College of Business > News & Events > Arditti Center Names Executive Director
By Robin Florzak /
September 8, 2014 /
Posted in: College and Schools, Research and Centers /
Thomas Edwalds, an actuary with 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, has been named the executive director of the Arditti Center for Risk Management at DePaul University's Driehaus College of Business.
In his new role, Edwalds leads the center's efforts to promote excellence in risk management education, research and practice. He also joins the faculty of DePaul's Department of Finance as a visiting assistant professor. He will teach courses on risk and insurance principles and quantitative methods in finance.
"Tom brings a wealth of industry experience that will help us further the goals of the Arditti Center for Risk Management," says Finance Professor Carl Luft, academic director of the center. "He has superb credentials and will provide much-needed industry insights for the work of the center."
Edwalds, 61, comes to DePaul from Munich American Reassurance, where he was assistant vice president of mortality research. He previously held management and technical roles for the Society of Actuaries, Health Care Service Corp., Combined Insurance Co., Polysystems Inc. and CNA Insurance. He served as president of the Chicago Actuarial Association from 2007 to 2012 and is a frequent speaker at meetings of the Society of Actuaries and various other organizations. The society presented him with its Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2011 in recognition of his leadership. Edwalds earned bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from the University of Illinois. His published research focuses on mortality risk and predictive modeling.
"It is a thrill and an honor to have the opportunity to lead the Arditti Center," Edwalds says, noting that the center has placed DePaul at the forefront in the growing field of risk management. "I am looking forward to the challenge of preparing students to meet the needs of the market, as well as advancing knowledge in this field through research."
Edwalds said his immediate plans are to enhance DePaul's educational offerings and research programs in the insurance and actuarial science fields, which offer robust opportunities for DePaul graduates. "DePaul's location in downtown Chicago creates unique access for students to gain exposure and experience with employers in these fields, giving our students a potential competitive edge. The Arditti Center provides a focal point where practitioners, researchers and students can connect for mutual benefit."
Leading the Arditti Center for Risk Management is a good fit for Edwalds not only because of his expertise in this field, but also because of his early ambition to become a teacher. "I have always loved math and planned on becoming a math teacher," he explains. "While I was in graduate school, a close friend of mine left school to take a job as an actuary. I decided to give it a try. I discovered that I enjoyed the work and found that I could apply my skills in math creatively. It has been a very rewarding career for me."
The Department of Finance at DePaul established the Arditti Center for Risk Management with a grant from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Trust in 2006. The center is named for the late Fred Arditti, a noted economist, futures industry pioneer and CME executive who was a member of DePaul's finance faculty. The center's activities commemorate Arditti's outstanding contributions to the theory and practice of risk management by coordinating activities that celebrate his life's work.
The Arditti Center regularly hosts risk management industry luncheons, seminars and conferences. For more information about upcoming events, contact Alex Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 362-8513.