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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

People and society news

SAAX Group hosts Nigel Masters
Past president discusses the impacty of technology on the profession

SAAX Group, the network for Southern African actuaries, held an event on the evening of Wednesday 1 December in London. Nigel Masters, past president of the Institute of Actuaries, was guest speaker and he shared his thoughts on what the future holds for actuaries.

He spoke about how actuaries will need to adapt their skills in light of the rapidly advancing technological age, where there will be a greater need for a source of true experience and understanding amid the vast amounts of information that can be accessed.

Nigel opened the floor for a discussion on the battle between talent and capital, given capital’s reducing status as a scarce commodity relative to talent. Nic Spicer posed the most challenging question as part of the discussion, winning himself a bottle of champagne.

The topical Solvency II regime and increased industrialisation of labour-intensive processes for both insurance companies and pension schemes was also covered.

Nigel concluded that actuaries’ strong focus on long-term risk management, a sceptical approach to problem-solving as well as extensive contacts and good networks, would keep actuarial skills in high demand in 2011 and beyond.

As part of the event, which coincided with World AIDS Day, the SAAX Group hosted The Gumboots Foundation, a charity that supports AIDS orphans in South Africa. Lisa Morgan, a trustee of Gumboots, presented the various projects being undertaken, as well as how donations can be made.

Nigel and Lisa’s presentations can be found on www.saaxgroup.org Thanks go to Old Mutual for hosting the event and to Star Actuarial Futures for its generous sponsorship, as well as those who braved the inclement weather to participate in this enlightening event.

By Kelvin Chamunorwa


Faculty of Actuaries’ Student Society Ball
The Faculty of Actuaries’ Student Society (FASS) recently held the 2010 annual FASS Ball at the Apex International Hotel in Edinburgh. Upon arrival, actuaries and actuarial students in attendance were treated to a champagne reception to get them in the mood for the night to come. A three-course meal followed, with plenty of wine flowing to keep everyone’s spirits up.

The post-meal festivities were then kicked off by an entertaining speech from Kenny Tindall of the Scottish Actuarial Board, on the subject of the 10 things he wished he knew before he became an actuary. FASS then hosted a charity raffle for Children 1st, with the winners taking home lots of great prizes including a brand-new Nintendo Wii, iPod shuffles and free dinners. The raffle raised almost £1,000, which will make a big difference to the vulnerable children supported by Children 1st. FASS would like to thank all those who generously donated towards this impressive amount.

To round off the night, the Apex hosted a dance for some of the actuaries, young and old, to show off their moves. Survivors then headed to the Shanghai Club for the official afterparty, where they enjoyed discounted entry, yet more free champagne and music to dance the rest of the night away.

FASS would like to thank everyone for attending the event and would like to encourage those who could not make it to come along next year. The ball provides a great means of networking with actuaries from other companies within Scotland in a social context, and is great fun.

Finally, FASS is going to be hosting a pub quiz in January to kick-start the 2011 social calendar, so if you fancy yourself as a bit of an egghead then come along and show off your skills.

By James Birkhead


2011 sees the Yorkshire Actuarial Society turn 30
The Yorkshire Actuarial Society (YAS) is a mere youngster compared to many of our venerable actuarial clubs and societies. However, 2011 sees the 30th anniversary of its foundation, so we do feel we have reached a certain maturity.

The society was set up in 1981 to provide a meeting facility for actuaries and students working and living in Leeds, York and the surrounding area. The society aims for a broad range of talks ranging from current technical issues to soft skills for actuaries. We have also made use of our relationships with local universities and in recent years had talks from eminent academics on:
>> Financial forecasting
>> Epidemiology
>> Social aspects of financial management for the elderly
>> Economics and the credit crunch.

We have also discussed environmental concerns with presentations on climate change and flood mapping. Our view is that it is important to have the opportunity for such meetings and debates to be held locally and we look forward to a continuing thriving programme in coming years.

Our website (www.actuaries.org.uk/members/pages/yorkshire-actuarial-society) has further details of the society and forthcoming events.

Ronnie Bowie will be principal guest at our annual dinner in May and we welcome former members and those new to the area to come along to this event.

By Malcolm Slee, secretary of YAS


SIAS 5-a-side Football Tournament sees Xafinity triumph
The football season is already classed as one of the busiest sports calendars, and 2010 was no different, only busier! The vuvuzelas were sounding all over the world, including on the streets of London, as the World Cup from South Africa drew to a close, with Spain winning their first World Cup in the history of the game.

on Saturday 14 August 2010 it was the actuaries’ turn to showcase their own football skills. 14 teams gathered to take part in the SIAS Annual 5–a–side Football Tournament. There were three qualifying groups with the top teams in the groups progressing to the Champions Shield knockout tournament, while the remaining teams entered the Intertoto cup. With 110 goals scored in the group stages, an average of 4.23 goals scored per game and scores such as 4-4 and 5-3, there was clearly some high-quality attacking football on display - the fans couldn’t take their eyes off the pitch!

In Group 1, after excellent displays of skill and strength, Xafinity and ’Challenge Churchill’ of RBS drew on points, but Xafinity topped the Group on goal difference. Meanwhile, there was plenty of drama unfolding in Group 2, with ’BWFC’ cruising their way to the knockout stages by winning all their games. ’Lamb’s Green Army’ of RBS crashed out of the group stages losing all their games with a goal difference of -7! The ’Alico Pistachios’ of AIG clearly came with a winning mentality and got everyone talking by winning their first match 6-0! ’Prophets Predators’ of SunGard did enough to see themselves through to the knock-out stages too.

Group 3 was another tightly-contested group with 42 goals scored in 10 games and no team winning every game. There was plenty of drama however, and as the games went on, it proved too much for ’KPMG FC’ and ’Real Sun Alliance. ’Allianz’, ’Kebab South Light Police (Lovin it FC)’ of Aon Hewitt and ’FA Tonbridge’ of First Actuarial all went through to the knock-out stage, with ’FA Tonbridge’ winning the group.

In the Intertoto cup, ’KPMG FC’ put their bad results in their group stages behind them and found their winning streak, despite losing some of their key players to injury. They kept battling on and made it to the finals. While ’Real Sun Alliance’ and ’APR Asymptotes’ competed for the other final spot, ’Real Sun Alliance’ found their scoring mentality winning the game 2-0. As if there wasn’t enough nail-biting, the final was to be one of the closest matches of the tournament, with the scores level with only minutes to go. ’Real Sun Alliance’ then scored the winner, giving the team of RSA something to celebrate in the pub afterwards.

As for the Champions Shield, this was developing into an exciting tournament as the teams strove hard to be the winners of the SIAS 5-a-side trophy. Xafinity and ’Challenge Churchill’ successfully made it to the finals. With scores being level at 1-1 earlier in the group stages, both teams were out to prove their quality. The scores were level at 3-3 by half time – in the second half there was everything to play for. However, as the clock ticked away the pressure was too much for ’Challenge Churchill’ from RBS, and Xafinity cruised to victory with a score of 7-3.

Congratulations to Xafinity, the new champions of the SIAS 5-a-side tournament. Christopher Keung from APR LLP was named player of the tournament by the referees. We hope all the teams had a good time and we are looking forward to next year’s event.

By Taha Ahmad