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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Working overseas: Focus - UK

As far as UK recruitment is concerned, actuaries have never been in such a strong position. Pensions may have grabbed some of the news headlines recently, but it is insurance and preparation for Solvency II that dominates the landscape.

From insurers to consultancies to the regulator, from life to non-life, from Edinburgh to Bristol to London, the appetite for actuarial resource seems set to continue for many months to come.

Due to the unprecedented demand, UK employers are looking to attract actuarial talent from abroad. They face competition with different countries as they look to develop their own solvency regulations over the next three to five years.

The UK is an ideal destination for actuaries to ‘cut their solvency teeth’ before taking this experience to new markets or closer to home. Risk management and ERM are also seeing greater emphasis in the UK for which actuaries are perfectly positioned to capitalise.

The actuarial skill-set is increasingly sought across insurance risk and financial risk as companies focus on the asset side of the balance sheet. As a result, candidates from the banking and investment sectors who are comfortable communicating across business units and up to board level are hot property.

With any successful move, it is essential to seek expert advice and do your research. Many candidates let themselves down by not having a better understanding of the UK actuarial profession and how their own experience and qualifications might fit in. Most are looking to achieve professional and financial parity but need to be realistic about how their experience translates to an equivalent role in the UK.

As a general rule, larger firms will tend to offer a better overall relocation service for overseas candidates due to the scope of roles they can offer, their available resources and the diversity of international staff.

Despite the recent changes to UK visas, it is now much easier for employers to sponsor overseas candidates (Tier 2) and more UK firms are seeing the benefits of offering fixed-term contracts (Tier 5). Candidates should research this area thoroughly and the UK Border Agency is a good starting point – for details see www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.


Further reading: Working Overseas

This special supplement looks at career opportunities for actuaries around the world, and how to plan for a move abroad

Emmanuel Kenning - Global trends and opportunities
Trevor Watkins - Actuarial qualifications
Hannah Kaye - Actuarial skills travel well
Andrew Smith - Lecturing in Armenia and Albania

Region focus
Mark Dainty - United Kingdom
Jan Sparks - Europe
Wilhelm de Wet - South Africa
Luke Hawkins - Asia

Case studies
Switzerland - Alex Summers
Spain - Carl Haughton
South Africa - Bjorn Landewig
South Africa - Ashlin Noonan
Nigeria - Alexandre Aquereburu
Hong Kong - Paul Murray
Hong Kong - Mark Stamper
Indonesia - Chris Lossin
Bermuda - Amy Guna
Australia - Matt Noyce
Australia - Ashley Palmer