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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

The right direction

By the time you read this, a decision on the Actuarial Profession merger will have been reached. I have spent numerous hours in the last few weeks discussing variously with colleagues and peers the need for, or audacity of, such an undertaking. Whatever the outcome, and debates aside, the move to present ourselves to the public as a unified professional body is, to me, very positive.

The media had its pick of attention-grabbing headlines recently. Nevertheless, in between UK MPs’ expense scandals, the death of a pop icon and the shocking disappearance of a commercial jet, the spotlight also shone on our profession. The UK Financial Times featured profiles of several actuaries including members of The Actuary team and Faculty president, Ronnie Bowie.

In his July 2009 presidential address, Bowie talked about the challenge put to actuaries by Alan Milburn MP to open the doors of our profession to candidates with requisite numerical ability regardless of their background. At the Profession’s recent Risk and Investment Conference, Bowie and his co-panel members also discussed the need for actuaries’ jobs to expand into wider fields, as there is the potential for some to find themselves with insufficient work if they remain focused on their current areas of practice.

The two concepts seem contradictory but are both individually constructive initiatives. The introduction of the ST9 exam, which will allow us to widen our horizons and become certified risk professionals is, in my view as a risk practitioner, an immense step in the right direction. Financial modelling and, fittingly, actuaries in wider fields are our themes this month. I am also pleased to host our very first International View with an enlightening report on the general insurance market in Pakistan. Please keep your news coming.

Congratulations to the newly qualified fellows and associates. May your new status bring you fresh challenges to balance the five-day week to which most of you will now be adjusting!

Marjorie Ngwenya