Andy Young – an outstanding actuary!
One of the less sung OBE’s awarded in this year’s honours was to Andrew Young.
Andrew is a friend of mine and a friend to this blog. I am not sure that is this has done his career much good but as he’s 67 now (and a deferred state pensioner), I doubt that matters to him much.
I haven’t seen much in the press about the award , but I did find this, which made me laugh as I’ve no idea to whom I made the comments attributed to me (I stand by them)!
More interested in people than personal advancement
I first met Andy on a bus bumping over a lava field in Iceland, also on the bus was (mad) Mike Orzag – now head of research at insurance broker Willis Towers Watson and Jo Stieglitz (who I later discovered is the most famous economist in the world).
Andy was then a Government Actuary, he had responsibility for all things DWP like how much NI we should pay. He could quite easily have sat at the front with Jo and enhanced his career. Instead he sat at the back with me and we had a fine time.
Later we all went skidooing, Mad Mike crashed into Jo and bashed up his leg, Jo had to speak the next day in New York. All this seemed very important to the people at the front of the bus, but Andy and I became friends on the back seats (not like that!)
A friend to many
I didn’t really know why Andy was interested in me, he was older, wiser and he seemed to have immense sex appeal. This still seems to be the case. Of the 32 people who liked the article on Facebook , 32 were women. This may have been skewed by Andrew having produced a monstrous regiment of female children but there is something about this guy that appeals to the inner woman in all of us.
It isn’t his childlike , childish and childhood love of Partick Thistle. It isn’t his deep understanding of actuarial science, it isn’t even his feverous party spirit that made him a fixture of the dance floors from Ayah Napa to Reyjkavik.
I suspect it’s got something to do with his respect for his wife, the way he looks after his latest brood of children and his total selflessness. Andy listened to me witter on at the back of the bus as he is interested in people. People- especially woman – appreciate that!
Before you reach for the Tinder button, Andy is happily married to Sara. He is the loyalist of husbands (and of friends).
I take so much pleasure in him being honoured. I gave him a blue plaque for his 65th birthday because I never thought he would. The honour came from against the political grain. Andy is at heart and in mind a socialist, he is a fierce critic of much that he sees in Government (including pension’s regulation), he is his own man.
Ros Altmann and Steve Webb both benefited from his wise council. Our current pension system survives and will prosper for his good council. Though he has predicted he will lay down his spreadsheets many time, he is – like Prospero- still weaving magic on the island – when he burns his books is his business, but I hope it isn’t any day soon.
The nation owes a great debt of thanks to this man. His friends do too!