This message will be my last as president, and I thought it would be fitting to address the issue of stewardship.
As we elect new Council members and renew the presidential team, it is good to remind ourselves what stewardship means in our context, as decision-making is widely shared. Our membership holds a rich diversity of opinions, and consistency and authority can only be established with pa-tience and over time.
This counteracts speed and imagination in decision-making – and we learned a great deal about this during the past 18 months.
During the pandemic, IFoA leaders took decisions quickly and acted imaginatively beyond estab-lished processes. As a result, we are in a stronger position than planned for – both financially and strategically.
If stewardship means we nurture and grow what has been entrusted to us so we can hand it to the next generation in better condition, we may certainly be content with what the IFoA has achieved this year.
However, the work for the profession and the IFoA is far from finished. Whose responsibility is it to ensure we have a secure and purposeful future that befits our capability and narrative?
This question may seem lofty and abstract. After all, we are only a professional body. Many mem-bers step forward to volunteer their time, serve the profession, widen their experience and im-prove their networks, and to make a meaningful difference. However, the attitude and sense of responsibility with which members step forward are critical.
The IFoA seeks to be the unified voice for its members, and our work will continue to establish a timeless narrative: articulating the purpose of the profession, exerting our influence on society’s challenges, and translating our past into a vision for a future beset with uncertainty and opportuni-ty.
Leadership on this can come from all places and all levels, by those who have the time, interest, capability, and sense of debt to the profession.
I have enjoyed being your steward. It is your turn.
Tan Suee Chien is the president of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries