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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Making a global profession

he International Actuarial Association (IAA) started with the first International Congress of Actuaries, held in Brussels in September 1895 and attended by actuaries from the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, USA, Russia, Japan, and other countries. Thereafter the Comité Permanent des Congrès d’Actuaires held a congress every few years. The IAA name dates from 1968.
In 1995, the International Forum of Actuarial Associations (IFAA), was formed as a ‘section’ of the IAA to encourage and support the development of professional actuarial associations around the world and to act as a mouthpiece in dealings with international bodies such as the International Accounting Standards Board. In 1998, at the congress in Birmingham, UK, the IAA and the IFAA effectively merged.

A global profession
The IAA is an association of actuarial associations, which exists to encourage the development of a global profession, acknowledged as technically competent and professionally reliable, which will ensure that the public interest is served. The IAA provides a unified framework to ensure efficient coordination of world-wide issues for the profession. Individual associations remain fully responsible for the governance and development of the profession in their own jurisdictions.
On 2021 November, following on from the biannual IAA Council and Committee meetings, to be held in Edinburgh, there will be an international seminar on the education of actuaries. Interested UK actuaries are very welcome to attend this meeting (see www.gcactuaries.org).
In order to advance actuarial science and to provide a discussion forum for actuaries, the IAA has established a number of ‘sections’ which individual actuaries can join. They encourage actuarial research and development and organise meetings for the exchange of ideas relating to particular practice areas, which provide great CPD opportunities. There are seven sections.

ASTIN (Actuarial STudies In Non-life insurance) was the first, founded in 1957. It has played an important role in developing the profession’s involvement in general insurance. The ASTIN Bulletin is an internationally renowned refereed scientific journal, which has recently received accreditation to be included in the citation indices of Thomson ISI. On 2023 June 2007 the 50th Anniversary of ASTIN will be celebrated with a colloquium in Orlando, when general insurance actuaries will have the opportunity also to attend the Casualty Actuarial Society meeting at the same location on 1720 June. (www.actuaries.org/ASTIN/Colloquia/Orlando/index.html) The 38th ASTIN Colloquium will be held in Manchester on 1316 July 2008 another date to get in your diary!

AFIR (Actuarial Approach for Financial Risks) was founded in 1988 to promote actuarial research in financial risks and investment. Section meetings bring together academics and practitioners and provide a valuable forum for learning and keeping up to date with the fast changes occurring in the disciplines of finance, financial economics and the management of financial risks, focusing particularly on applications to insurance and pension funds. There will be an AFIR colloquium in Stockholm from 1215 June 2007 (www.afir2007.se).

Although the life practice area is the one which has the largest number of actuaries, the LIFE section is the newest of the IAA sections (established in 2005). It will be holding a colloquium in Stockholm from 1013 June 2007, overlapping with the AFIR Colloquium (www

The PBSS (Pensions, Benefits, and Social Security) section was formed in 2003 to serve actuaries who have interests in the commercial, social and public policy issues relating to pensions and other benefits. PBSS meets in Helsinki on 2123 May 2007 (www.actuaries.org/PBSS/
Colloquia/Helsinki/Home_EN.cfm), overlapping with the 15th International ISSA Conference of Social Security Actuaries and Statisticians (2325 May).

The IAA Health Section (IAAHS) was founded in 2003 to provide an international perspective on actuarial practice in public and private health insurance, as well as health policy matters. Its 2007 meeting will be held in Cape Town from 1316 May (www.iaahs2007.com).
IACA (International Association of Consulting Actuaries), previously a separate organisation, became a section of the IAA in 1999. IACA is planning international tracks for consultants for the Gatwick ACA meeting in February 2007 and a joint programme with the IAAHS meeting in Cape Town in May.

Actuaries without Frontiers (AWF) was founded as a section in 2003 to link situations in need of actuarial skills with financial resources and actuarial volunteers to meet those needs. The AWF selects projects in developing countries where there is insufficient other funding for the actuarial skills required.

Join in!
Section colloquia include invited speakers, contributed papers and topical panels. They are held in interesting places and provide opportunities for networking with actuaries from around the world and for making useful contacts.
You can opt to join a section by ticking the appropriate box on the membership renewal form and paying the relevant subscription with Faculty or Institute annual dues. At £20 a section, this is a very modest investment and entitles you to attend the section meetings and, in the case of ASTIN and AFIR, to receive the ASTIN Bulletin. At other times of the year just send the appropriate subscription to Cath Bryson at the Actuarial Profession in Edinburgh or sign up to attend a colloquium.