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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Conference preview: Momentum

The recent past has shown us all 
how the professional lives of actuaries are constantly changing. Those changes come in many guises — new legislation or policy, volatile economic conditions or even natural disasters. While it is difficult to predict what challenges are coming next, those that are best prepared will be ready to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to them.

And that is what this year’s 
Momentum conference is all about — looking to the future and being in a position to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.

The Momentum conference is the Profession’s premier conference for nearly and recently qualified actuaries. It allows delegates the opportunity to develop technical skills and soft skills in an environment that delegates tell us they find conducive to both learning and socialising.

This year’s conference takes place in the vibrant city of Manchester, the city where 
Mr Rolls met Mr Royce, Rutherford discovered how to split the atom and the referee plays an extra five minutes if required.

New challenges
The theme of this year’s conference is 
‘What lies ahead?’ and there are a 
number of levels on which we could consider that question:

• On a personal level — qualification can open doors to new and exciting challenges that can stretch you and push you outside of your comfort zone. The non-technical sessions the committee have arranged are designed to equip delegates with the appropriate softer skills to enable them to better themselves;

• In terms of the profession — what does the future hold for actuaries? Jane Curtis, the president of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, will present her vision of the profession’s future;

• On a wider note — the technical workshops aim to prepare delegates with the knowledge and understanding to cope with changes in their respective fields.

In order to give everyone the best 
start, we’re kicking off the conference 
with a session that encourages delegates 
to take control and to be receptive to 
new challenges.

Wider fields
Our second plenary focuses on how delegates can put their actuarial skills to good use in ways that they might not have previously considered — that is, in the 
wider world outside of pensions, insurance and investment. We have three speakers who will recount their experiences of moving away from a traditional actuarial role into marketing and strategy, emerging markets and management consulting. Delegates will get the opportunity to ask about the motivation and experiences of each speaker.

Working through problems
And finally our third plenary will put delegates to the test as we walk through a variety of scenarios and ask delegates “What would you do next?” The plenary will concentrate on those situations that delegates might be faced with in a normal day in the office, and how right and wrong can be measured in several shades of grey.

The two days will also include a full programme of technical sessions as well as a choice of non-technical sessions all with relevance to the actuaries of the future.

As ever, the committee is grateful to all those who volunteer to speak at the conference and for the continued support of the Profession in helping organise the event.

On behalf of the conference committee, I look forward to welcoming you to Manchester.

Full conference details can be found on the Actuarial Profession's website.

Steven Keller

Steven Keller is chair of the Momentum conference 2011 programme committee