In Memoriam – E. Sydney Jackson


Former CIA president and founding member E. Sydney Jackson passed away April 10, 2016. Aged 93, he was the last surviving founding member of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA), and the only one to have witnessed the CIA’s 50th anniversary.

After earning his BComm from the University of Manitoba in 1947, he taught actuarial studies for a year. In 1948, he joined the actuarial department of the Manufacturers Insurance Company of Canada. He was appointed chief actuary in 1956 and actuarial vice-president in 1964.

Mr. Jackson was the first elected CIA President-elect in 1965, becoming the Institute’s third President in 1966. As one of the founding members of the Institute, his name appears in the Act of federal Parliament that incorporated the CIA.

"Those guys were influential in grasping the concern that Canadians needed a legal standing for the profession," said Rob Dowsett, in Our history. Our achievements., the CIA’s oral history book. "Naylor, Humphrys, and Syd Jackson studied the possibilities of how to get legal recognition for Canadian actuaries in Canada."

Contributing to the oral history book, Mr. Jackson himself recalled the atmosphere that led to the creation of the Institute. "There was concern about the way the actuarial profession was developing in the United States, where anybody could call themselves an actuary," he said. "There was a feeling that we, in Canada, would only like to say that an actuary is a Fellow of a recognized body. As far as I know, I’m the only surviving member of that working group. I think it went through quite routinely as an Act of Parliament."

In 1970, Mr. Jackson was appointed executive vice-president of Manulife and then President in 1972, the youngest person ever to have held the position with the firm. After leading a major period of expansion for the company, Mr. Jackson became Manulife’s chair of the board and chief executive officer. Chair until 1990, he later served as director, interim chair, and vice-chair until he retired from the firm in 1994.

"I only met Mr. Jackson once as part of a pension project for the industry," CIA President Rob Stapleford says. "He was a very gracious man who made a nervous young actuary feel comfortable."

E. Sydney Jackson obituary

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires