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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

What’s in a name?

The merger debate rages on and has proved a sure-fire way to ignite actuaries’ passions. Many have written in with views on the form the merger proposition should have taken and what the voter statistics indicate. Due to the high volume of comments we have received, more letters are available on The Actuary’s website (www.the-actuary.org.uk) to accompany both this and September’s issue.

Joint Councils are seeking feedback from eligible voting members of the Faculty and the Institute, and will use that information to decide on whether to present a refined merger proposal. One of the key reasons I heard for rejecting the original scheme was the proposed change in the letters of the qualification to FCAP. For some, the potential public misinterpretation of the letters was a deterrent, for others a fierce attachment to FFA or FIA proved too much — the latter, when preceded by MA, providing some comedy value.

Zimbabwe features in our international view this month. A country faced with extreme economic and political difficulty, its citizens have, in recent years, had to find ways to overcome inconveniences such as unavailability of basic goods in shops and interruptions to electricity and water supplies. The country now shows strong signs of economic recovery, rallying from what many see as the lowest point during mid- 2007 until the end of 2008. Actuaries there were faced with sky-rocketing inflation and unreasonable interest rates, making actuarial values almost nonsensical. I recently visited Zimbabwe, my childhood home and a truly inspiring nation. The four qualified actuaries and many students that remain in the country continue to hold the fort, and I would like to convey special thanks for their hospitality and the valuable insights they shared with me.

In keeping with our featured theme of general insurance this month, the issue carries several articles to complement the Actuarial Profession’s GIRO conference taking place on 6-9 October in Edinburgh. I would like to extend a warm welcome to the new students joining the profession and who will undoubtedly be familiar with graduate recruitment as our other main theme.

Marjorie Ngwenya