Derek Cribb focuses on regional societies and global member groups, which are building on a proud heritage
As a Royal Charter body, the IFoA has 168 years of proud British heritage, having had operations in Edinburgh and London for well over a century. We must all recognise, however, that as important as these two capitals are, the days of the majority of the IFoA's members working within their walls are over. It would be easy to fall into the trap not just of being UK-centric but worse, of being London and Edinburgh-centric.
Our strategy sets out our bold aims to fulfil our Royal Charter as a world-class, public-interest body. But for this strategy to be successful, member engagement will be key. That's why the IFoA leadership team will be working hard to disseminate the strategy over the coming months to our local member groups - whether in Manchester or Mumbai, Swansea or Shanghai, we must reach and engage all our members.
The IFoA owes a debt of gratitude to our thousands of volunteers, who through their work bring our Royal Charter to life and help to grow our community of professionals globally. Nowhere is this more apparent than in our regional societies. This global network is fantastic at building links with local employers and stakeholders, supporting members and the promotion of our profession around the world.
As a Welsh native, I'm delighted by the recent launch of the Welsh Actuarial Society.
A member hub in the region will prove invaluable as it continues to position itself as a financial centre. I wish the new regional society all the best for the future.
In early November, our president Colin Wilson and I will be travelling around Scotland visiting the local societies publicising the IFoA strategy, which I very much look forward to. The focus over the next few months will not only be on the regional societies - we will also be visiting major employers to reach you, our members.
As well as regional societies across the UK, we are seeing more and more groups of members around the globe starting to develop their local actuarial communities. For example, the Gulf Actuarial Society (GAS) that launched a couple of years ago has gone from strength to strength. Fiona Morrison, immediate past president, will be visiting GAS in Dubai in November, in between her trips to three major global events in the actuarial calendar - the Asian Actuarial Conference in Delhi and the International Actuarial Association and Actuarial Society of South Africa meetings in Cape Town. These kinds of visits are typical of our international engagement.
Colin Wilson attended the IFoA Asia conference in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year, which had an overwhelmingly positive response. The conference was attended by nearly 400 delegates from around the world, and 100 students additionally attended a special event. It provided a fantastic opportunity for vibrant discussion and networking for all those attending.
In August, our president-elect, Marjorie Ngwenya, represented us at a series of meetings in Mauritius. The feedback was exceptional, as was the turnout. An average of 70 people attended the various events at any one time. The delegates provided us with feedback on the Certified Actuarial Analyst (CAA) qualification, and suggested interventions for the local industry.
Marjorie will also be attending the Actuarial Society of South Africa's annual conference in November, and visiting Ghana and Kenya to meet local members and promote the actuarial profession.
In September, Colin and I travelled to Asia. Among a number of events, we attended the Chinese Actuarial Association conference and the Singapore Actuarial Society's ERM conference. We met many members and stakeholders while in the region, including a stop-off in Jakarta in support of a new initiative to develop the actuarial profession in Indonesia.
Close collaboration with other actuarial associations is key to our international strategy, and we strive to find ways of working in close partnership to help develop the profession and serve our Royal Charter. It's these partnerships that will drive forward the growth of the profession as a whole.
With this in mind, I'm delighted that we will be hosting our May 2017 Council meeting in both London and Hong Kong, enabling senior volunteers to meet those attending our Asia Conference in Hong Kong on 11-12 May. We will also be holding member events in both Beijing and Singapore in the run up to our Council meeting and conference. Our Council members hope to engage with as many local members, employers and stakeholders as possible.
It is key that those charged with the overall strategic direction of the IFoA are able to see a clear picture of our global membership's needs. I look forward to sharing more detail about this nearer the time.
It's really important that all our members have an opportunity to engage with the strategy, wherever they are based. After all, it's your profession and your strategy - you make it what it is.
Derek Cribb is the chief executive of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries