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The November Board meeting and recruitment of CIA’s new Executive Director

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By Micheline Dionne, FCIA

We took advantage of the November meeting to give the Board of Directors an operating mode and structure that meet the increased requirements of risk management and transparency and enable us to further recognize the contribution of our associate members. We also proceeded with status updates on a number of hot-button issues.


We adopted several recommendations made by the Task Force on Governance:
  • Greater care will be taken in training our future Board members so they can hit the ground running;
  • We intend to submit for your approval amendments to our bylaws that would enable us to relieve a Board member of his or her duties under exceptional circumstances;
  • Daniel Pellerin was asked to recruit the members of our new Risk Management Committee charged with identifying the risks facing the CIA and to specify its exact mandate by June 2011;
  • John Dark will coordinate the efforts of a task force responsible for establishing a Code of Conduct for the Board. Such a code has been in place for years at the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS); and
  • We reviewed the mandate of the committees and task forces reporting to the Board to ensure that they respond to our needs, and we identified those that are no longer relevant or whose mandate has already run its course. We have asked each of the councils to do likewise.

Measures aimed at associates

After several attempts at redefining the benefits, obligations and conditions that go with the status of CIA associate, the task force chaired by Jason Vary finally arrived at a formula that made it possible to go ahead with the project. The eligibility conditions will be harmonized with those in place for becoming an ASA, ACAS and CERA (Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst), and the fees will be reviewed to encourage early membership of young associates. We also intend to formalize the status of future associates through the title of ACIA. You will be consulted on this initiative, likely in June. Once CIA exam credits can be earned without going through another association, it will be imperative to recognize students' efforts at the half-way point. The goal of this reform is to forge a closer relationship with our future members, by not only recognizing their contribution but also offering them services that meet their expectations.

Ongoing files

  • The CIA will apply to become a CERA award signatory. To date the SOA and the United Kingdom have already been accepted, and it is expected that the CAS will be as well.
  • The CIA held a retreat on pension plan reform in conjunction with the SOA and the C.D. Howe Institute on December 8. Having attended this event, I can tell you that there is a very strong desire for action in this area. We will need to take a close look at the results of the federal-provincial ministerial meeting on pension plan reform, set to take place on December 20.
  • We had an update on CIA research projects. I will report here only on the two concerning the pension plan mortality tables. The first project, which deals with the mortality experience for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the Régime de rentes du Québec (RRQ), is being reviewed by the Pension Experience Subcommittee of the Research Committee and should be available early in 2011. As for the second, which deals with employer pension plan experience, reams of data have been collected, and it will take from six to nine months to analyse them. Both projects are behind in disseminating their results, but they are being closely monitored by the Member Services Council (MSC) and the Board, given the impact these new tables will have on the valuation of future pension plan commitments.

Recruitment of new CIA Executive Director

To close, I would like to share with you some excellent news. The Board has approved the recommendation made by the group charged with recruiting the CIA’s new Executive Director, who will take up his duties on January 4. A lawyer by training, Michel C. Simard has previously worked for the Canadian Nurses Association and the HealthPartners charitable organization. He also had a stint as a Citizenship and Immigration Canada judge and worked in the ethics field at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. Public policy debates have always been a passion for him, and we are very eager to take advantage of his vast experience in the field of public relations.

On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to extend my warmest thanks to the Secretariat’s Lynn Blackburn for serving as Interim Executive Director and keeping the ship afloat for three months. Our thanks also go out to the entire Secretariat team for supporting Lynn in her role.

If you have any questions or comments that you would like to share, please contact me at

Micheline Dionne, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

360 Albert Street, Suite 1740, Ottawa, ON K1R 7X7
Tel.: 613.236.8196 Fax: 613.233.4552