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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires

January 2016
Elliott Bauer
D.W. Simpson & Company
Eckler Ltd.
President's Update


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

Hello. I am Rob Stapleford and I am President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. I want to share with you some high-level details of the recent strategic planning retreat in Toronto where the CIA Board invested its time, ideas, and creativity on planning for the future of the profession in Canada. I also want to provide you with additional notice of a proposal to update the Institute’s Bylaws, Rules of Professional Conduct, and polices at the Annual General Meeting in St. John’s in June.

Jacques Tremblay will be producing the French version of this video . . . Merci Jacques.

As discussed in previous communications, the Board is working to update the Institute’s strategic plan. Over the last year, the Board has been working on a number of components of the CIA’s future direction including

  • The vision, mission, and values statements;
  • A solid value proposition statement for members;
  • An impression audit that was conducted with politicians, government officials, and business decision-makers to get an external perspective on the CIA; and
  • A Board presentation by Dr. Diane Girard on the public interest and ethical decision-making.

At the January retreat, Don McCreesh, an expert on strategic planning, led the Board through a powerful process keyed to our three strategic focus areas, with careful thought given to the work being done under our current strategic plan. Many thanks to the members who helped us prioritize these focus areas.

Please keep in mind that this is the start of an extensive plan. More work will be done in the next few months and we are planning to complete a new strategic plan by the Annual Meeting.

The three focus areas identified by the Board and confirmed by the member survey are

  • Education;
  • Emerging practice areas; and
  • Influencing public policy.

Several weeks ago, the senior staff assembled a list of the CIA’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (or SWOT), for which the Board reviewed and provided comment. Don led us through a thorough SWOT analysis, which added depth and common understanding to the work that we then started on the focus areas.

Education

Education of the actuaries of today and tomorrow remains a strategic issue for the CIA. The International Actuarial Association has proposed a new syllabus which full member associations such as the CIA must follow. Topics such as data analytics and predictive modelling will need to be incorporated into our education process. The CIA will work with our education partners in our accredited universities, the Society of Actuaries, and the Casualty Actuarial Society to maintain today’s high standards and proactively prepare for the future.

A key strategic endeavour will be to update the Practice Education Course (PEC) to better prepare candidates for actuarial work in Canada. The PEC is the last step for fellowship in the CIA for candidates who have completed their education through the traditional examination process, as well as those who seek fellowship in Canada through a mutual recognition agreement or affiliate membership. The PEC will be enhanced to place greater emphasis on business, communications, and professionalism skills and more effectively recognizing the examinations already achieved by candidates.

The new PEC will also help actuaries who want to transition into a new area of practice without full requalification and with the acceptance of employers. Some very creative ideas emerged from this strategic discussion. A new PEC might enable academics to more readily achieve fellowship within their area of expertise. Watch for updates over the next 12 months as transition plans are announced for a new PEC in 2017. The CIA has developed a syllabus for Canadian actuaries. The syllabus will require regular review and modification to prepare actuaries for the future. The CIA is committed to ensuring that our education system is forward-looking and preparing actuaries for new and varied careers in the future. We will work to achieve this objective by looking at both the content and structure of the CIA’s education system.

Lastly, we intend to enhance our continuing education system with more emphasis on helping actuaries build communication skills and business acumen, in addition to traditional technical offerings.

Emerging Practice Areas

The CIA identified emerging areas of practice as a priority in its current strategic plan. Some progress was made but more is needed.

The Institute, along with the SOA and the CAS, authorized a project on the supply and demand for actuaries in North America. The work was conducted by the research branch of The Economist, the well-respected UK journal. Their analysis identified challenges and opportunities facing the profession in North America and the report also has a specific section on Canada. The report discussed future skills and identified predictive modelling as a way of the future. Actuaries need to be leaders in this field.

A recommendation arising at the retreat was the formation of an Emerging Practices Committee that would consider

  • Consolidating the CIA’s efforts to identify emerging areas of practice. Non-insurance organizations such as banking were identified as possible areas to consider;
  • Developing a strategy for the CIA to expand its presence in these areas;
  • Conducting a member survey to seek input from those already active or considering emerging areas; and
  • Building upon our strengths in emerging areas such as healthcare and climate change and sustainability. The work that our Climate Change and Sustainability Committee is doing is a good launch point, as is the intense effort on the Actuaries Climate Index and the Actuaries Climate Risk Index. These two projects have proven that actuaries and climate scientists can work together and produce valuable tools, in the public interest. There are already a number of actuaries in the field, and more are getting interested every day.

Emerging areas of practice will be a longer-term activity and will require a coordinated effort with our education resources. We plan to identify gaps and educational needs and develop content for a continuing education module for this area, perhaps in collaboration with other professions and associations.

We will also need to make a stronger effort to reach out to employers to understand their future needs.

Influencing Public Policy

Canada faces large, complex, and long-term problems. These require the skills, talents, and abilities of actuaries to help governments successfully address them. We plan a first principles review led by a blue ribbon task force, of our approach to public policy that will consider

  • An ongoing review of what issues the profession should consider;
  • A better alignment of research to support the CIA’s public position strategy;
  • More effective ways to engage the CIA membership and seek their input; and
  • More effective ways to communicate our messages in an independent and unbiased manner.

We expect this work will also involve the Public Positions Committee, which has done an excellent job in enhancing the Institute’s skills in public positions and submissions. This work will likely lead to changes in the public positions policy.

Governance Review

Finally, one group looked at what we do now. They proposed

  • A review of governance practices, with emphasis on overlaps, ambiguities in roles, responsibilities, and mandates; and
  • Streamlining key decision-making and consultation processes.

This was a very challenging but exciting meeting and one which crystallized the thinking of the Board on the future of our great profession. I hope I have shown you the excitement, commitment, and confidence that your Board has in these plans. Assignments arose from the strategic retreat and these will form the basis for discussion at the March Board meeting and ultimately, a new plan for release to the membership.

I want to update you on additional activity that you will be seeing in the next few weeks. Over the past two years, the Institute has completed a review of continuing professional development, and how the Institute protects the public in the area of the reporting of criminal convictions. This work has been conducted by the Eligibility Committee, the Eligibility and Education Council, the Governance Committee, and ultimately the Board. These proposals require changes to our Bylaws which require membership approval at the Annual General Meeting in June.

The final details of each initiative and a communications plan were presented to the Board at its meeting in November. A spirited discussion followed and changes were suggested. The materials have been updated and subsequently approved by the various working groups. I think we have an excellent package to send to the membership for their review and comment. Before final approval, the Board will consider input received from the members. We expect that this process will require discussion at the March Board meeting and a special Board meeting, likely in early April, to finalize and prepare for the AGM, where members will vote on the proposals.

Thanks to everyone who has worked on these projects over the past two years. Please watch for the release of this material and provide your comments.

It is an exciting time for the CIA. I want to thank the many volunteers who are so committed to our profession’s future. Have a great day et bonne journée!

Rob Stapleford, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

 
In Focus

 

Bring your voice to the CIA’s leadership table and stand as a candidate in the upcoming Board elections (you must be logged in to the members' site). This is a great opportunity to impact the future of the actuarial profession in Canada and play a role in CIA governance.

Current Board openings include four Director positions (three-year terms) and President-elect (one-year term, three-year commitment). Any member who wishes to run for one of these positions, and who meets the nomination requirements set out in the CIA Elections Rules of Procedure, will have their name appear on the ballot.

The Elections Committee is actively identifying and encouraging potential candidates to run. It aims to achieve proportional representation by region and practice area on the Board.

If you are interested in nominating an individual or submitting your own name for this year’s ballot, please contact Shirley Ann Mahon at the CIA Head Office before April 1.

This is your opportunity to serve and support your profession.

 
Actuaries on the Move

Nick Gubbay recently joined the Vancouver office of Eckler as a senior group benefits consultant and actuary.

Economical Insurance has appointed Elaine Lajeunesse as senior vice-president and chief risk officer.

Tom MacKinnon (BMO Nesbitt Burns) and Jean-Philippe Provost (Mercer Canada) discuss why so many companies with pension plans are unwilling to take advantage of new annuity deals to cover pension plan risks in a recent Globe and Mail article

Fred Vettese discussed Canada’s economic funk and overspending on pension plans in a National Post article. 


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, Actuaries 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 bonnie.robinson@cia-ica.ca 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.

 
Insight Decision Solutions
Deloitte
RGA Canada
Committee Profile

 

By Hélène Baril, FCIA

The mission of the Enterprise Risk Management Applications Committee is to promote the application of actuarial science to enterprise risk management, to market actuaries as ERM specialists, and to provide ERM practitioners with support and tools to help them evolve in their practice area.

Over the past year, the committee undertook a number of projects, including the Enterprise Risk Management Resources page on the CIA website and the third instalment in a series of booklets on enterprise risk management.

Enterprise Risk Management Resources Page

Launched in October, the Enterprise Risk Management Resources page presents articles, research papers, videos, and other material on enterprise risk management from a variety of Canadian and international sources in a number of categories including the following:

  • ERM framework;
  • Insurance/hazard risks;
  • Market/liquidity risks;
  • Credit risks;
  • Operational risks;
  • Strategic risks;
  • Aggregation and diversification; and
  • Video interviews with ERM practitioners.

This is a valuable resource for both actuaries practicing in the ERM area and those who are interested in learning more about ERM.

Enterprise Risk Management: How do we govern it?

In December, ERMAC published the third instalment in a series of three booklets on ERM. Enterprise Risk Management: How do we govern it? joins the two previous booklets (Enterprise Risk Management: Should you be doing it? and Enterprise Risk Management: Who is doing it?) as ERM resources aimed at non-ERM specialists. Each booklet contains a series of short articles on ERM. The articles on risk governance in the newest booklet include, in particular, the following:

  • What is Our Governance Structure?
  • What is Our Risk Culture?
  • How is ERM Helping to Inform Our Strategic Direction?
  • What is Our Risk Capacity?

We encourage you to share the booklet with interested colleagues.

Liaising with External Organizations and Committees

During 2015, the committee developed and maintained relationships with organizations and committees that are bringing value to our practitioners. One such organization is the Global Risk Institute (GRI), which provides applied research and education programs to encourage evidence-based debate about risk management in the financial services sector. GRI not only met with the committee to explain what they are doing, they also contributed to the production of the new ERM booklet, and have posted it on their website.

Looking Ahead to 2016

In the coming year, ERMAC would like to support the creation of an ERM practice committee to develop guidance and technical papers for ERM actuaries. We think that the practice area is at a point where the Actuarial Standards Board needs to develop its own standards of practice in this area, not just relying on what international bodies are doing with ERM, but building on their work by adding Canadian ideas and approaches for Canadian ERM practitioners.

We have developed a Skills and Knowledge Inventory for ERM practitioners that should be available in the next few months. During the year we will sponsor ERM webcasts and host sessions on ERM at the Annual Meeting in June. We are co-sponsors, with the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) of April’s ERM Symposium in Arlington, Virginia. In the fall, we will sponsor a one-day forum on ERM topics relevant to Canadians.

As you can see, ERMAC is a very active committee. If you are interested in learning more or becoming involved, don’t hesitate to contact me at helene.baril@ca.ey.com.

Hélène Baril, FCIA, is Chair of the Enterprise Risk Management Applications Committee.

 
Institute News

Duncan Rae MacLeod, FCIA (1965), FSA (1951)

Duncan Rae MacLeod passed away on December 27, 2015. After graduating from Queen’s University (1941) with a BA (Hons) in mathematics and economics, he started at Manufacturer’s Life Insurance Company where he worked until 1985 when he retired as vice-president.

Kurt von Schilling, FCIA (1970), FSA (1969), MAAA (1990)

Former CIA president Kurt von Schilling passed away on December 19, 2015. Mr. von Schilling, who held a BSc in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, from the University of Toronto, joined the CIA in 1970. He was very active in the Institute, including service as President (1994–1995). In 2015, he received the CIA’s gold volunteer award in recognition of his many years of service.

Mr. von Schilling was employed with the Mutual Life Assurance Company of Canada, later Clarica Life Insurance of Canada. He retired as vice-president and chief actuary in 1999 after 35 years of service.

 
Events News


As part of their continuing professional development (CPD) requirements, CIA members are required to complete 100 hours of combined structured and unstructured relevant experience over two calendar years. With numerous upcoming webcasts and professionalism workshops, members have several opportunities to earn credits towards those CPD requirements.

Upcoming Webcasts

CIA webcasts are an excellent opportunity for professional development and keeping informed about current issues and trends in the actuarial field.

During the first few months of 2016, the Institute will offer the following webcasts:

Professionalism Workshops

The CIA’s Professionalism Workshop is a 3/4-day session that provides an overview of professionalism issues and makes extensive use of the case study method. Topics covered include the following:

  • What is a professional;
  • The CIA structure;
  • The CIA's views on professionalism;
  • The CIA's discipline process; and
  • Malpractice and legal liability.

This workshop, held six times a year (in English and French), is a requirement to become an Associate of the CIA (ACIA) and for Property & Casualty candidates applying for Fellowship in the CIA unless they have attended the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) professionalism course offered in Canada.

This year’s workshop schedule is as follows:

  • February 25 (English) in Toronto;
  • March 4 (French) in Montréal;
  • April 27 (English) in Toronto;
  • September 2 (French) in Montréal;
  • October 5 (English) in Toronto; and
  • December 8 (English) in Toronto.

The workshop is very popular and fills up quickly, so if you are interested in taking it, make sure to register early. As of publication time, registration for the next English Professionalism Workshop on February 25 was closed, but you can contact Roxanne Vézina to add your name to the waiting list. Registration for the March 4 French Professionalism Workshop is still open. For information on the next English and French workshops, or visit the workshop registration page.

 
Spotlight on New Fellows

Khalid Sadequin

1. When and why did you become an actuary?

I first read about the actuarial profession in a newspaper. It mentioned that it is not easy to become an actuary and very few people successfully accomplish the qualification. I wanted to do something challenging and different, so I got very curious. The more I researched about it, the more I got interested, and soon I realised this will be my career path.

2. What was your experience of the actuarial exams? Did you experience any particular challenges?
I got very lucky with actuarial exams. I was very good in mathematics and the exams fit very well with my aptitude.

3. How did you find the transition from being a student to becoming a young professional?
The transition from being a student to becoming a professional first frees up a lot of time that one should use wisely. The level of responsibility increases and provides a wonderful opportunity to contribute as a qualified professional.

4. What is your current professional role? Can you describe the type of work you’re doing?
I am currently working in the capacity of director individual pricing at Sun Life. The main responsibility is to ensure that the products are competitive and provide value to the customers as well as produce adequate return for the shareholders.

5. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the people part a lot. In my current role, I work with people from operations, underwriting, claims, IT, and marketing, most of them being non-actuaries. It is fantastic to contribute as an actuary and gain respect for what people in other areas are doing for the greater good of the organization.

I also like the transferable skills the actuarial profession provides. I had earlier gone for a two-and-half year deputation in the actuarial department of the company’s British office, and enjoyed each day of the assignment.

6. What has been your involvement with the CIA since obtaining your FCIA designation?

I am involved in the Individual Life and Annuities Exam Subcommittee of PEC (the Practice Education Course Organizing Committee).

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

When I was young, I wanted to be a National Geographic explorer. Although I did not end up becoming one, my explorer spirit is very much alive and I put the explorer hat on whenever I can.

8. What are your hobbies?

I enjoy reading, walking, and travelling.

9. Where is your dream vacation destination?

Switzerland. I have gone there once and explored the major cities. I was struck by its landscape and natural beauty and want to go there again and have some more time exploring the countryside.

10. What is your motto?

"Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." – Thomas Edison

Khalid Sadequin, FCIA, is director individual health pricing at Sun Life Financial.

If you would like to be featured in Spotlight on New Fellows, please contact CIA English editor Bonnie Robinson at bonnie.robinson@cia-ica.ca.

 
Volunteers on the Move

Practice Council

The following people have been appointed to the committees named below:

  • Committee on Post-Employment Benefit Plans: Elisabeth Lamarche, effective September 1, 2014;
  • Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting: Ivy Lee, effective January 26, 2016. 

The Prescribed Scenarios Subcommittee of the Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting has been disbanded with thanks.

The following people have completed their terms with the groups named below, and have left with thanks:

  • Committee on Post-Employment Benefit Plans: Shemin Chatur, Hetty Ngo, and Harindra Sebastian; and
  • Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting: Anandhi Sarvananthan (OSFI representative).
 
Head Office Update


By Alicia Rollo, CHRL

The CIA has been a proud strategic partner to the Actuarial Students National Association (ASNA) for more than 25 years, and the strength of that history was quite evident at the recent ASNA Convention in Niagara Falls.

The CIA participated in the career fair on Friday, January 8 and also hosted a career lounge where we met with hundreds of students who were seeking guidance about a potential career in actuarial science. CIA representatives included CIA President Rob Stapleford, Immediate Past-President Jacques Tremblay, and President-elect Dave Dickson, as well as Board member Richard Gauthier, and active CIA volunteers Jamie Jocsak and Pierre-Yves Julien. CIA Head Office staff included Executive Director Michel Simard, marketing manager Kelly Fry, Roxanne Vézina, membership and education coordinator, Chris Fievoli, resident actuary, Joseph Gabriel, staff actuary, education, and myself.

While the students had many serious questions about their future, their educational paths, and how to successfully begin their careers, they also took time to have some fun as we challenged them to post selfies on Facebook or Twitter, wearing their signature CIA toque in proud Canadian style.

 

 Students at  2016 ASNA Convention

We encourage Canadian employers to get involved by using the ASNA convention to recruit co-op and internship students, as well as to identify potential future hires, but also by offering educational sessions to help guide students in their transitional years between university and entering the workforce.

On Saturday, January 9, the CIA held three sessions. The first was on professionalism and ethics, presented by Michel Simard, followed by two panel sessions, one in English and one in French, moderated by Chris Fievoli and Joseph Gabriel. Many thanks to Pierre-Yves Julien and Jacques Tremblay, who shared advice and stories of their own career paths with the students during the panel discussions.

Later on Saturday, the annual student case competition, sponsored this year by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), the CIA, and the Society of Actuaries (SOA), took place. The competition involved teams from various Canadian actuarial faculties. Richard Gauthier participated as the CIA representative judge and remarked that the case competition, as well as the entire convention, was very professionally organized. The panel of judges selected the team from the University of Waterloo as the winner.

Finally, on Saturday evening, the CIA sponsored the gala dinner, where each year the CIA President-elect gives the keynote speech. Dave Dickson did an outstanding job delivering key messages to the students through stories of his own experiences, as well as through pre-recorded video interviews from selected CIA members. Thank you to Dave for an impressive talk and to Roxanne Vézina for preparing and running a top-notch visual presentation which kept students engaged.

 CIA President-elect Dave Dickson

 CIA President-elect Dave Dickson

With approximately 600 students in attendance from across Canada, employers from both the U.S. and Canada, and, for the first time, participation by the American Academy of Actuaries, the 2016 convention clearly demonstrated the maturation of ASNA. The impressive event, organized by and for students each January, will continue to be a top priority for the CIA as part of our student outreach strategy each year.

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