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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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Edinburgh hosts IAA meetings

In mid-November, 195 delegates from 31 countries gathered in Edinburgh for the latest six-monthly meetings of the IAA Council and some 16 IAA committees, subcommittees, and taskforces, spread over three days from Friday to Sunday.

The meetings were preceded by the Presidents’ Forum, a day-long gathering of 21 presidents of national actuarial associations, including our own Nick Dumbreck and Stewart Ritchie. The forum shares ideas on issues, challenges, and solutions for the global actuarial profession. They discussed ideas for improving the governance structure of the IAA, as well as participating in breakout sessions covering a wide variety of topics, from the ‘actuarial brand’ to the risks to the profession from pension fund deficits and from financial economics to standards of actuarial practice.Space does not permit a full rundown on all 16 IAA groups (see www.actuaries.org for the Special Edition Newsletter containing a summary of the main committee meetings). Among the more significant points of interest were:

  • a slowdown in progress on the development of an international actuarial education programme, owing to a delay in promised funding from the World Bank;
  • the near-completion of two new international actuarial standards of practice (IASPs) on ‘Embedded derivatives and derivatives’ and ‘Accounting for reinsurance’;
  • the creation of a Financial Economics Taskforce ‘to promote, in the light of insights into the relationship between financial economics and actuarial science, the evolution of sound practices for the global actuarial profession’; and
  • a continued lively overseas interest in actuarial developments in the UK following the Morris Review, notable on this occasion for the invitation to Paul Seymour, chairman of BAS, to address several groups.

IAA Council met on the final afternoon and spent considerable time discussing the future governance structure of the IAA, which has remained largely unchanged since the IAA was re-formed in its present guise in 1998 – a period during which both the number of member associations and the globalisation of the financial services industry, its regulation, and the relevant accounting standards have increased rapidly. Council approved the budget for 2007, including a per capita subscription of C$13.50 (up from C$12.50 for 2006) and unanimously elected Hillevi Mannonen of Finland and Dave Hartman of the US as president and president-elect, respectively, for 2007.

As part of its 150th anniversary celebrations, the Faculty of Actuaries hosted a splendid dinner at Hopetoun House, complete with bagpipes, haggis, Scottish dancing (both exhibition and participative), ending with a spirited, international rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

Immediately after the IAA meetings, many delegates attended a two-day education seminar sponsored jointly by the IAA and Groupe Consultatif and also took the opportunity to hear Stewart Ritchie’s presidential address, followed by dinner at the Scottish Actuaries Club. It is no wonder that many overseas visitors were heard to express great praise and admiration for the generous Scottish hospitality – the Faculty Council and staff certainly did the UK actuarial profession proud.