Mark Spong
Senior Consultant
 // . //  Our People //  Mark Spong

A Senior Consultant with Oliver Wyman Actuarial, Mark brings broad experience in governance, controls, testing, transformation, valuation, audit, risk management, assumption setting, and experience studies. He’s spent significant time on mortality and mortality improvement, and has helped companies benchmark their assumptions and provided recommendations for potential assumption updates. 

Mark joined Oliver Wyman in 2019 after holding enterprise risk management and oversight roles as well as both internal and external auditing leadership positions but started his career as a high school math teacher. He taught at Summit Prep, a Silicon Valley charter school that operated like a start-up with the goal of measurably increasing college readiness rates and was featured in the movie “Waiting for Superman.”

“I loved how my work in the classroom was closely tied to a mission and that mission was tied to impact. It certainly helped me develop skills like communication and planning which are transferrable to my work as a consultant,” Mark explains.  “However, being a part of a high-performing team dedicated to solving big challenging problems and feeling personally invested and accountable for the results probably shaped who I am as a person and as a consultant even more.”

Companies that modernize their data and actuarial infrastructure to handle the next 30 years will have a long-term competitive advantage over other companies that don’t.

Looking toward the future, Mark sees two major challenges that will affect his clients: retaining talent and overcoming decades of accrued technical debt on legacy systems. “Gone are the days where someone joins a company and works in the same position for 30 years, eventually being promoted to their manager's job after they retire. Companies have to figure out a way to craft roles and find/keep talent,” he notes. “Administration system data issues, archaic actuarial models, copy/paste spreadsheet processes, and ad hoc assumption storage are all symptoms of back-office legacy infrastructure that is becoming more costly to maintain, more error-prone, less conducive for analysis.”

Outside of Oliver Wyman, a great ambition of Mark’s is to use his background as a teacher and a consultant to become a successful Chief Risk Officer. “I feel very strongly that positioned correctly, proper risk management can help senior leaders steer a company more effectively. Another part of the job that appeals to me is the idea that a leader of a risk function needs to play the role of an internal educator and influential champion for initiatives that can make the biggest impact,” he explains.

Mark is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst. He has authored and presented a number of industry perspectives, spanning statistic pitfalls, developing effective controls, and mortality improvement gaps. 

Recent insights