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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

A positive move

2010 is fast coming to a close as we begin to usher in the fourth quarter. Some of our fellow actuaries will be preparing for year-end reporting and actuaries in training are gearing up for exams; indeed, some members are preparing for both exercises — testing times in both senses of the phrase.

I recently attended a charity dinner at which Nobel laureate Frederik Willem de Klerk gave an impassioned speech regarding South Africa and its prospects. He spoke of the wealth of opportunity arising from hosting the World Cup. He is an engaging speaker, and though a touch cynical about the lasting effects of the tournament, he was hopeful about the country’s future and positive about the collective desire for it to prosper. In a nation with a painful history and still in a veritable state of convalescence, its people were able to unite and give the world an event to remember.

I am inspired to believe that, following the Faculty and Institute merger, we desire a similar outcome and that we will continue to enhance our influence in the professional and public domain. I have been heartened more recently in that I have heard fewer comments about what ought to have happened and more about the challenges that the unified professional body has to embrace. Our letters page beckons anyone who would like to publicly air their views.

Our themes for October take shape in the form of longevity, health and care and careers. In one of our regular columns, Stat Attack, Greg Becker and Piperdy Yunus tackle the topic of mortality from an alternative viewpoint, presenting statistics relating to the analysis of deaths through murder and suicide. On a cheerier note — good luck to all about to sit the exams.