Kelvin Chamunorwa encourages wide input to develop adequate financial solutions
I recently attended a conference on financial services investment in Africa.
The 300 attendees included senior executives from banks, insurers and private equity funds and represented 25 countries from the continent - all under one roof. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the breadth of insight was unbelievable. Even though there was a wide range of interests and focal points, the conference organisers skilfully crafted these into a common purpose: to explore opportunities to drive sustainable economic growth. The resounding appeal of the conference was evident.
Given the diversity of the actuarial community, which Nick Salter considers in his final president's comment (Passing the torch), it made me wonder whether a similar model could work for some of our own actuarial conferences. Increasingly, solutions to financial needs are not limited to one product, solution or source, but rather a combination. Take long-term care funding as an example, for which a concoction of savings, pensions and insurance solutions is required.
Following the UK general election last month, there were various leadership changes. Dr Ros Altmann, a consumer champion, was appointed to the cabinet as minister of state for pensions. The Actuary caught up with Dr Altmann in a wide-ranging interview covering later-life care, consumer engagement and her priorities in government. On care, Altmann also points to the need for a blend of financial solutions and, more generally, adequate financial education and advice (The consumers' champion).
There is clearly a need to delve into issues within separate specialist areas, and develop specific solutions to these. But there is also value in a broader conversation as a financial services industry, bringing together thinking with a wider remit. My point is probably best summarised by an old African proverb that says: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
To conclude, I'd like to remind you that our search for a new editor of The Actuary from January 2016 is still on. If you are interested in the role, please be sure to apply to SIAS by 30 June.