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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Editor’s comment: The best and the rest

With exam season almost over, it is time to take stock and embrace a thrilling summer ahead, says Deepak Jobanputra


Deepak Jobanputra Pru Protect editor The Actuary
The difference between the best and the rest is often separated by a small margin

I was reminded this month of the anguish that the exam season can bring. I feel as though I have been sharing in this mental torture as my teenage daughter prepares herself for a fortnight that will help shape her next few years. I found myself explaining to her the law of diminishing returns among other great learnings from many years back. One piece of advice I tried to impart is that the difference between the best and the rest is often separated by a small margin. A few 'difficult' marks can make the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary. Some of the most powerful examples of this can be seen in the sporting world, particularly in athletics. This month, we discuss the progress being made by athletes in setting records and how, as actuaries, this could affect how we might reserve for this select group.

We also look at how vital the art of communication is in our daily lives. Grammar may not seem that important on an actuarial agenda, but in some instances the use – and misuse – of a comma has changed the outcome of a legal battle between commercial enterprises. If you should find yourself enmeshed in a dispute of any nature, take a look at our article on mediation, which may guide you in avoiding the ever-costly judicial route in settling disagreements and lead to a resolution.

Our interview this month discusses the new structure under the Bank of England and Solvency II. A key reason cited for Solvency II is harmonisation to facilitate cross-border insurance – but is this necessarily a good thing? The feature also states that a good actuary is one who knows their limitations. I hope this sparks some interesting debate among you.

If you are in the UK, celebrating the Queen's diamond jubilee, you may find the day's holiday gives you a little leisure time. How about using it to find out how simulators can help you deal with Solvency II?

It's not all about work, however. In the coming months, we're looking to report on 'adventurous, enterprising actuaries', so if you or a fellow actuary has an interesting or unusual hobby we'd love to hear from you.

Lastly, we are looking to appoint an arts editor to join our team. Please do get in touch if you are interested.

Deepak Jobanputra
[email protected]


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