I am sitting reading the latest The Actuary magazine here in the English village of Abbots Leigh and have seen the article on SoNIA or the Society of Northern Ireland Actuaries (The Actuary, November). This was my first inkling of its existence and reminded me of my experience.
After a BSc in economics at Queen's University Belfast, I trained at Standard Life, specialising in investment, qualifying in 1968. Along with David Kingston and Peter Derby, I believe we may have been the first generation of Ulster actuaries, although someone will no doubt prove me wrong. We all qualified in Edinburgh in the late 1960s.
I spent most of my career as the investment manager of Imperial Group Pension Fund, then a big conglomerate, of which Imperial Tobacco is the last element left. My first boss was George Ross Goobey, who is famous for being the first real proponent of equities for pension funds. I am still chairman of the Pensioners' Association, a sort of pensioners' trade union.
At 77, my last paid role is appointed investment adviser to Cornwall Council Pension Fund. They seem to prefer the devil they know, as I regularly suggest retiring. Anyway, please excuse these ramblings of the elderly. I was a founder member of the Bristol Actuarial Society around 1970, having been one of three actuaries in the city when I came here in 1968, so I know the problems of keeping an actuarial society going. Best of luck to this 'young' organisation.