In mid-September, president-elect Tan Suee Chieh went on a whirlwind four-day visit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to meet with industry leaders, associations, universities and senior members.
First stop was the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) where Suee Chieh and the South-East Asia team met the CEO of LIAM, along with nine other life insurance companies' C-suite representatives, including four CEOs and one deputy CEO. Key takeaways were:
- The industry is still facing a shortage of experienced actuarial talent
- Actuarial training should be widened and not too focused on technical silos
- IFRS17 is onerous and will require a lot of resources and expertise during the next three years and beyond.
The Malaysian Takaful Association kindly gave the IFoA team a whistle-stop overview of the world of takaful and the opportunities and challenges they faced. Malaysia is one of the world's leaders in Islamic finance, and takaful currently accounts for more than 10% of insurance market share in the country.
An IFoA senior members' roundtable was organised in the evening, providing the opportunity for an intimate discussion on the future of the actuarial profession. The session covered a wide range of topics, including the exam process and the importance of experience and judgement in daily work.
Friday began with breakfast with the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM). PIAM said there was currently a shortage of experienced GI actuaries within the market. Actuaries were advised by PIAM to be more versatile in their roles, particularly in this era of digitalisation, and to step out of their comfort zones.
The last three days saw Suee Chieh present to more than 180 undergraduate students at UCSI University Public Lecture and give a keynote speech at the Malaysian Actuarial Student Association's (MASA) inaugural conference. The South-East Asia team also gave a talk on professionalism and attended MASA's inaugural careers fair.