CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
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January 2017

Emerging Practices Committee

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By Claude Ferguson, FCIA

As we all can acknowledge, our business environment is changing at a dizzying pace. Large institutions are having difficulty incorporating these changes, both in their practices and governance processes.

The CIA, Society of Actuaries (SOA), and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) are no exception, and it is with that in mind that we will try to do a better job identifying and integrating emerging practices in a more formal manner. Be it the new types of predictive models or the role of actuaries in risk management for non-insurance or non-pension activities, a number of these practices or roles that are accepted today were not part of the generally recognized actuarial landscape even five years ago.

The CIA has created a new committee within the Member Services Council: the Emerging Practices Committee. It has the following mandate:

  • Develop, deploy, and monitor a marketing strategy that aims to
    • Identify opportunities and develop short- and long-term plans for new (start-up) emerging practice areas, fast-tracking potential resolution of any existing gaps impeding their development;
    • Increase the participation of CIA members in activities supporting the development of emerging practice areas; and
    • Enhance the hiring of actuaries in emerging practice areas;
  • Monitor and manage the progress in the development of these new areas until they become fully functioning practice areas with independent practice group oversight, suggesting strategies to ensure appropriate progression time from one stage of development to the next; and
  • Monitor and enhance the retention within the CIA of actuaries who are moving into emerging (non-traditional) practice areas.

Our main objective, of course, is to foster actuarial development and actuarial leadership in areas of emerging practice. That includes not only the traditional sectors (insurance and pension) but also non-traditional roles or industries such as big data, financial institutions (e.g., banks and fintech), risk placement and management strategies for businesses and their assets, and climate change. Needless to say, these initiatives also seek to ensure that the CIA keeps getting better and better at meeting its members’ needs and provides them with career opportunities that adjust to the ever-changing labour market.

Late in 2016, the new committee met for the first time to lay out a common vision and prepare a first draft of its action plan for 2017. The committee is made up of Joshua Bue, Jacques Demers, David Landriault, Denis Latulippe, Zhouliang (Joel) Li, Martin Roy, and myself.

Our priorities for 2017 will be to

  1. Put tools in place to foster recognition and development of the profession within institutions not traditionally associated with the actuarial field, such as banking;
  2. Help present and integrate new predictive modelling tools; and
  3. Foster recognition of the role of actuaries in developing and implementing asset management strategies.

At the same time, we will try to lay the foundation for actuarial growth in the fields of health, climate change, and the application of genetic knowledge.

A number of initiatives have already been identified for 2017 to help us meet our objectives:

  • Enhance our understanding of the needs of actuaries whose career path is taking them outside the traditional areas of practice;
  • Develop online educational materials to better promote new predictive modelling tools;
  • Review the positioning strategy for the Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) credential; and
  • Do away with legal constraints and foster greater recognition of actuaries’ capacity to dispense advice in the areas of investment management and strategies.

We invite you to send us your comments and suggestions to help us make this initiative successful in both the short and medium term.

Claude Ferguson, FCIA, is Chair of the Emerging Practices Committee.


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