June's Video Update

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Hello everyone. My name is Jacques Tremblay and I am President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. As I record this message, I am a week away from handing the job on to Rob Stapleford, a capable and passionate leader who will take on our large agenda and finish off the 50th anniversary celebrations.

The first thing I would like to talk about is the very successful election that was just completed. This year more than 1,400 members voted, pushing the voter turnout to 32.6%.

My personal thanks to all those who let their names stand for election. I appreciate their decision and the work they put into the process. It’s not easy!

My congratulations to Dave Dickson on becoming the President-elect and to the others taking on their roles as Board members. Dave’s enthusiasm and drive have a huge impact on the work and results of the Research Committee. My special thanks, and those of our members, to those Board members who completed their terms of office this month. Their contributions to the Institute are many.

Volunteers and staff worked very hard (as always) to put together an Annual Meeting of high quality and interest. They must have succeeded because the event was sold out! Sessions like a mock trial and a panel discussion with three of the country’s top journalists were organized, along with recognition of the volunteers who have helped move the profession ahead over the years and of the past Presidents who guided and fulfilled the potential of the actuarial profession. An oral history of the CIA’s first 50 years has been written and will be available for members later this year. It is a barn-burner!

Our Outreach Program was established to help us connect with employers such as Towers, other organizations, and actuarial clubs. This year saw dozens of meetings, most recently with CAPSA and the SAAQ on pension and automobile insurance issues; the AAA; SOA; ASSA; AIA; CAS; actuarial clubs in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Calgary, and Waterloo; and the Superintendent of Pensions of Nova Scotia to discuss pension funding and transfer values.

In addition, the Institute met with the Prime Minister’s Office and the main political parties to discuss the CIA’s two election positions. Shortly, we will be meeting with Deb Matthews, Ontario’s Deputy Premier and President of the Treasury Board, to discuss actuarial involvement in evidence-based decision making.

On the public position front, from April 31, 2014, to April 1 of this year, the CIA published 24 public positions and submissions. Since then the Committee on Public Positions has approved a document on JSPP solvency (Ontario), comments on a proposed new mandate for FSCO, and an IRC submission on the IAA education syllabus. As well, the PPC helped with an appearance by Kelley McKeating before the Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee on changes to the criminal rate of interest.

On the upcoming Board meeting agenda as I speak is a very important item: what direction should the profession take on its involvement in public policy issues? I am looking forward to leading this initial discussion as I see it as one which will set the tone of our government relations work for years to come.

Also of note at the upcoming Board meeting is a deep discussion on professionalism. Kim Young’s Task Force on Professionalism has several recommendations on the issue, including adopting the IAA Principles on professionalism, forming a permanent professionalism committee, and reviewing Guiding Principle 1. The task force also recommended that a committee explore the ethical foundation of professionalism. In addition, we will be discussing a report on a special members’ meeting on the topic and work that is starting on an operational goal of defining "professionalism". What a wonderful discussion to wrap up the first 50 years of CIA history.

Next up will be a discussion about the feasibility of the CIA hosting the 2026 International Congress of Actuaries. Vancouver has been recommended as an attractive location with easy access from Asia, Europe, and North America. This is a huge commitment of time and resources for the CIA volunteers and staff, as this event is often tied to other events, like a meeting of the IAA. There are many things for us to consider, and we are truly at the start of a long process.

The Research Committee, or ResCo, submitted a terrific report with a plan. There are two experience studies, two practice area projects never previously attempted by the CIA, the development of health and flood insurance models, and two strategic projects: Impact of Aging and an IAA project on the state of the actuarial profession. There is an enterprise risk management project looking at the role of the country risk officer and annual projects such as the Report on Canadian Economic Statistics and the C-1 Survey and Report. There is also an interesting project for a web-based tool that the public could use to project longevity on a single and joint basis.

As members would know, the CIA has partnered with the AAA, CAS, and SOA to create the Actuaries Climate Index. A working group of the CAS Climate Change Committee, headed by Caterina Lindman, has been hard at work for several years with the climate scientists at Solterra Solutions, a BC-based environmental consulting firm. At the recent NAAC meeting, we had a terrific demonstration from one of the scientists and Doug Collins, Chair of the CAS committee.

Members have seen budgets to implement a customer relationship management system at the Head Office. This project has moved forward at a high speed in the last year and will roll out in the last part of the summer. The Board will participate in a demonstration and update of the project.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the CIA. At a recent Board meeting, a number of recommendations around restructuring the MSC mandate and the creation of a new volunteer management committee were approved by the Board. In order to provide more assistance to chairs in recruiting, staffing, and planning for their committee, to encourage the involvement of younger members, and establish an assessment program to promote the identification of strong performers, the Board approved the recommendation that the MSC create the Volunteer Management and Development Committee, which the MSC recently approved. As well, the mandate of the MSC was changed to include this element: "To develop, monitor, and maintain an appropriate volunteer management system." These changes will have a very positive impact on the identification and development of the future leaders of the CIA.

Finally, I want to say a few words about the past year. There have been many, many accomplishments by the CIA and its 500-plus volunteers over the last year. You will be hearing more about these things, as some of the projects involve some delicate negotiations with many of our education partners. But from a personal perspective, I want to congratulate and thank my Board members, all the volunteers, and the Head Office Staff for their support and constant efforts to accomplish the goals and objectives of the strategic plan. It has been a very challenging but wonderfully rewarding year for me personally and for the profession.

It has been an honour and a privilege to serve you all!

Jacques Tremblay, FCIA, was President of the CIA for 2014-2015.

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires