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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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Global outlook

11 JULY 2019 | FRANCISCO SEBASTIAN

Francisco Sebastian
Francisco Sebastian

“Nationalism is a tool increasingly used by leaders to bolster their authority, especially amid difficult economic and political conditions”, according to Richard M Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. It may be antithetical to open this year’s global issue of The Actuary with the word ‘nationalism’, but the quote summarises the present age we live in. Barriers are rising in different parts of the world, mainly designed to curtail the global flow of goods and people. 

What will happen to services in this new paradigm – especially those provided by actuaries? In this issue we examine how the actuarial profession, and the industries we typically work in, are evolving around the world. As John Taylor, incoming president of the IFoA, says in his interview, the global actuarial profession is in a healthy position. 

Some of the most interesting actuarial developments these days are taking place in emerging markets. China’s increasingly sophisticated and open capital markets are attracting vast sums of investment, as Haijing Wang explains; Finn Krueger, meanwhile, reports on the steady growth in insurance in different parts of Asia. 

Globalisation of actuarial services does not solely arise from the expansion of domestic markets in emerging economies, but also through consolidation within and among developed ones. In an article on drivers of M&A in the insurance industry, Jack Gibson and Joseph Milicia help us understand why and how this process occurs. 

The prospects for global actuarial services are encouraging but do not make the profession crisis-proof. As Simon Rockett explains, the negative outlook for insolvencies is concerning for the credit insurance industry. Inevitably, this affects the global economy, and growing nationalism is a contributing factor. Being aware of those risks is essential to manage them, providing potential new opportunities for actuaries.


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