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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Starting over

aking over as Faculty president has
been an emotional experience. It
is a great honour to follow in the
footsteps of such illustrious predecessors,
and perhaps being called junior
vice-president for a year in waiting is a suitable
reminder that I am only one part of a
Council and secretariat. I have the very strong
feeling that I need them a lot more than they
need me!
I am now in harness for the next two years
with Nick Dumbreck at the Institute, and
have received not only congratulations but
many offers of support. While very gratifying,
this does suggest that people think this is a
tough job. A changeover is a time for looking
back as well as looking forward. Nick and I
have much cause to be grateful to Harvie
Brown and Michael Pomery, who have had to
steer the UK profession through some very
troubled and uncharted waters over the past
two years. They have handed the profession
over to us in very good order. Continuity of
activity is ensured through the profession’s
business-planning processes, with a significant
work programme already mapped out.
I was in Paris at the end of May for the International
Actuarial Association and the International
Congress of Actuaries (ICA), during
which time I saw a lot of Peter Clark. He was
so full of life and energy that it was truly
shocking to hear of his untimely death just a
few days later. He will be sorely missed by his
many friends in the Faculty, to add to those
in the Institute and overseas. Our thoughts are
with his wife and family. (See pTK.)
The Faculty is in the middle of its 150th
anniversary year, and our special events are
going very well. For me the highlight so far
was the concert in March at which a number
of colleagues demonstrated amazing musical
prowess. Still to come we have more Munrobagging
throughout the year, a Groupe Consultatif
colloquium in September, a
celebration dinner at the Actuarial Society of
South Africa annual conference in October, a
visit from the International Actuarial Association coinciding with my presidential address
in November, and a gala charity fund-raising
ball on 2 December. During this year we are
raising money for the Children’s Hospice
Association Scotland (CHAS). Our fund-raising
received a big boost from the recent Edinburgh
marathon, where numerous teams of
actuaries plus a few very fit individual actuaries
attracted generous sponsorship (see
pTK). Thank you to all who took part or made
donations. There is still a long way to go, however,
and we are asking for continued generous
support from UK actuaries and their firms.
In mid-May we handed over the responsibility
for setting technical standards to the Board
for Actuarial Standards (BAS). BAS adopted the
majority of our guidance notes and will be
responsible for changes to them in the future.
Another operating board of the Financial
Reporting Council, the Professional Oversight
Board, has just started to assume its new
responsibilities for overseeing the actuarial
profession in addition to all the UK accountancy
bodies. These developments will fundamentally
change the role of the professional
body and how we work. In response we have
redefined the future strategy of the profession
as focusing on supporting members throughout
their careers so they have the skills, attributes,
and knowledge appropriate for the
evolving needs of the UK financial sector, primarily
as quantitative risk professionals. To
turn that aspiration into a reality we have
embarked on a major programme of work.
To recap, there are seven workstreams, each
under the leadership of a senior actuary. These
are knowledge services (Sally Bridgeland), university-
based education (Jane Curtis), qualifications
and rebranding (Seamus Creedon),
regulatory liaison (Lindsay Tomlinson), overseas
(Michael Pomery), fair financing( George
Russell), and structure (Ronnie Bowie). Nick
and I lead the Programme Board which will
co-ordinate this work and is responsible for
keeping members updated with progress. It is
early days yet but we hope to complete most
of it in the next 12 months.
A major change has just happened to the continuous
professional development (CPD)
regime. With effect from 1 July, most of us
have mandatory CPD requirements, and not
just those of us who hold practising certificates.
Alerts have already been issued, and full
details are on the website, but as of now we
should be recording our CPD and keeping
supporting documentary evidence for three
years. As part of this most of us need to attend
a professionalism event at least once every ten
years. When I qualified there was no requirement
for this, so when I attended the one for
experienced actuaries in February it was my
first ever. I found it a very worthwhile and
thought-provoking experience, and the feedback
from both it and the recent one in Edinburgh
suggests that most of those attending
thought the same. If you need to attend one
of these events and you qualified in 1976 or
earlier, you have less than a year in which to
A theme which I expect to feature strongly
over the next two years is risk management.
At the ICA in Paris the risk management
stream was ‘standing room only’, such was
the interest from around the world. For me,
one of the most telling facts was that rating
agencies have now started to make enterprise
risk management (ERM) central to their
assessment of insurance companies. The message
was clear if an insurance company is
thought to be lax in its approach to ERM, its
rating will suffer accordingly. As actuaries we
have a central role to play in risk analysis and
management, and we need to organise and
market ourselves in ways which make this