The Statesville Senior High School Class of 1966 lost a special alumni recently. James B. “Jimmy” Milholland died July 6, 2021, after a brief, fierce and courageous battle against cancer. He is well remembered as a good friend and superb student through all the years in elementary school, junior high and high school. The impact of his death is lessened by recalling the good times we all had growing up together.
After graduation from Senior High School, Jim attended Davidson College, graduating in 1970 with honors with a B.S. in Mathematics. He was also a member of the German Honor Society, Delta Phi Alpha, at Davidson. After graduation, he started his actuarial career.
James B. Milholland (FSA 1978, MAAA 1979) was an accountant, an actuary and a partner with Ernst & Young for over 28 years when he retired in 2006. He started his actuarial career with Milliman and Robertson in Milwaukee before joining Ernst & Ernst in the Denver office and then Atlanta. In Jim’s last years with Ernst & Young, the firm seconded him to the London office to work on the evolving IFRS regulations at the time.
Throughout his career, he was prolific in the insurance financial reporting realm, having a PGAAP, or purchase price allocation approach, referred to as the Milholland Method named for him. (The Milholland Method was subsequently renamed to be the Actuarial Appraisal Value Method.) Even after retirement, Jim tirelessly served the actuarial profession with volunteer roles for the Society of Actuaries, the International Actuarial Association and as co-editor for the SOA’s IFRS Textbook.
According to co-workers, Jim was a crafty business partner as well as an enjoyable dinner companion. He was a delight to work with and a formidable figure across the table. He was a wonderful mentor, always patient and kind. From a work perspective, he seemed larger than life, brilliant and all-knowing. Many in the profession were lucky to know Jim for his guidance and tutelage, along with his friendship.
After wrapping up his volunteer role as co-editor for International Financial Reporting for Insurers, Jim assumed a leadership role for his life-long avocation at the Southeastern Antique Radio Society.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, John L. Millholland Jr, and his mother, Janie Wilson Milholland, of Statesville. He is survived by his wife Ellen; his two sons, Brandon (Lauren) and Joey; and one granddaughter, Penelope; and sisters, Janie Neely of Asheville and Jean Milholland of Santa Fe, N.M.; and brother, John Milholland of Raleigh.
Jim was held in high regard by all his classmates at SHS and his spirit will live on thanks to all the fun memories of a good friend and classmate.
In lieu of flowers, Jim asked that donations be made to The Actuarial Foundation at www.actuarialfoundation.org.