This months edition of the magazine has an international theme, and I wanted to use this as an opportunity to draw focus to some of the IFoAs recent global activity and plans.
In January, we attended and sponsored the Global Conference of Actuaries in Mumbai, giving us the chance to hold our first Council meeting in India; this enabled Council members to meet our stakeholders and members in Delhi and Mumbai.
Then, in early May, our fourth annual Asia conference took place in Bangkok - receiving fantastic feedback. The events team had barely hit the ground back home before kicking off the preparations for next year's conference in Chengdu. Our first Africa Roadshow in April saw events in Mauritius, Kenya and Nigeria, led by Marjorie Ngwenya; we are looking to continue our outreach to Africa next year, linking a 2019 Council meeting to this activity in order to encourage direct engagement between our members and the IFoA's governing body.
The biannual International Actuarial Association (IAA) meetings took place in Berlin at the end of May. Alongside extensive work on international standards and promotion of the profession, we were able to get together with sister actuarial associations and take forward issues such as the impact of data science on the profession.
The IFoA held its Annual General Meeting on 28 June, when the Council election results were announced and John Taylor formally joined the presidential team as the new president-elect. John will take over Colin Wilson's remit of China and southeast Asia. Each of our three presidents takes responsibility for a distinct geographic portfolio, with Marjorie covering India and Africa.
Jules Constantinou, our new president, will cover North America and our relationships with bodies such as the IAA and AAE. Carving up responsibilities between the presidents in this way can ensure that members in those regions benefit from consistent focus and support during each president's three-year tenure.
This month I will be chairing the first meeting of our new Markets Development Board (MDB). The MDB is made up of volunteer and lay members, as well as Council representatives. Its remit will be to explore how we can develop new opportunities for actuaries and the IFoA - whether by practice area or geography.
As our membership evolves, our focus must also evolve. We are now, for example, at a point where our student membership numbers in India are higher than in the UK, so we have to see how we can support our increasingly diverse student base to get them through to qualified status. I have talked before about strength in numbers, and if we support more students in reaching qualification then there is the potential to reduce subscription prices in the future without sacrificing the quality and level of service that defines us.
Derek Cribb is the chief executive of the Institution and Faculty of Actuaries