What is an actuary?
Not only is this the most common reaction from new acquaintances when I explain what I do (with “An actress?!” a distant second), it is also a question that we, as a profession, have been asking ourselves.
I often respond with a one-sentence definition of ‘reserving’ or ‘pricing’, but authors in this month’s issue of The Actuary argue that this is no longer a good answer. Far from being just number crunchers, we can bring the actuarial control cycle to life and play an integral part in the product design process (p16). At company level, we have the skills, and now the opportunity, to contribute strategically – from underwriting portfolio optimisation (p36) to managing wider business priorities (p40). At a societal level, we can also take our understanding of fairness from traditional fields such as pensions and apply them to the emerging issues of environmental justice (p28).
Our profession is evolving, driven not least by changes in data and technology. In this month’s cover article, we learn how actuaries can rise to the challenge of cybercrime (p33). When it comes to data, Sudaman Thoppan Mohanchandralal, our interviewee, says that change is already here – it’s up to us to adapt to it (p13).
I hope you enjoy this issue.
Ruolin Wang Editor [email protected]