFI program.
A crucial component of the MFI program is the four-month internship that begins when the winter semester ends. It is a testament to both the quality of our students and the dedication of our two hard-working staff members, Shari Kurgatnikov and Sarah Lee, that we managed to place all of our students into internship positions since our program’s inception three years ago. The most popular areas in which students find internships are the insurance and reinsurance Industry, the banking industry, capital markets, investments, pension plans, and government regulation agencies. However, students have also found placements in FinTech and regulatory reporting.
Going forward, the MFI program is committed to continuing to build strong relationships with industry and evolving to meet future recruitment demands. To aid this objective, the MFI program is in the process of establishing an advisory board that will help to inform the program of directions of future growth, and ultimately ensure that our students have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
We are very much looking forward to another exciting year for the MFI.