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Customer story

How Funeral Directors Life Halved Runtimes with SLOPE High Performance Mode

Dwayne McGraw

EVP & Chief Actuary, Funeral Directors Life


Life valuation runtime reduction


Annuity valuation runtime reduction


Funeral Directors Life is an insurance company selling pre-need insurance policies across the country since 1981. It is licensed in 45 states, and has current assets over $1.4 billion.


Texas, USA



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The Update

Stuck under their old platform, Funeral Directors Life (FDL) was constantly playing catch up; they were wrestling with their models to just get them to run properly, and they weren’t confident in the credibility of their output. Their previous platform provider wasn’t responsive to their needs, so the new Chief Actuary looked elsewhere for a new solution.

After implementing SLOPE, they significantly cut down their actuarial cycle time – pricing exercises that were previously taking two weeks to complete were down to four hours. With all of their newfound efficiency, Funeral Directors Life was able to start modeling with more real-time data, producing monthly reports to models that were typically run only annually. Their speed to market improved, enabling their sales and marketing teams to work more effectively. Shareholders were satisfied and confident in the better information, and the actuarial team kept everything running smoothly.

The Challenge

Gained Efficiency Expanded Processes

As Funeral Directors Life developed efficiencies with SLOPE, the modeling efforts that they conducted became more and more expansive. They began to use the platform to model business for the other companies held by their parent company, Directors Investment Group.

With four companies’ business to manage, runtime quickly expanded and the workload became tight. While results were still being produced on time, the actuarial team was not getting to dig into analysis and find new ways to grow their business in the way that they would like.

The Solution

SLOPE High Performance Mode

Slope Software offered existing clients to beta test the new SLOPE High Performance Mode, a new version of their calculation engine that greatly reduced model runtime through significant parallelization that is only possible with cloud technology. Funeral Directors Life took advantage of the opportunity and enrolled, testing out the new functionality.

“You notice the time savings immediately. I typically kick off a set of runs at a time; with High Performance Mode, by the time I was reaching the end of that list, I was already getting results back from the first ones! There was no waiting around – I could get right to work.” – Dwayne McGraw, EVP & Chief Actuary, Funeral Directors Life

The Results

Nothing Gets Missed

Funeral Directors Life is now taking full advantage of SLOPE High Performance Mode in its regular actuarial operations, delivering results faster than ever before.

Significant Runtime Reduction

Funeral Directors Life has cut their monthly valuation runs down by 56% for annuities and 67% for life products. They plan to implement High Performance for their asset liability management process later in the year to find even more time and cost savings. “You might say, ‘That’s just an hour or so each time’, but when you’ve got four different companies you’re producing runs for, that adds up so quickly,” Dwayne shares, “It frees me up to take care of other things, whether that’s developing new products or finding other ways to grow the business.”

Time & Resource Savings

The actuarial team can now dedicate the resources they need to better their business. By getting valuation results the second day of each month, they can spend additional time reviewing results and optimizing their balance sheet. They also have found more space to conduct more strategic work to improve their asset portfolios and maximize their company’s capital.

Driving Towards Automation

The additional time savings has also enabled Dwayne to spearhead an initiative with FDL’s IT team to create an automated valuation workflow by utilizing SLOPE’s API (Application Programming Interface). Together, they’re building out a process that will be able to pull policy extracts from their admin systems, pull them into SLOPE, run the models, and produce results for downstream systems automatically. “A no-touch valuation process is the goal, and I think it’s possible with SLOPE.”

With SLOPE High Performance Mode, Dwayne and Funeral Directors Life can expect to continue to reduce their cycle time, creating more space to evolve and better their business to be more efficient, agile, and adaptive than ever before.

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