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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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IAA Meetings: A focus on the international community

Some 40% of the Profession’s membership is resident overseas. In recognition of this, the Profession has refocused its support to its overseas members, and the international committee has been reconstituted with a challenging new set of objectives. Over the next 12 months, the committee intends, inter alia, to:
>> Develop a section on the website for overseas members and on international matters
>> Ensure that there is sufficient CPD activity available for overseas members who remain fully regulated by the Profession (for information about partial regulation see:
www.actuaries.org.uk/members/communications/ealerts/subscription_changes)>> Develop an information resource for UK-based members who are considering moving abroad as part of their career.

More and more decisions affecting actuaries at a local level are being made at a supranational level and the Profession’s strategy is to influence supranational bodies through the International Actuarial Association (IAA) and, within the EU, the Groupe Consultatif (GC). In this context, the committee coordinates the Profession’s input to the IAA and GC, ensuring that it is proactive and forward looking. We also ensure that the Profession is well represented at the half-yearly meetings of the IAA and Groupe Consultatif committees, which are held in a different country on each occasion. The most recent IAA meetings were held in Quebec City and Peter Dingwall, secretary to the international committee, gives a personal perspective on these meetings (see below).

A full summary of the IAA meetings in Quebec City can be found at www.actuaries.org/LIBRARY/Newsletters/June_2008_EN.pdf

Although the IAA is now principally an association of associations, all Fellows and Associates are also individual members of the IAA. The primary benefit of individual IAA membership is the eligibility to join any IAA section. For more information about sections, please visit www.actuaries.org/index.cfm?LANG=EN&DSP=SECTIONS&ACT=INDEX

Michael Pomery, Chairman of the International Committee


Impressions of Quebec City
As the diminutive Air Canada Jazz turboprop crossed over Quebec province, the captain advised passengers a freak tornado was passing though Quebec City and our arrival would be delayed. Having landed safely, I was taken to the Loews Concorde hotel. Looking out of the taxi window, I was astonished at how much damage the storm had inflicted in such a short space of time. I pondered whether my eventful journey to this province was a foretaste of the excitement to come!

On arrival at the hotel, I noted a cordoned-off area of the lobby, where staff were clearing a large pile of glass from the floor. The storm had blown in a huge window, injuring one person, and John Maroney, chief executive of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia, had been on hand to video the incident.

The committee meetings I attended were very interesting, particularly that of the professionalism committee. Two things struck me about these meetings Firstly, the difficulty the IAA faces in developing policy and guidelines on a ’one size fits all’ basis. The discussion on whistle-blowing, for example, highlighted that in some jurisdictions there is a statutory requirement to blow the whistle, with the corresponding protection for the whistle-blower; in others, there is protection but no requirement; and, in at least one country, there is a statutory obligation to whistle-blow but no protection!

Secondly, the difficulty some representatives, whose first language is not English, had in getting their message across. I was fascinated to see one delegate stand up and address the Council in his native tongue, having clearly tired of trying to get his point across in English!

The social programme was impressive with highlights being a dinner hosted by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries at Le Parlementaire, the select restaurant within the historic Quebec National Assembly building, and a reception to mark the 10th anniversary of the restructure of the IAA.

In the very little time between meetings and formal functions, I was able to ’get out’ – to find that Quebec presents a friendly North American culture with an interesting French linguistic gloss. Separatism seemed no longer to be an issue.

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention the impressive organisation by the very small IAA staff. They skilfully managed the 212 participants and 70 accompanying persons representing 35 countries, and, as a delegate, I was chuffed to be presented on arrival with the entire documentation for all 44 meetings on a data-stick embedded within a ball-point pen!

Peter Dingwall