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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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Letters: Wynne-Griffith

The possible merger of the Faculty and the Institute is now beginning to generate some heat — dare I say ‘at last’?

Like Mike Lunan (The Actuary, May 2008), I took great exception to the implication that I was being given the choice between being part of a modern body or, alternatively, being associated with failure. The actuarial profession has much to be very proud of and a lot of it during my 40 years. I object to the achievements of actuaries during my working lifetime being described as ‘failure’.

Sadly, the weakness of argument ‘betokened’ by such statements now continues in the response to the letter from David Wilkie in the same edition, “The merger will bring two key advantages to members: it has the support of the majority of actuarial employers who expressed a view on the matter…”

In the first place, if the question had not been asked, how many such employers would have volunteered the view: “You two must merge”? Come to think of it, how many such employers have ever expressed a view on the matter without any prompting? Moreover, having asked the question, how could any enquirer really expect a reply other than support for the merger?

It seems that the second key advantage is: “A stable, unified Profession speaking with one voice…” Just how often has the Institute expressed one view only to find the Faculty expresses a contrary view — just because it is the Faculty? Answer: never, as I recall. Members of the two bodies may well hold contrary views but I cannot think of one example where FIAs as a body were at odds with FFAs as a body.

In fact, I should have thought it would present a much stronger case when the profession’s view is quoted by each rather than as one. “The Institute of Actuaries and the Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland have each said that...” seems to me to be much stronger than “The Actuarial Profession has said that…”

I am probably not in favour of the merger which seems to me to be unnecessary and expensive. Unfortunately, the discussion has of itself given the possibility of a merger a life of its own and we need to sure that we are not being swept along by a tide. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

I am Welsh but I have not chosen to nail my colours to the Celtic mast as we do not yet have a Cymdeithas Actiweraidd Cymru.

Huw Wynne-Griffith
25 April 2008