Over the years, I have spoken to a number of actuaries who have been reported to the disciplinary committee of the IFoA, often not knowing exactly why but being told they have "not behaved in a manner an actuary should", and then, eventually, finding they have no case to answer.
Being referred can be exceedingly traumatic for any actuary who feels they have been ethical throughout their lives and obeyed the rules. However, it seems there is no substantive guidance from the IFoA as to how the actuary should proceed, other than to obtain a lawyer.
At the end of last year, the IFoA produced a brochure titled Information For Members Facing An Allegation, which I was told about quite recently, but I cannot see how it would help a traumatised individual. In larger organisations there may be a senior actuary who can provide some guidance, but actuaries who work for smaller firms and individual interims may not have such support.
Historically, dining clubs were formed in order that actuaries could discuss matters of mutual interest. Although their popularity has fallen away, I think here there is a clear need to create, if not a dining club, which implies some sort of regularity, a forum whereby individuals accused of wrongdoing, but not knowing exactly what they are alleged to have done, can have access to others who have been through the same process.
For those reported, the disciplinary investigation can easily take some three years to conclude. During this period, the lives of those reported are often put on hold, particularly as involvement in such a process can inhibit the ability to change jobs or apply for any position using their professional qualification. Also, as such accusations are not something the accused will usually want publicised or known widely, this must severely restrict their ability to get guidance.
Arising out of this forum, I would like to create a designated help centre. The centre will aim to help any accused actuaries make contact with other individuals who have been, or are going, through such an experience, or for some other reason have experience which would be helpful to pass on.
Would those interested in becoming involved, please contact me directly at [email protected].
Geraldine Kaye, 12 June 2015