CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
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February 2018

A Look Back and a Look Forward to a New Year

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By Sharon Giffen, FCIA
CIA President

Is it still timely to say “Happy New Year”? By the time of publication, many of you will have been back, hard at work, into the year-end reporting rush after December’s gatherings and celebrations with family and friends. I hope you still can recall and benefit from time off and have undertaken the new year with energy and enthusiasm.

For me, January has always been a time to reflect on the year just finished and the year to come. I’d like to share a few of the highlights from my contemplations this year. 

Outreach to Students and Members

In 2017, highlights included my visits to the Actuarial Students’ National Association, city actuarial clubs, and two Live Mic events where I had the opportunity to hear directly from members. I continue to encourage anyone who has something to say to connect with me—either through the Head Office or my personal e-mail. 

Local and Global Connections

Attending two International Actuarial Association meetings gave me much greater insight into the valuable contribution that CIA members make on the global stage. I couldn’t be more proud to sit at the table at the President’s Forum, knowing that Canadians are recognized around the world for contributing to the development of practice and standards.

It was also great fun to go back to the University of Waterloo, my alma mater, once to help them recognize and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Statistics and Actuarial Science Department and the Faculty of Mathematics, and again at a conference on Advances in Predictive Analytics. In both cases, I was reminded of the value of the relationship that the CIA enjoys with our academic colleagues. 

The Months Ahead

Looking forward to 2018, I am optimistic and confident that we will continue to see significant developments in actuarial practice in Canada. IFRS 17 will move closer to reality, changing actuarial practice in the insurance business. Capabilities in predictive modelling and analytics will evolve and require that actuaries acquire new skills to take advantage of these tools. Society’s debates about healthcare and pensions will continue, where actuaries can and should add our valuable perspective—a combination of fact-based analysis with a public-interest perspective in interpretation of that data.

How Can You Contribute?

Now is a great time to consider how you might be able to contribute to the CIA. Can you volunteer for a task force or committee? Are you ready to sit on the Board, helping to shape the agenda for the CIA? Or will you run to be the President? I can vouch for the positive side in the balance of effort and reward in this post!

Changes in Governance

At the CIA, we have some administrative issues to advance this year. Governance and structure changes along with continuing work on our membership management system will enable modernization and efficiency among the hard-working (and often under-appreciated) Head Office staff. Michel Simard, our Executive Director, continues to be instrumental in driving forward these initiatives—kudos to him and his team. 

With a short five months to go in my presidential year, I am ever impatient to move everything forward. I have come to understand much more personally the idea that each of us completes and implements some of the initiatives of our predecessors, moves the dial on others, and initiates activity that will not come to fruition for years in the future—even so, this is a rewarding year; an experience I am privileged to enjoy.

Please consider how you can get involved!

Sharon Giffen, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.


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