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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires

April 2015
Elliott Bauer
D.W. Simpson & Company
Eckler Ltd.
Your Institute

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

Hello, everyone. My name is Jacques Tremblay and I am President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. This is my message for April to May of 2015.

Spring has sprung and to help kick things off or celebrate, the Practice Education Course, or PEC, is being offered May 24–27 in Ottawa. After years of study and exam writing, the target is in sight: Fellowship with the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. And what a worthy goal it is! I want to wish all candidates at the PEC the best of luck in their preparation for their exam!

We also have an important survey in the field at the moment, on our University Accreditation Program or UAP. The survey is focused on gauging member awareness and opinions on the UAP. I encourage every member to take a few minutes to participate.

In addition to the PEC and UAP news I have two main topics for this update. The first concerns the work of a new and important body at the CIA: the Committee on Public Positions or PPC. The second is an update on the recent IAA meetings in Zürich and the bilateral meetings we worked on at that meeting.

For the past 10 years, the CIA had a very good policy regarding the process for public positions to be processed and approved. But in the name of continuous improvement we felt it was time for a review and update.

The review was conducted in early 2014, and the new policy was approved by the Member Services Council last summer. In November, CIA past President Mike Hale volunteered to chair the PPC and his group has been busy ever since.

The purpose of a public position is to establish and document the views of the Institute. They can take the form of a submission or an opinion letter to an external audience. They are helpful in drafting press releases, preparing for media interviews, or corresponding with an external body on a topic for which the CIA has a position.

The PPC is very involved in applying the policy appropriately in its work, but it has also been focusing on another aspect of its mandate. The committee is tasked with conducting continual scans to ensure that appropriate positions are in place for topics of currency or those on the near horizon. Recently the PPC met to discuss future positions and we expect to hear more from it soon.

In December, following a meeting with MP Ted Hsu, the PPC decided the CIA should create several public positions to present to the federal parties, with our recommendation that they be included in their election platforms.

The CIA’s manager of government relations and communications, Elliot Hughes, worked with several committees to create documents to present to the PPC, which subsequently approved two platform positions. The first, from the Health Committee, which is chaired by Pierre-Yves Julien, calls on the Government of Canada to incentivize Canadians to dedicate 30 minutes a day to physical activity as the first step in addressing the country’s rocketing healthcare costs. The second position, from the Pension Advisory Committee, which is chaired by Michel St-Germain, recommended the appointment of a national pensions champion who could work with the provinces to develop a national strategy to secure better pensions for all Canadians within a system that is simple, efficient, flexible, and transparent. The PPC went through its process and approved both positions.

The CIA has met with the Prime Minister’s Office to present the positions and is scheduling meetings with those responsible for the election platform for the NDP and Liberal parties.

Finally, the PPC approved a public position developed by the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee, chaired by Karen Lockridge. The title is Climate Change and Sustainability—Risk, Financial Impacts, and the Work of Actuaries. I encourage members to read the short version as well as the election platform documents.

Turning to the recent meeting of the International Actuarial Association, or IAA, in Zürich, there are a couple of aspects to touch on. One, the IAA meetings themselves, and two, as many actuarial associations attend these meetings, we take the opportunity to meet with several with which we are working on a variety of projects.

In Zürich, John Maroney from the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, or IAIS, commented on the Insurance Capital Standard consultative document released in January. There were 55 responses covering 1,300 non-confidential pages. The IAIS is compiling and consolidating replies, which will be available on the public portion of its website shortly. The IAIS will launch field testing at the end of this month and 33 internationally active insurance groups will participate. The IAIS will host public stakeholder meetings in the first two weeks of May. The IAIS recognizes that professional interaction with the IAA is very important, and input from the IAA and other organizations is welcome. Consultation on the high loss absorbency, or HLA, requirements will begin the last week of June. The HLA requirements will be presented to the Financial Stability Board in the fall. There remains a strong push by the board and the G20 to complete and implement an insurance capital standard by 2019.

Much progress has been made on a risk book by the IAA Insurance Regulation Committee. The committee discussed the elements of each of 11 topics. The chapters are: Catastrophe Risk, Operational Risk, Risk Management and Regulation – Practical Views, Capital, Non-proportional Reinsurance, Group, ORSA-ERM, Stress Testing, Actuarial Function, Standards, and Model Governance. The next step for the committee is to finalize three to six topics by the end of June, with the rest to be completed in time for review in Vancouver in the fall. The committee also approved the release of the paper Deriving Value from the ORSA – Board Perspective.

The IAA Council approved the Final International Standard of Actuarial Practice on Employee Benefits for release.

The education committee provided an update on the new International Education Syllabus being developed. There is more to come on this topic at the Vancouver meeting, but a lot of good work is being done by talented people worldwide on this topic.

In addition, the CIA held bilateral meetings in Zürich with the American Academy of Actuaries, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Society of Actuaries, Actuarial Society of South Africa, Australian Institute of Actuaries, and Casualty Actuarial Society. Very good discussions were held on how to provide enhanced continuing professional development opportunities to our members, on criminal and medical investigations, and on a banking syllabus, to name only a few subjects. We, the CIA, have great relationships with our actuarial counterparts worldwide and meeting face-to-face at these international conferences only enhances our mutual collaborations.

The CIA renewed its mutual recognition agreement with the Australian Institute of Actuaries while in Zürich. The document was approved by the CIA Board at our March meeting.

So, yet another busy month for CIA staff and volunteers! But the collaborative and cooperative environment helps ensure we produce excellent work that we are all proud of!

Keep in mind that if you have comments about any of the topics I have covered in this update, you can connect with me at

And finally, a reminder that we are less than two months away from the CIA 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting and Gala Celebration. Registration is active and hotel accommodations are going fast. Please take a look at the program and make plans to attend!

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



By Marc Tardif, FCIA

As Chair of the MSC, I inherited a mandate and a strong team of council and committee members. After a little more than a year, I thought it was time to see how we are doing against our mandate and here are my thoughts.

Play an Active Part in the Public Dialogue

We believe actuaries have something to say when it comes to understanding and quantifying future financial contingencies and risks. The general public and governmental organizations are prepared to listen. The Committee on Public Positions (PPC) has been scanning the environment to identify topics where the CIA should have a public position. It is now in the phase of prioritizing and will soon be assigning production tasks. In the meantime, the PPC has been very active in reviewing the responses of the CIA to many hot topics, such as the funding of defined benefit pension plans for municipal employees in Québec, the proposed Ontario Registered Pension Plan, the proposed insurance contribution amendments at the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec, and the Government of Ontario’s consultation on climate change.

The Climate Change and Sustainability Committee has also spoken out by preparing a public position: Natural Disasters, Climate Changes, and Insurance Premiums. This committee also organized the Climate Change and Sustainability Forum that took place in Toronto this month.

Provide Valuable Services to our Members

The Research Committee continues to deliver many valuable reports to our members. Earlier this year, it released an analysis of claims due to occupational diseases, which will serve our members practising in workers’ compensation. Members should expect the imminent release of a report on lapse experience for T100 and universal life policies with a level cost of insurance. The committee has reached out to many practice areas, seeking new areas of research. This has forced it to set criteria enabling it to prioritize the projects.

As I see the opportunity to volunteer as a two-way street (bringing value to the CIA while giving the volunteer an opportunity to improve leadership skills), I commend the work done by the Committee on Volunteer Initiatives (recently renamed the Volunteer Management and Development Committee), which, with the assistance of the Head Office, has completed the revision of the Volunteer Applicant Registry, making it much easier for members to apply to join committees or councils that interest them. The committee has started work on developing tools and programs that would assist members in taking on greater leadership roles within the profession. It is also working in cooperation with the New Members Committee to encourage younger members to volunteer.

Promote the Actuarial Profession

Contributing to the promotion of the actuarial profession, the PPC prepared two papers that were presented to the federal parties to be considered in their upcoming election platform. One dealt with pension topics, suggesting among several points that the Government of Canada appoint a national pensions champion to work with the provinces to secure better pensions for all Canadians. The second suggested that the federal government encourage Canadians to exercise daily, which will reduce the costs of Medicare. Seeing Beyond Risk, targeting private- and public-sector leaders and elected representatives, released a new edition in January: "Insurers’ Insights: Fighting Fraud with Data".

If you have any questions or comments to make on the work of the MSC, or if you are interested in joining us, do not hesitate to contact me at

Marc Tardif, FCIA, is the Chair of the Member Services Council.


Mary Kate Archibald, Richard Brown, Patrick De Roy, and Guillaume Turcotte have been named as principals at Eckler.

In the Globe and Mail, William da Silva of Aon Hewitt explained how some pension funds were doing better than others due to derisking strategies.

Heitham Hamam has been named senior manager, actuarial analysis, total rewards, at Scotiabank. He has previously worked as a senior pension consultant at Morneau Shepell and an actuarial analyst at Mercer.

The DC Plan Summit organized by Benefits Canada featured participation from several CIA members, including Ken Millard of Great-West Life and Idan Shlesinger of Morneau Shepell, who both served as moderators.

Maureen Premdas has been appointed as a partner and senior consultant in Mercer's health and benefits business in Toronto. She previously served as director of benefits and wellness at Scotiabank.

In Morneau Shepell's Vision newsletter, Fred Vettese said defined contribution pension plans would continue to play an important role in providing retirement security for many years to come.

Networking is a key part of any successful professional's career, and the CIA is offering you a fresh opportunity to inform your peers about your achievements and progress.

Our (e)Bulletin section, On the Move, is a chance for you to publicize your new job, title, credentials or other information. This is an opportunity to tell thousands of fellow actuarial professionals—whether they are ex-colleagues, former college friends, potential employers, future clients, etc.—about, for example:
  • Your new job;
  • A change of title or area of responsibility;
  • Your new qualifications;
  • A change of contact details;
  • Awards or other recognition; or
  • Publication of academic papers or articles.
Simply send an e-mail—one line of information can be enough, but feel free to add more if you so wish—to the CIA's English Editor at and we will aim to include it in the next issue of the (e)Bulletin.

For more news of CIA members and their activities, follow the CIA on Twitter.

Institute News

The Elections Committee is pleased to present the 2015 slate of candidates. CIA members with voting rights are encouraged to vote.

This slate of candidates was developed through the election process adopted by the CIA in 2007, and includes candidates identified by the committee and other members, as well as members who put their names forward.

Position statements and biographical data for all of the candidates are available on the Elections page of the CIA website (remember to log in to the members site), by clicking on their photo. Voting got underway on April 29 and prior to this, candidates were invited to participate in an online discussion forum and post responses to topics suggested by the 2015 Elections Committee or members. Members can view these discussions by candidate or by topic.

There are 12 candidates for Director, and three for President-elect. John Dark has been re-elected to the position of Secretary-Treasurer by acclamation.

Voting members are able to cast their votes electronically until 3:00 p.m. EDT on May 20. An e-mail was sent to members at the beginning of the voting period with instructions on how to submit a ballot.

Slate of Candidates for 2015–2016:

David R. Dickson
Gaetano Geretto
Frederick J. Thompson

Secretary Treasurer
John Dark (re-elected by acclamation)

Peter B. Douglas
Emile M. Elefteriadis
Claude A. Ferguson
Barry R. Gros
Minaz H. Lalani
Denise M. Lang
Kevin A. Lee
Ralph Ovsec
Shannon M. Patershuk
Marc Tardif
Jason Vary
Ashley W. Witts



Jason Malone, left, and Les Rehbeli

By Jason Malone, FCIA, and Les Rehbeli, FCIA

Those involved in the valuation and financial reporting of insurance contract or pension liabilities are probably aware of the current direction of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) with respect to the discounting of these liabilities to reflect the time value of money.

What may not be as commonly understood is that the respective IASB standards for insurance contracts—International Financial Reporting Standard 4 (IFRS 4)—and for pensions—International Accounting Standard 19 (IAS 19)—present different approaches to discounting the future liability cash flows. Considering the current research project undertaken by the IASB, one wonders whether the IASB will eventually seek convergence of the different approaches for discounting insurance versus pension liability cash flows. This article explores some of the similarities and differences in approaches between these two standards.

In principle, both standards are attempting to achieve a similar goal: to discount the liability cash flows at a rate that reflects the characteristics of the liability. The differences lie in the level of judgment left to the practitioners to derive the discount rate. Where the insurance standard outlines a principle-based approach to derive the appropriate discount rate, the pension standard offers a more prescriptive approach.

The IFRS 4 exposure draft (ED) released in 2013 requires insurers to discount the future cash flows using discount rates that are consistent with observable market prices for instruments whose characteristics reflect those of the insurance contract liability in terms of timing, currency, and liquidity. It also directs insurers to ignore any factors that influence the market rates that are not relevant to the insurance contract liability. What this means is that the discount rates reflect any illiquidity premiums observed in market pricing, but ignore credit risk premiums, as these are unrelated to the liability. Practically, the ED offers two approaches for deriving these discount rates but, in theory at least, these should result in the same answer. Under the first approach, "top-down", an insurer would base the calculation on the observed yields of a portfolio of assets that supports the liability, and remove any credit risk premiums inherent in the market prices. By contrast, the "bottom-up" approach begins with the observed risk-free rates and adds an illiquidity premium, where the illiquidity premium reflects the liquidity of the liability. In certain cases (for example, where the policyholders’ return is linked to the performance of underlying assets as would occur with participating insurance or universal life insurance), the discount rate is set in relation to those underlying returns, reflecting a principle called "mirroring".

In the current version of IAS 19, the standard requires plan sponsors to discount future cash flows with the applicable high-quality corporate bonds. In countries where there is no deep market for such bonds, government bonds shall be used. In Canada, our market has been defined as "liquid"; thus high-quality corporate bonds are used to determine the discount rate for post-employment benefit programs. They have been interpreted to be a corporate bond with the two highest ratings given by credit rating agencies, such as Aa. This application stems from a letter sent to the Financial Accounting Standards Board by the Securities Exchange Commission more than 20 years ago. Most standard-setters globally have looked at this approach to determine the rate and in most cases have not strayed away from the Aa approach. In particular, the IASB’s IFRS Interpretations Committee has discussed the discount rate methodology numerous times in the past decade and although there is no unanimity on the current approach, there is no other approach that does have unanimity.

Both the insurance and pension approaches have many practical challenges for application in Canada. The key challenge faced by both is a lack of depth of publicly traded long-duration assets that match the duration of the liabilities, which generally extend much longer than the available assets. This requires insurers and post-employment benefit plans to develop approaches for extrapolating observed market prices beyond the duration at which the last market price is observable. At this point, can we still say that the discount rate is based on the market? IFRS 4 addresses this by clarifying that the discount rates cannot be inconsistent with observed market rates, implying that any reasonable extrapolation approach could be used. IAS 19 states that the discount rate for longer maturities can be extrapolated using market rates along the yield curve.

Another key challenge that is seemingly unique to insurance contract liabilities is the selection of an appropriate illiquidity premium in a bottom-up approach. One first needs to classify the liability in terms of how liquid one perceives it to be. One then needs to be able to derive illiquidity premiums from the observed asset market prices. The former is difficult to achieve, as insurance contract liabilities are not generally traded and are not really considered "liquid" in the market sense of the word. And splitting the discount rate into its component parts (for example, risk-free yield, credit spread, and illiquidity premium) can also be an abstract challenge, especially in a market where there is limited depth of corporate bond issues. How much of the observed risk premium is truly attributed to credit versus liquidity?

Some practitioners are therefore considering the top-down approach as being easier to implement, although one still has to address the decomposition of asset market risk premiums into credit versus liquidity. The liquidity question is also a key item within the benefits area. As noted earlier, under IAS 19, corporate bonds can only be used if there is a deep enough market. The measure as to whether or not the market is deemed deep is not well defined and is left to the practitioners’ judgment. The impact can be quite significant as discount rates would revert to government, which can be significantly lower. One can question whether or not the Canadian market is deep enough with a handful of Aa corporate bond issues beyond 10 years but the Canadian community has accepted that it is in fact deep and as such uses the corporate bond environment to define discount rates.

A final topic relates to disclosure of changes in discount rates from period to period. This is a complex topic in the insurance valuation world, and varies based on whether the contracts are participating or non-participating. For non-participating policies, practitioners also will be required to value certain components of the liability at discount rates originally determined at contract issue, and present the resulting changes in liabilities as part of regular income, while presenting changes due to current market consistent discount rates as part of Other Comprehensive Income, or OCI. For participating insurance, the rules and considerations are still being discussed for the application of this principle. The volatility of the corporate market from year to year is also a big issue in the post-employment environment. IAS 19 (Revised) has moved some of the volatility off the profit and loss statement and onto the OCI, but plan sponsors are still struggling to adjust to the rapid movement of interest rates of the past several years.

As can be seen, there are many similarities in approaches between the two standards. Time will tell whether the IAS will ultimately move to converge the approaches.

Jason Malone, FCIA, is a member of the International Relations Council. Les Rehbeli, FCIA, is Vice-chair of the International Insurance Accounting Committee.


By Alicia Rollo, CHRL

As we wrap up the third year of the CIA’s University Accreditation Program (UAP) and conduct its first major review, it is timely to discuss rigour.

Initial Principles and Approach

We believe that enhancing ties with universities makes the actuarial profession in Canada stronger.

When the UAP policy was published in 2010 for implementation in the fall of 2012, it laid out the broad principles under which the program would be governed, the minimum requirements that accredited universities must meet, and the conditions under which a candidate could be granted credit for some of the CIA’s preliminary educational requirements. It also laid out the requirements for the necessary short- and long-term reviews that would serve as an opportunity to reflect on the first principles and objectives of the program, ensuring that it continues to meet the needs of the Institute and its stakeholders.


Briefly, for readers who are less familiar with the UAP, the CIA model is course-by-course accreditation mapped to the CIA, Society of Actuaries (SOA), and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) preliminary education syllabi, as opposed to degree or program accreditation used in some other actuarial organizations around the world. The decision to go forward with this model was made to allow the CIA to closely monitor each university’s ability to map, teach, and test the learning objectives of the syllabi. There are advantages and disadvantages to both models, and program accreditation remains a possibility for consideration.

The UAP offers candidates the option of applying for credit for preliminary exams FM, MFE, MLC, LC (CAS candidates only), and C, with between one and four courses required for each exam credit, at the minimum established grade, which is always at least B/70 with some courses requiring grades as high as A/90. We set these grades by examining the historical grade distributions for each accredited course and by comparing the estimated number of exemptions to the overall passing percentages for SOA/CAS exams. Minimum course grades were set with a margin to erring on the university exemptions being a higher standard. This has proven true with an overall average passing percentage for the UAP of 36.5% across all 11 accredited universities, which we observe to be lower than the overall passing percentage on SOA preliminary exams.

Candidates must write exams P and ST (CAS candidates only), and there are no Fellowship credits available through the UAP. Exams P and ST were not included in the program because the majority of required courses are taught outside the actuarial science department, and are therefore beyond the scope of monitoring by the CIA and the accreditation actuary (AcA) in each university. The monitoring of courses is just one of the ways in which the CIA applies rigour to the UAP.

So what are the other means to ensure that it remains a solid and rigorous approach to preliminary education? There are several formal mechanisms, such as the policy, guidelines, and best practices that outline the required syllabus coverage (85 percent or greater), examination procedures (80 percent of the final grade must come from examination), and minimum grade required for each course for credit. Where syllabus mapping is less than 100%, universities must provide detail on what additional material is covered that is relevant to the profession.

Representation of the Profession within Universities

Every university must have a CIA-appointed AcA who is a Fellow. The AcA is the eyes and ears of the CIA within the university, and is the main contact for all communication and for the administration of the UAP. The Institute relies on the AcA’s collaboration to promote and administer UAP requirements internally. Therefore, the CIA stays in close contact with AcAs at all accredited universities through periodic calls to obtain feedback from the universities, and to provide information including advance notice of policy changes to universities and best practices. The CIA Accreditation Committee (AC), AcAs, and staff also hold an annual joint meeting to discuss the strategy and direction of the UAP, as well as its day-to-day administration.

The UAP policy also outlines requirements for additional faculty, to ensure adequate representation of the profession at the university. At the course instruction level, confirmation by individual course instructors through the Instructor Acknowledgement Form provides the CIA with the assurance and evidence that every accredited course meets the CIA’s syllabus and examination requirements, prior to the Institute granting credit to candidates. Should a course not meet the requirements, it would not be eligible for UAP credit. The form also collects vital data on class size, the number of students at or above the required grade, the average grade, and other information for monitoring purposes, which is valuable for the CIA to collect and analyze over time in relation to the potential for grade inflation.

Annual Reviews

Additional rigour is provided through the annual external examiner (EE) visit to each university. The one-and-a-half-day visits include a review of examinations and course grade distributions, and one-on-one meetings with the AcA, instructors, and members of the university leadership, including the dean, vice-dean, and department head. The EE also verifies the university’s ongoing compliance with the CIA’s policies, guidelines, and best practices for its continued accreditation.

Finally, the program is continually monitored by the Eligibility and Education Council (EEC) and CIA Board on a formal and informal basis.

Day-to-Day Administration

In addition to the formal monitoring and control mechanisms, there is also the day-to-day administration, which adds significant rigour to the program. At the Head Office, our staff team (Joseph Gabriel, staff actuary, education; Caroline Thebault, coordinator, education and professional development; and I) are kept busy working with the 11 universities, responding to member and candidate inquiries, tracking syllabus mapping, developing transitional rules as university courses and/or the UAP syllabus change, organizing visits to students, coordinating the EE reviews, collecting course outlines at the beginning of each semester, and gathering and analyzing data from instructor acknowledgement forms at the end of each course. We review student applications for UAP credit and coordinate the sharing of their data with the SOA and CAS, which allows candidates to travel seamlessly through their education systems toward the completion of the CIA’s additional eligibility requirements.

Ongoing Monitoring

We actively monitor the UAP environment for potential issues and seek solutions that will meet the needs of the profession, universities, and students. We are also putting mechanisms in place to track data so that we can follow students’ progress through Fellowship exams to confirm that candidates receiving UAP exemptions have the appropriate foundational knowledge to be successful in later Fellowship exams.

The combined efforts of the CIA Board, EEC, AC, AcAs, faculty of the accredited universities, and CIA staff are ensuring that the program remains a viable and strategic component of the CIA’s education system and that it produces candidates with the requisite knowledge to carry them through their later studies to the ultimate achievement of the FCIA designation.

Recent UAP Member Survey

Finally, I thought that it would be interesting to share a few preliminary results from our recent member survey on the UAP. As part of the first-principles review, we wanted to gauge members’ UAP awareness, perceptions, knowledge and opinions. With more than 600 responses at the time of this article, the survey is already providing us with important insights into the way forward.

  • Awareness of the program is increasing, but detailed knowledge of the UAP remains quite low.
    • We have more work to do in communicating what it is and how it works to students, employers, and the general membership.
  • The majority (70 percent) of respondents feel that university education is an appropriate means of educating and evaluating actuarial knowledge at the preliminary level.
    • We are very pleased with this result. Because 29 percent of respondents said they do not agree with this method of educating and assessing actuarial candidates, we realize that we must continue to raise the awareness and enhance the rigour of the program to gain member and stakeholder confidence. It should also be noted that the CIA will maintain an examination-based option to the ACIA designation for those who prefer that route.

Please watch for more information regarding the survey results and the final report on the UAP first-principles review in the fall.

We are pleased with and proud of our progress as the only actuarial organization in North America to implement a university accreditation system. There is still a great deal to accomplish as we review, refine, and continually enhance the Canadian education system with the help of our education partners.

Our Thanks to Those Who Paved the Way

We are enormously thankful for the work of the many volunteers and members of the academic community who have helped to get us here. Early reports and recommendations for a university-based education system in North America date back to the 1960s, and have helped build the UAP of today. The combined strength of the actuarial profession in Canada and our accredited universities will ensure that the CIA’s education system continues to develop outstanding actuarial professionals for the future.

Questions and comments can be directed to

Alicia Rollo, CHRL, is the CIA’s director of membership, education, and professional development.


CIA members may have become actuarial professionals for any number of different reasons, but a new survey offers a number of suggestions about why "actuary" is such a good career.

Ranking it once again as the top choice for workers in America, CareerCast’s analysis says that actuary is the best option because of its:

  • Career potential;
  • Job satisfaction;
  • Relatively low stress;
  • Positive working environment; and
  • Average income, which the survey puts at US$94,209.

CareerCast’s annual report regularly includes actuary among the top five career choices, but this year the profession was ahead of other math-focused roles: the top 10 included mathematician, statistician, and data scientist.

The website offers a word of warning to anybody thinking of a career change. CIA members considering a new field should probably avoid the following, which are judged to be the worst jobs in 2015: broadcaster, cook, enlisted military personnel, lumberjack, and, worst of all, newspaper reporter.

The CIA’s website features vacancies from actuarial employers of varying types and sizes; be sure to visit the Actuarial Jobs Bank.

Social media sites are playing an increasingly important role in institutional investors’ decisions, according to a new study.

Greenwich Associates and its partner, LinkedIn, discovered that almost 80 per cent of institutional investors use sites like Twitter and LinkedIn as part of their regular work flow, and approximately 30 per cent of these investors said information received via social media has directly influenced an investment recommendation or decision.

The study, which can be requested here, found that almost every institutional investor used social media (79 percent of them at work), and that when they found insightful information they took action, whether by sharing it, making an investment decision, or deciding to work with a particular company. It also reports that 48 per cent of investors said that information from social media prompted them to do additional research on an industry issue or topic.

Greenwich’s report, Institutional Investing in the Digital Age: How Social Media Informs and Shapes and Investing Process, involved 256 participants from pension plans, insurers, and foundations and endowments in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The organizations varied from those holding less than $250 million in assets to others holding $10 billion.

The study also found that:

  • LinkedIn is the preferred source, with 52 percent penetration among institutional investors;
  • Facebook and YouTube are increasingly being used for group discussion and companies’ video distribution (see the CIA’s own Facebook and YouTube channels);
  • Institutions used Twitter (here is the CIA’s Twitter feed) to seek opinions or commentary on market events—although they preferred the more targeted feeds on LinkedIn (follow the CIA on LinkedIn here); and
  • Participants in Asia are consistently higher users of social media than those in North America and Europe.

Study author Dan Connell said: "These results show that social media is influencing decisions that can result in the allocations of billions of investment dollars around the world. With approximately 40 percent of the institutions globally expecting to increase their use of social media in the coming year, we’re projecting a further, rapid increase of social media influence in institutional investment markets."


David Ross

1. Why did you become an actuary?

I wanted a career where I felt that if I worked hard I could achieve a lot.

2. When you tell people you’re an actuary, what do they think you do?

Usually something related to risk and/or life expectancy.

3. Who has inspired you the most during your career? Did you have a mentor in your early career?

Early on it was Byron Corner (an actuary) and later on it was Greg Boal (a non-actuary).

4. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I have worked in asset-liability management (ALM) and investments for about 20 years now and the best part is that I have to deal with something different every day. The markets are constantly changing, the liabilities are always a challenge to predict, and this means my work is never dull.

5. What career would you follow if you weren’t an actuary?


6. What are your hobbies?

In summer I do outdoor sports, in winter ice hockey, and we design and build projects on our lake house.

7. What is your favourite music, book, and film?

All forms of music, but lately I am leaning toward country. All book genres, but I am currently reading Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books. I enjoy a wide variety of film genres.

8. Where is your dream vacation destination?

Either to our lake house or Bermuda.

9. What do you do better than anyone you know?

I’m not sure there is anything. I think you always need to feel that you can improve, innovate, and get better. That should be a lifelong ambition.

10. If you could be anybody else, alive or dead, who would it be, and why?

No one. It might be interesting to have lived in a different era, but I have no interest in being anyone other than myself.

David Ross is vice-president, investment strategy and ALM, at Resolution Life.

If you would like to be featured in Introduce Yourself, please answer the 10 questions above by completing our online form here.


215028 Policy on Waiving Membership Dues

215026 Mutual Recognition Agreement between Institute of Actuaries of Australia and The Canadian Institute of Actuaries

215027 Statement of Investment Policy

215025 Memorandum: Revised Effective Date: Initial Communication of a Promulgation of the Mortality Table Referenced in the Standards of Practice for Pension Plans (Subsection 3530)

215024 Educational Note—Assumptions for Hypothetical Wind-Up and Solvency Valuations with Effective Dates between December 31, 2014, and December 30, 2015

215020 A national champion is needed for Canada’s pensioners

215021 Healthy living is a potential solution for a sustainable healthcare system

215019 Front-Page Risks: Risks Commonly Occurring and Reported in the Canadian News

ERMRTI ERM Research Topics Inventory

EECM119 Eligibility and Education Council Minutes - Meeting nº 119 (February 19, 2015)

EECA120 Eligibility and Education Council Agenda - Meeting nº 120 (April 15, 2015)

RESCO0415 Research Committee Newsletter - April 2015

FERGUSON2015 2015 Elections – Claude A. Ferguson, FCIA(2000), FSA(2000)

LEE2015 2015 Elections – Kevin A. Lee, FCIA(1999), FCAS(1999), MAAA(2000)

LALANI2015 2015 Elections – Minaz H. Lalani, FCIA(1985), FSA(1985), CERA(2008), FCA(2010)

VARY2015 2015 Elections – Jason Vary, FCIA(2002), FSA(2002)

LANG2015 2015 Elections – Denise M. Lang, FCIA(1982), FSA(1982)

ELEFTERIADIS2015 2015 Elections – Emile Elefteriadis, FCIA(1993), FSA(1993)

DICKSON2015 2015 Elections – David R. Dickson, FCIA(1979), FSA(1979)

PATERSHUK2015 2015 Elections – Shannon M. Patershuk, FCIA(1980), FSA(1979), CERA(2008)

TARDIF2015 2015 Elections – Marc Tardif, FCIA(1980), FSA(1980)

OVSEC2015 2015 Elections – Ralph Ovsec, FCIA(1992), FSA(1992), MAAA(2013)

WITTS2015 2015 Elections – Ashley W. Witts, FCIA(1990), FIA(1988), FSA(2002)

GERETTO2015 2015 Elections – Gaetano Geretto, FCIA(1989), FSA(1988), CERA(2009)

GROS2015 2015 Elections – Barry R. Gros, FCIA(1982), FSA(1982)

DOUGLAS2015 2015 Elections – Peter B. Douglas, FCIA(1991), FSA(1991)

THOMPSON2015 2015 Elections – Frederick J. Thompson, FCIA(1969), FSA(1969)

DARK2015 2015 Elections – John L. Dark, FCIA(1979), FSA(1979)

DFINSTRUCTIONS 2015 CIA Election Candidate Discussion Forum User Instructions

SES2CF2015-3 Session 2: Health and the Environment Toxin Toxout

SES4CF2015-1 Session 4: Evolving Investment Landscape

MSCM113 Member Services Council Minutes - Meeting nº 113 (February 25, 2015)

MSCA114 Member Services Council Agenda - Meeting nº 114 (April 7, 2015)

SES2CF2015-1 Session 2 - Climate Change and Health

PPMCCS Public Position: Climate Change and Sustainability—Risk, Financial Impacts and the Work of Actuaries (Full Version)

PPPCCS Public Position: Climate Change and Sustainability—Risk, Financial Impacts and the Work of Actuaries

AA2014-12 Session 12: Catastrophe Model Updates: Impact on the Reinsurance Programs (Volume 25, September 2014)

SES5CF2015-1 Session 5: Business Perspective

SES1CF2015-2 Session 1: Physical Impacts of Climate Change

SES1CF2015-1 Session 1 - Physical Impacts of Climate Change

SC033115 Standards of Practice (March 31, 2015)

SCP033115 Standards of Practice – Public Personal Injury Compensation Plans (March 31, 2015)

SG033115 Standards of Practice – General Standards (March 31, 2015)

SP033115 Standards of Practice – Pensions (March 31, 2015)

SPB033115 Standards of Practice – Post-Employment Benefit Plans (March 31, 2015)

SAE033115 Standards of Practice – Actuarial Evidence (March 31, 2015)

215023 Submission to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change: Ontario's Climate Change Discussion Paper 2015

Tweets from @CIA_Actuaries:

#Actuaries and other finance experts have #ORSA discussions over coffee, sponsored by @CIA_Actuaries and @SOActuaries

Joint statement from @KerryLynneFindl @MinJoeOliver on $10,000 TFSA contribution limit via @CanRevAgency

#Actuary is once again rated as the top #career in North America

#Actuarial study: #RCMP #pension plan members are living longer than general Canadian population via @OSFICanada

This #NVW2015, we want to say thanks to Canada’s 13.3 million #volunteers – volunteers rock!

More than 550 #Actuaries #volunteer with us to advance their profession. #ThankYou #Amazing #Celebrate #GivingBack #NVW25015

We want to know about your best #volunteer experience to date. How do you make a difference in your community? #NVW2015

#NVW2015 is April 12–18. Congratulations to our #volunteers for 50 years of amazing work! #CIA50ICA

It's #NationalVolunteerWeek! Thank you to all CIA #volunteers for your hard work! #NVW2015 #Actuaries is hearing from business leaders on challenges and opportunities related to #sustainability & #ClimateChange

Evolving #Investment landscape & #environmental, #social, and #governance considerations at

Thanks to keynote speaker @Glen4ONT for your thoughts on #environment and #ClimateChange

Taking the stage now is @Glen4ONT, MPP and Minister of the #Environment and #ClimateChange

How are environmental factors like #pollution and #climatechange impacting the health of #Canadians?

Physical #Impacts of #climatechange: expectations, uncertainties and adaptation up next at

CIA #ClimateChange and #Sustainability Forum is starting in #Toronto! #ClimateForum

#Actuaries will be discussing #ClimateChange & #Sustainability in #Toronto tomorrow

#Actuaries looking for work? Check out the CIA Actuarial #JobsBank

#Pre-retirement and #taxes free interactive webinar via @CanRevAgency #pension #RRSP #annuities #Canada

Calendar of Events
Board and Council Updates


Jean-Yves Rioux has resigned as a liaison to the Member Services Council, effective February 25, 2015, and he leaves with thanks.

Eligibility and Education Council

The following people have been appointed to the (sub)committees and task force named below, effectively immediately:


  • Continuing Education: Houston Cheng, who has also been appointed as Chair of the committee’s Property and Casualty Insurance Subcommittee;
  • CIA Education Syllabus: Minaz Lalani, Bruce Langstroth, Isabelle Larouche, Sophia Banduk, and Stéphane McGee;
  • Graduate Scholarship Program Selection: John Dark;
  • Individual Life and Annuities and Finance and Investment Subcommittees for the 2015 Practice Education Course: John Horosko; and
  • Task Force to Define Professionalism Within the CIA: Kim Young (Chair) and Rémi Villeneuve—the task force’s mandate is to work on the related operational plan goals until a permanent committee is established.

The following people have completed their terms in the following positions, and leave with thanks:


  • Continuing Education Committee member and Chair of the committee’s Property and Casualty Insurance Subcommittee: Nathalie Bégin;
  • Property and Casualty Insurance Subcommittee members: Ling Bai and Ming Zhang; and
  • Accreditation Actuary at the University of Manitoba: Jeffrey Strong.

Member Services Council

The following people have been appointed as vice-chairs of the committees named below:

  • Climate Change and Sustainability: Catherine Jacques-Brissette, effective March 18, 2015; and
  • New Members: Joseph Kazibwe, effective March 25, 2015.

The Committee on Volunteer Initiatives has been replaced by the Volunteer Management and Development Committee. The members remain the same and a new mandate will be defined later.

Kayee Ng and Jim Murta have resigned from the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee, effective March 18, 2015, and leave with thanks.