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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Hot wired

Did you know that there is a bulletin board on the profession’s website www.actuaries.org.uk where you can exchange information and ideas with other members of the profession? You will find it in the discussion area of the website click on Discussion in the left-hand navigation bar and then Members only bulletin board. You will need to input your actuarial reference number (ARN) and date of birth (in the format dd/mm/yyyy) to gain access. You will find your ARN on your invitation to renew your subscription. Failing that, contact the membership department (email membership@actuaries.org.uk).
Contributions to the bulletin board are very varied and include:
– The future education strategy will exemptions from the 300 series exams create a two-tier route to qualification?
– New FSA reserving requirements could they make some life assurance companies technically insolvent?
– Actuarial implications of e-commerce would anyone like to share their ideas?

Discussion groups
In addition to the bulletin board, each practice area has its own email discussion group click on Discussion and E-mail discussion groups to join one or more groups. These groups are currently open both to members and non-members interested in sharing information and views on actuarial topics. Faculty and Institute staff also use the groups to send out news from the profession, including alerts about additions to the website. For example, members of the finance and investment group will already be familiar with the news bulletin FIBflash!
The profession’s boards and committees monitor the discussion groups, so contributing to them can be an informal but effective way to get your voice heard by those who make many of the decisions on behalf of the profession.
Messages are automatically redistributed to all members of the group. You will find full instructions for joining (‘subscribing’) and leaving (‘unsubscribing’) on the site. You can browse recent messages on the site before deciding whether to sign up.
Recent discussion topics and information requests have included:
– regulations on the use of hedge funds (finance and investment);
– financial performance indicators in the general insurance industry (general insurance);
– reserves in profit testing (life assurance);
– use of mortality tables according to gender (life assurance).

What do you think?
There is scope for further development of the discussion media and the Internet Strategy Sub Committee is keen to hear your views. What do you think of the following:
– restricting the email discussion groups to members;
– enabling contributors to use a pseudonym;
– appointing moderators;
– setting up special issue groups (eg to continue the discussion at sessional meetings)?
Please pass your suggestions to the committee by posting them on the bulletin board. o
Sally Grover is secretary of the Internet Strategy Sub Committee