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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Professional integrity

Actuaries are often good at dottingthe ‘i’s, but not so good at fillingin the blanks. It is not clear fromMr Coode’s letter (September) justwhy he feels some responsibilityfor the setbacks at the Equitable.Bad news for the Equitable ismerely good news for its competitorsand that’s business. My concernis the profession. Mr Ransonand his fellow directors applied alltheir energy to providing actuarialfairness to all their policyholdersand no one else did that. Theirapproach gets an extra tick forminimising the funds the legalauthorities were able to misdirect.The whole Institute during histime knew what Mr Ranson wasdoing, so he is a good communicator.So why has he beenexpelled? His accusers and judgeshave remarkably poor communicationskills and the big questionmark is over the management ofthe Institute, not the managementof the Equitable. It is as thoughthey feel it necessary to appeaseour administrative gods with asacrificial offering. The professionwas begun by scientists, not technocrats,and science demandsconsistent not selective decision making.