One of the themes of my presidency is to encourage all actuaries to step out of the shadows.
One of the themes of my presidency is to encourage all actuaries to step out of the shadows. As a profession, we perhaps see ourselves as rather niche, with little public recognition for the critical role we play in business, government and beyond. But is this wholly true?
As part of the #iamanactuary campaign, the IFoA has undertaken some indicative polling. In late 2018, we reached out to 1,000 adults across the UK through a digital survey, and it revealed some interesting results. The poll revealed that 33% of UK adults believed that they did know about actuaries and the profession - a much higher number than I know I anticipated. And the accuracy of the responses was fascinating:
- "They are financial wizards who use complicated formulae to work out company profits"
- "A person who compiles and analyses statistics and uses them to calculate insurance risks and premiums"
- "Calculates life insurance premiums based on an individual's lifestyle and circumstances".
It might also be wise to reflect, though, that few of the responses referenced our work in wider fields or our duty to the public interest. There is, therefore, much more we can do to promote ourselves - hence my desire to see each one of us stepping out of the shadows. We need to ensure our unique ethical code and responsibility to protect the public interest is as well known as our traditional core business roles.
Our #iamanactaury campaign has seen some great ongoing coverage, with more than 100,000 video views in December alone - 90% of which were from outside our profession. The interest is there, so keep having those conversations!
Jules Constantinou is the president of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries