Edward Johnson talks to Richard Purcell about joining the Worshipful Company of Actuaries
How would you describe the livery companies and what do they do?
There are 110 Livery companies in the City of London, each representing a different trade or profession ranging from Bakers, to Pilots, and of course Actuaries. They would traditionally regulate the activities of their respective Freeman (or members) in the city. Today though, the livery companies are a way to meet other members of your profession and support charitable activities.
What was your perception of the Worshipful Company of Actuaries (WCA) before you joined?
It's probably fair to say that I had a unique insight into the Company before I joined; my Dad has been Clerk for eight years. And so my perceptions were formed from what he had to say about the Company and also from a number of events that I was invited to.
The Company seemed to me to be a parallel to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. It creates fantastic opportunities to meet actuaries across a variety of disciplines and offers another voice for our profession.
What attracted you to becoming a member of the Worshipful Company of Actuaries?
For me it was the history and style of London Livery Companies in general that attracted me to join (as well as a little encouragement from my Dad!). The Worshipful Company of Actuaries has built up is reputation and standing since its formation in 1979 but other companies such as the Mercers' and Goldsmiths claim over 700 years of history. To have the opportunity to be part of the City of London's ancient history was quite exciting.
What has been the best thing so far?
I have only recently become a Freeman of the company and so do not have a great number of experiences to draw upon. But I did very much enjoy the Freedom Ceremony to become elected to the Company and had the opportunity to meet many people at the dinner following.
Can you walk us through the process of becoming a Freeman?
Firstly, each applicant must be a Fellow or Associate of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries or hold another actuarial qualification deemed by the Court to be equivalent. For any interested applicant, the Company would then be happy to subsidise attendance at a Company dinner so that he/she may get to know the Company and its members a little better. A proposer and a seconder, who must themselves be Liverymen of the Company, must then support the application and a meeting will then be arranged for the applicant with a member of the Membership Committee. Once approved by the Court the applicant will attend a Court Meeting and be admitted to the Freedom of the Company.
What's the difference between a Liveryman and Freeman?
Liverymen are full members of the Company and have extra rights that Freeman do not. Only Liverymen can propose and Second candidates for election to the Company. Furthermore, Liverymen have the exclusive right to vote in the election of the Lord Mayor of the City of London and for the Sheriffs.
What else do you like to do outside of work?
Travel! Many would say that I (along with my fiancée) seem to be on mission to see every corner of the world as quickly as possible. We've also just bought a house which needs a great deal of renovating so I'm sure that will be keeping us even busier.
If you are interested in finding out more about attending one of our dinners or joining the Worshipful Company of Actuaries you can contact our clerk on [email protected]. You can also find out more by coming along to our New Members Evening at Balls Brothers wine bar, Carey Lane near St Pauls on Tuesday 24th November. Follow us at @actuarycompany or visit our website www.actuariescompany.co.uk for more information.