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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Mixing with marketing

When you hear someone say, “I work in marketing”, it triggers a whole list of ’hurrah!’* words such as glamorous, innovative, designer, touchy-feely, luvvie, Armani, jetset, coiffured and so on.

When you hear that someone’s an actuary, if they even know what one is, the ’hurrah!’ vocabulary is swapped for its ’boo!’ equivalent: dour, traditional, conventional, lonesome, geeky, Marks & Spencer, bus pass, nasal hair and so on.

The marketeers can look after themselves, but our ’boo!’ image just isn’t fair any more and we want to do something about it. The Profession frequently cites “communication” and “image” as areas of concern - great change in history has only come about because of the individual actions of a few that then become the currency of the many, and we want to chuck in our twopenneth-worth while we’re still breathing.

Why is it that marketeers have such a ’hurrah!’ image and we’re left with the ’boo!’ bits? We think we need the help of the ’hurrah!’ people – we need to persuade them that we’re really deserving of a bit of their ’hurrah!’ (and, who knows, maybe they a bit of our ’boo!’). We hope, as a result, that they’ll add their voice and weight to ours.

To this end, we have decided to form a new dining club: An Actuary is for Life, Not Just for Christmas! Membership is open to anyone but you must come in a pair with a marketeer who is open to sharing his or her ’hurrah!’ and willing to tell the world that we really are a group of fairly normal people, albeit with one or two unpleasant habits that can easily be unlearned.

Dinners will be Brick Lane-based (London E1) and held twice a year. The founding members are Lee Faulkner, Raj Khatkar or Hannah Cook. If you’re interested in the challenge and the mission (which, humour [sic” aside, affects us all and is serious) then please contact, with your pair, Lee.Faulkner@ace-ina.com

* Hurrah!’ and ’boo!’ are plagiarised concepts from a great book by John Humphrys: “Lost for Words: The Mangling and Manipulating of the English Language” – thank you John.