Important Decisions at Latest Board Meeting

To view the video, click on the image above, or click here. Below is a transcript:

Hello. I am Jacques Tremblay and I am President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

This is my first report of the Institute’s second 50 years and while the hoopla around our anniversary on March 18 has calmed a bit, the excitement will be ramping up again for the Annual Meeting and Gala Celebration in June! I hope to see you in Ottawa on June 17 and 18!

We were proud to stream a live video webcast from the CIA Head Office on our anniversary day—Celebrating 50 Years of Actuarial Excellence – Highlights of the CIA’s History and Its Vision for the Future. I’m thrilled to report a record participation rate more than 1,500 attendees for the English and French events—historic numbers for a historic day!

The focus of this month’s report is the Board Meeting held on March 26.

First up is the Report from the Governance Committee, or GC, chaired by President-elect Rob Stapleford. The first item covered was the recommendation that a new council be formed to look after research, a strategic activity for the profession. Actuarial research is a key element of the CIA’s contribution to the protection of the public and advancement of the profession. The budget for research is significant, as are the volunteer resources to oversee the work, and the project list for the Research Committee has increased annually.

The Board decided that more work needs to be done on this initiative, considering some other alternatives that might be equally or more helpful to the Research Committee.

The GC investigated and reported on volunteer management and development. The CIA has about 11% of its members volunteer. By comparison, the Casualty Actuarial Society, or CAS, has about 33% of its members volunteering for some aspect of its work. The Society of Actuaries, or SoA, has about the same as the CIA.

The GC recommended that the Member Services Committee, or MSC, create and oversee a new volunteer management and development committee, or VMDC, to replace the current Committee on Volunteer initiatives. The VMDC would promote and coordinate all volunteer initiatives; work with committees to identify, measure, encourage, and recruit volunteers, including younger members, to meet the CIA’s strategic and operational needs; develop ways to identify outstanding volunteers and encourage leadership development; and work closely with the Elections Committee to identify appropriate candidates for elected positions.

The Board approved all of the GC’s recommendations and while it is aware of the additional workload for the MSC and the new committee, the long-term results of these changes will be more than worthwhile.

The CIA’s law firm, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, compared us with a number of other professional bodies and recommended that we consider two new requirements of membership—the timely disclosure of a criminal conviction and the requirement to undergo a medical examination. More research will be required before this topic is formally put before the Board and the membership, but I thought members should hear about them now.

The Risk Committee chaired by Sharon Giffen has conducted a final review of all risks faced by the Institute and dug into the top risk on the list: human capital. It determined that appropriate actions were being taken to manage this risk. Next steps include developing appropriate metrics to allow consistency in reports to the Board.

The Human Resources, Finance, and Audit Committee recommended that the Board approve the Statement of Investment Policy and the appointment of Fiera Capital as the Institute’s investment firm for the next fiscal year.

The Board approved both of these items.

The Practice Council chair, Bruce Langstroth, provided a report that reviewed the work of the last quarter, which included publishing a research paper on occupational disease; publishing an educational note on events occurring after the calculation date of an actuarial opinion for a pension plan; a revised note on reflecting increasing maximum pensions under the Income Tax Act in solvency, hypothetical wind-up, and wind-up valuations;a revised educational note on transfer values – Ontario reporting requirements,and an educational note supplement on guidance for assumptions for hypothetical wind-up and solvency valuations update, effective December 31, 2014, and applicable to valuations with effective dates between December 31, 2014, and December 30, 2015.

The Research Committee, or ResCo, reported that it will come in slightly under budget for the year. ResCo has several projects being planned for the coming year and has held a brainstorming session to seek out potential topics, plus a session to evaluate and rank all its future projects. In keeping with the Board’s decision to increase ResCo’s budget, the list of projects has increased, with a reserve to accommodate solid, high-priority strategic projects that will emerge over the course of the coming year. As well, ResCo will continue to deepen its relationship with the SoA in the research area. They have expressed interest in doing more projects with the CIA.

The North American Actuarial Council Collaborative Research Group is about to publish a research study on the supply and demand for actuarial talent in North America.

Marc Tardif, Chair of the MSC, reported on its last quarter results. Proceedings from the 2014 Annual Meeting were published in November and those of the Seminar for the Appointed Actuary are almost complete. The Mortality Improvement Task Force has finished recruiting and will start work on determining mortality improvement assumptions and reconciling views of different practices. The Public Positions Committee has had a busy time putting a number of documents through the new approval process and is starting work to develop a list of topics for positions. The Climate Change and Sustainability Committee has prepared a public position, which was approved, and organized a forum on climate change and sustainability to be held on April 9. Glen Murray, the Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, will be the keynote speaker. The Committee on Volunteer Initiatives has revamped the Volunteer Applicant Registry and the work it is doing on the difficult issue of succession planning and finding volunteers to take on committee leadership roles will be continued by the new VMDC.

The International Relations Council, or IRC, has been working hard and this report touches on the highlights. Its International Insurance Accounting Committee raised concerns with the International Accounting Standards Board on some aspects of its proposed International Financial Reporting Standard on insurance contracts; its International Insurance Regulations Committee developed comments on the International Association of Insurance Supervisors’ proposed insurance capital standard; it responded to the International Actuarial Association, or IAA, on the risks it faces; its International Pension and Employee Benefits Standards Committee commented to the IAA on the near-final draft of International Standard of Actuarial Practice 3 dealing with actuarial work related to International Accounting Standard 19. The IRC also voted for the IAA’s statement of intent on the proposed ISAP 7, which deals with the IAIS’ ICS. Furthermore, the IRC created a working group to look into hosting the 2026 International Congress of Actuaries.

The CIA met with the Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities to discuss our comments on pension plan finding and transfer values. We also met with the Financial Services Commission on Ontario, and the Ontario Minister of Finance at his Pre-Budget Consultation in Ottawa to discuss fiscally prudent approaches to planning and the Ontario Registered Pension Plan. April will be a busy month as we will be meeting with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Régie des rentes, American Academy of Actuaries, Australian Institute of Actuaries (or IAAust), Actuarial Society of South Africa, CAS, IAA, NAAC, SoA, and Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

John Dark, the CIA’s Secretary-Treasurer, presented the third-quarter financial statements. The forecasted surplus for the end of the fiscal year is $493,800, which is largely attributable to the Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship management project being implemented in 2015–2016. He also presented the budget for 2015–2016, which proposes a deficit of $497,600, due to a number of one-time costs including the 50thAnniversary activities and gala, upgrades to our IT systems to accommodate our move to CRM, and building up a $750,000 internally restricted reserve over time for extraordinary discipline expenditures. The budget also includes a modest dues increase, which will be communicated to you by our Secretary-Treasurer.

The Board decided to accept the proposed budget following a very good discussion about these issues.

The Eligibility and Education Council, or EEC, reported on a number of activities, including its recommendation for the approval of a revised mutual recognition agreement, or MRA, between the CIA and the IAAust. The IAAust Council had already approved the document at its March 10 meeting, and the CIA Board approved the document, which will be signed at the upcoming IAA meeting in Zurich. The EEC is also looking at a potential MRA with South Africa, and is updating its MRA with Ireland.

The EEC has looked at developing a new definition of professionalism and devoting more resources to the area. It also reported on outreach to various target markets—students and non-member professionals, for example. These include our strategic partnership with the Actuarial Students National Association; the University Accreditation Program, or UAP, which includes visits to all 11 universities; career fair participation and involvement with events sponsored by the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association in Montréal. As well, the new Syllabus Committee is continuing the work of the Task Force on Canadian Eligibility and Education Requirements and will be working on an implementation plan for the recommendations that were approved by the Board in November. These activities include the first CIA syllabus of learning objectives for Associate and Fellow education, strengthened relationships with education partners, and increased emphasis on general business, communications, and professionalism education.

The first-principles review of the UAP is well underway, with a preliminary report anticipated in July and a final document due in September. The EEC reported on several other agreements in the works with education partners, to ensure recognition of ACIA and FCIA credentials.

One important initiative that has been launched is the Graduate Scholarship Program. Fourteen applications have been received and are being reviewed.

Two last items to mention. The program for the 2015 Annual Meeting was completed three months earlier than usual, thanks to considerable work done by the Committee on Continuing Education, Head Office staff, and speakers. Registration opened at the end of February. With an outstanding line-up of guest speakers, content-rich concurrent sessions, and the 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration, this is a meeting you do not want to miss.

If you have not registered for the Annual Meeting, please do so as soon as possible. It will be an unforgettable event!

So, that’s a brief review of the Board meeting. More comprehensive than usual, but there are a lot of balls in the air, and members need to be informed of these important issues.

See you again in May!

Jacques Tremblay, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires