In May I announced the arrival of Paul Reynolds as director of public affairs. Aiming to raise the profile of the Profession and increase our influence on public policy matters, Paul and his team, working alongside key volunteers, have achieved some excellent early results.
Pensions dominated activity in June. As well as obtaining good trade-press coverage of our Pensions Conference, we used the opportunity to cement the Profession’s relationship with Gregg McClymont, Labour’s pensions spokesperson, who was one of our key speakers.
The Profession was heavily involved in developing the government’s voluntary code on enhanced transfer values (ETVs), also published in June. As a result of a proactive media briefing campaign, the Profession obtained positive coverage in the nationals, particularly the Daily Telegraph, which previously had been quite negative about the role of actuaries in ETVs.
Off the back of our work on the ETV guidance, the presidential team met pensions minister Steve Webb to discuss his ideas for reinvigorating occupational pensions. He was particularly interested in the Profession’s work on defined contribution (DC) guarantees. As a result, he has invited representatives of the Profession to sit not only on the industry working party that he had set up but also on the steering committee.
July saw the publication of the Profession’s Third Party (Motor) Working Group’s report on bodily injury claims. This generated a phenomenal amount of media coverage, with David Brown, chair of the working party, featuring on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme as well as a number of regional radio stations.
As I write, final preparations are being made for September’s Presidential visit to China and South East Asia. This is going to be a busy trip for the team, who will meet members, employers, educators and regulators, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which is keen to learn from our Solvency II experience.
So, as you can see, good progress is being made in raising the profile of the Profession – progress that we will look to build on in coming months.