Shortage prompts jobs boost for actuaries

Despite the widespread economic slowdown, there could be good news on the horizon for current or future Canadian actuaries.

Allianz, the world’s largest insurer by market capitalization, says actuaries are in critically short supply, so it is increasing its efforts to recruit more of them to its global workforce of more than 150,000 people.

The shortage of skilled actuaries is part of an international problem, as demographic changes across much of the developed world mean there are fewer and fewer workers available. Allianz, which is based in Germany, says this year marks the first time in the European Union that there will be more people retiring than starting on the career ladder.

Allianz, which serves 75 million people in 70 countries and has Canadian operations in Ontario and Québec, is analyzing how its workforce will develop by 2020, and has launched an international recruitment program as part of a 10-year strategy. It is also continuing its successful efforts to promote women—with the number of them in a management programme rising from 24 percent to 43 percent in a year—and help families reconcile the duties of family and work.

Its website says it supports actuaries’ professional growth and offers them a chance to gain new capabilities through "challenging and rewarding tasks and projects". Allianz’s chairman, Michael Diekmann, said its global actuarial development program is "exciting for experts who want to work on the international stage and engage in a cross-border exchange of ideas."

Canadian companies say they have also been working on meeting the growing demand for knowledgeable actuaries. Anne Corner, assistant vice-president of human resources at Manulife Financial, said: "We have increased our focus on actuarial recruitment, development and organizational design in order to ensure that we have the right people getting the right development at the right time."

Manulife's executive vice-president of corporate development, Simon Curtis, added: "Manulife has always considered a strong actuarial group as being critical to achieving our strategic and business growth.

"Over the past few years we have seen increased demand for actuaries and actuarial skills across the organization, and with looming changes to accounting and solvency we see this trend only increasing."

Actuaries with three or more years’ experience can apply for positions with Allianz online here.