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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Annual meeting – Barcelona, October 2006

The Groupe Consultatif Actuariel Européen and its committees held their annual meetings in Barcelona, Spain on 26 and 27 October. The UK profession was represented at all the meetings.

At the annual meeting it was reported that Peter Clark, who had been chairman of the Groupe in 2000, had posthumously been made an honorary chairman of the Groupe.

One of the main topics discussed by several of the committees was a paper on the role of the actuary; an early draft had been discussed at the half-yearly meeting in Prague and by individual associations; in the UK’s case it had been the subject of discussion at the International Committee and at both the Life and GI Boards.

The European Union (EU) is expected to publish a directive shortly which will contain a reference to actuarial work but that ‘such work cannot be reserved to members of professional actuarial bodies’. The Groupe discussed a possible wording for the directive .It was noted that Brussels appeared satisfied that the actuarial profession did not need to adopt a ‘common platform’ to meet EU requirements, as the Mutual Recognition Agreement appeared to be working well. There was, however, the problem of the requirement for professional to be allowed to provide services in a host country subject to the host country’s requirements but without joining host country’s association. The UK delegates suggested that the Groupe’s code should require associations to impose on their members the requirements of any host association.

Investment and Financial Risk Committee

The Groupe’s Investment and Financial Risk Committee finalised its survey on risk practices for different types of financial company in the EU; it will now be available on the website. This committee will now focus on three issues:

  • ALM – what is the right time horizon given the trend towards short-term matching to reduce volatility;
  • the risks involved in DC pension schemes; and
  • what should be understood by the term ‘market consistency’.

Insurance Committee

At the Insurance Committee there was a discussion on the Solvency II project:

  • Brussels plans to have a draft directive published early in 2007;
  • CEIOPS is issuing some new CPs (since released);
  • QIS2 results will be out soon;
  • QIS3 in late spring 2007 is going to focus on valuation of technical provisions and the calibration of the SCR standard approach.

Chairman’s remarks

At the annual meeting the outgoing chairman, Costa Koutsopoulos of Greece, spoke at length. He made a number of points. He stressed that the Groupe had to demonstrate solidarity but realised there had to be room for differences in views. There had been signs of serious problems in recent years. These comments particularly reflected Costa’s concern about the handling of some of the Solvency II issues; he regretted that some associations had taken it upon themselves to make their own separate submissions to the authorities. He also questioned the need for regional activities within Europe. He also expressed the view that the Groupe should apply pressure to those governments which block EU-type developments, for example to those countries where the Mutual Recognition Agreement is inoperable.