Richard Purcell comments on the many opportunities open to those actuaries who demonstrate their value
We often talk about moving into wider fields, but many of us find it's easier said than done. Either because we lack the opportunity, skills, or simply do not sell our existing abilities. Opportunities should not be lacking, according to Derek Cribb (p8), who points to new research by the IFoA showing that our expertise is highly valued by businesses.
However, it also flagged the need to 'promote' ourselves more, underlining the importance of Fiona Morrison's presidential theme.
There is no doubt that being actuaries gives us a broad range of skills to leverage, but maybe we do need to fine-tune them if we are to become risk specialists in wider fields. Perhaps more of us should consider completing the Chartered Enterprise Risk Actuary (CERA) qualification? Like me, you may be surprised
to know that we have just seen our 3,000th actuary, Chu Lee, achieve this accreditation (p11). There is no doubt CERA is also helping to open doors to new industries like construction, as Arthur Els (p20) explains.
When it comes to promoting ourselves, Brian Gedella (p25) observes that we should shout about our professional education and standards, believing this sets us apart from other technical experts with whom we compete. However, Mike Brockman, founder of Insure the Box, argues that we need to strike the right balance, ensuring we don't focus on ticking boxes at the expense of innovation (p14). He is evidence, if any were needed, that the core actuarial skill set, together with a dose of personality and communication skills, can be a winning combination. What's clear is that we all have a role to play in building our brand, by demonstrating the value we can add to our employers and wider industry. Before long, construction actuaries could be as commonplace as pensions actuaries.