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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires

January 2017
Elliott Bauer
D.W. Simpson & Company
Eckler Ltd.
President's Update


By Dave Dickson, FCIA
CIA President

Our December 8 Board meeting had a very busy agenda with an emphasis on strategic items. 

Focus Groups

The night before the Board meeting, several Board members attended two focus groups, held as part of our project to improve member engagement and communications. 

The CIA has partnered with Ipsos, an independent market and social research company, to conduct focus groups to better understand the thinking and preferences of CIA members on many important topics. The first two focus groups took place on December 7 in Toronto, with two more planned for Montréal, and others for the rest of Canada. Participants provided views on various issues such as engagement, volunteering, our education system, and the importance of the CIA to members’ work and careers. The Board received a brief summary of the results at its meeting and will get ongoing reports as the focus groups are held.

Risk Appetite

The Board meeting began with a review of the principles which will drive the CIA's risk appetite. The Board felt that it is important to have these principles to help with strategic decisions. Once completed, they will be made available to members.

Public Statements

Draft changes to bylaws 19.01 and 19.02, dealing with public statements, were approved. These will be part of a package we will provide to members early in the new year that will include the revised bylaw wording, the final version of the Policy on the Approval of Public Statements, as well as a summary of the comments received during the consultation, along with responses to these from the Governance Committee and the Board.

The amendments will be put before the members formally for confirmation at the CIA Annual Meeting in June 2017 in Québec City, rather than at a special general meeting of the members in February, which was an option that the Board had considered. Proxy voting will be permitted. 

Corporate Governance

The CIA has a strategic objective to review and recommend changes to our corporate governance. This involves the Board and how it works, our councils, and committees. The Board discussed a proposal from the Governance Committee for a new CIA structure, and made some suggestions which will be incorporated into the next draft. This project is expected to take a few years to complete, with improvements implemented along the way.

ASOC, ASB, and an International Ambassador

Reports from the Actuarial Standards Oversight Council (ASOC) and the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) were received and discussed.

Our International Relations Council introduced an international strategy which was approved by the Board. Part of the strategy included the creation of an international ambassador who will be our main representative at International Actuarial Association (IAA) meetings. CIA past President Micheline Dionne was appointed to this role.

Strategic Plan and CPD Task Force

An update was received on how we are doing with our strategic plan. Everything is going well and a lot of progress has been made since the plan was approved earlier this year.

Our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Review Task Force presented a report on changes to our CPD processes. The Board approved the draft for release to members for comments.

Looking Back at 2016

The Board briefly reviewed 2016 and members were pleased with the progress that has been made. Early in the year, we approved a revised strategic plan, and added other projects such as our member engagement and communications strategy. We have made a great deal of progress on these and other key initiatives. The Board thanked our Head Office staff for all their hard work in 2016. Also, we would like to thank our army of volunteers for all the great work they contributed in 2016. To everyone, we appreciate all of your efforts in 2016, and here's to a successful 2017.

Dave Dickson, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

In Focus


By Dave Pelletier, FCIA

As I mentioned in our last (e)Bulletin IRC update in June 2016, our mandate was expanded by the Board to include "To actively develop and maintain an international strategy for the CIA . . .". What do we want to accomplish through our international activities? And why? Jacques Tremblay led an IRC task force in developing a strategy document, with the objectives of promoting a strong actuarial profession worldwide, developing mutually beneficial relationships for the CIA with our sister organizations, strengthening the FCIA brand, and supporting FCIAs involved in work internationally, including those living and working abroad. This strategy document will help guide our activity going forward.

Our last update also mentioned our bid to host the 2026 International Congress of Actuaries in Vancouver. We lost out to a strong bid from the Institute of Actuaries of Japan; one contributing factor was that there hasn’t been a congress held in Asia since 1976! We wish the Japanese well and a strong attendance; this should provide many Canadians with a good reason to visit Japan.

A New Position

A few years ago, two of our sister organizations in the U.S., the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), each appointed an international ambassador to be the lead on the increasingly important issues involving international matters and relationships. As part of the international strategy development process, we concluded that having an international ambassador would be worthwhile for the CIA as well. This role would include being the CIA delegate to the International Actuarial Association (IAA) Council, participating in bilateral meetings with other actuarial organizations and the North American Actuarial Council (NAAC), and taking part in other events internationally where CIA participation would be of strategic benefit to the CIA.

Given her extensive international experience over the last few years in several roles with the IAA, with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Advisory Council, and with the other North American organizations on the NAAC while serving as CIA President, the IRC recommended, and the Board approved, Micheline Dionne as the first holder of this role, for a three-year term.

IAA Participation

The regular semi-annual IAA council and committee meetings took place in November in Cape Town. In a separate article in this (e)Bulletin, Chris Fievoli deals with one of the key topics covered during the meetings and a special seminar immediately afterwards: the role of actuaries in banking, something in which the South Africans have been particularly successful. A few of us got together for dinner with three of those banking actuaries and the president of the Actuarial Society of South Africa, and learned a lot about what they do and how they got there; we’ve passed this along to the CIA’s new Emerging Practices Committee as it looks at growth areas for the profession in Canada.

Other topics on which there was plenty of discussion and some progress at these meetings included the following:

  • Approval of two additional International Standards of Actuarial Practice (ISAPs) on modelling and insurer enterprise risk models, intended as models for consideration by local standard setters to adopt or adapt;
  • Development of a model ISAP and international actuarial notes (IANs, analogous to the CIA’s educational notes) supporting IFRS 17 on insurance contract financial reporting;
  • Release of an exposure draft of the risk adjustment monograph, dealing with the calculation of the risk adjustment portion of insurance contract liabilities as called for by IFRS 17;
  • Development of a model ISAP supporting the International Association of Insurance Supervisors’ (IAIS’s) proposed global Insurance Capital Standard (ICS), to be applicable to Internationally Active Insurance Groups;
  • A revised IAA education syllabus, and definition of its role with respect to member associations (which gets at the questions of IAA governance and its role);
  • Guidelines on the meaning of professionalism and international (cross-border) actuarial work;
  • Getting the IAA’s new General Insurance Committee off and running; and
  • Promotion of the Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) designation not merely within the actuarial profession, but also to employers, clients, and regulators.

At any given time, we have 15–20 FCIAs involved as either CIA delegates to the various IAA committees, where all associations have the right to appoint a delegate, or in leadership positions within the IAA, as well as positions on important limited-membership committees. We continue to publicize these positions as they come open to ensure timely rotation of incumbents and strong CIA representation. CIA members who have participated in the past have found the interaction with their international colleagues highly interesting and rewarding.

Committee Work

Two of our committees have been particularly busy over the last few months. The International Insurance Regulation Committee provided a detailed submission to the IAIS on its consultation on the proposed ICS, and also provided comments to the IAA on its near-final drafts of the ISAPs on modelling and insurer enterprise risk models. Meanwhile, the International Insurance Accounting Committee has developed a detailed work plan on how it will be dealing with proposed standards and guidance coming from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the IAA on insurance contract accounting, to provide support to CIA members as they grapple with the new requirements. In particular, in the next month, it will be drafting comments on behalf of the CIA on that draft monograph on risk adjustment under IFRS 17.

Dave Pelletier, FCIA, is Chair of the International Relations Council.

Actuaries on the Move

Career developments

Associate Marc Archambault has been appointed CEO of life and health at PartnerRe.

Actuaries in the media

Houston Cheng and Pierre Lepage are mentioned in Canadian Underwriter in an article on sustainability in insurance.

Pierre Dionne is cited in an article about natural catastrophes and the Canadian reinsurance industry in Canadian Underwriter.

Manuel Monteiro and Brent Simmons are quoted in an article in the Financial Post on why pension annuity sales keep rising.

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 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
Acutarial Design
RGA Canada
Committee Profile


By Claude Ferguson, FCIA

As we all can acknowledge, our business environment is changing at a dizzying pace. Large institutions are having difficulty incorporating these changes, both in their practices and governance processes.

The CIA, Society of Actuaries (SOA), and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) are no exception, and it is with that in mind that we will try to do a better job identifying and integrating emerging practices in a more formal manner. Be it the new types of predictive models or the role of actuaries in risk management for non-insurance or non-pension activities, a number of these practices or roles that are accepted today were not part of the generally recognized actuarial landscape even five years ago.

The CIA has created a new committee within the Member Services Council: the Emerging Practices Committee. It has the following mandate:

  • Develop, deploy, and monitor a marketing strategy that aims to
    • Identify opportunities and develop short- and long-term plans for new (start-up) emerging practice areas, fast-tracking potential resolution of any existing gaps impeding their development;
    • Increase the participation of CIA members in activities supporting the development of emerging practice areas; and
    • Enhance the hiring of actuaries in emerging practice areas;
  • Monitor and manage the progress in the development of these new areas until they become fully functioning practice areas with independent practice group oversight, suggesting strategies to ensure appropriate progression time from one stage of development to the next; and
  • Monitor and enhance the retention within the CIA of actuaries who are moving into emerging (non-traditional) practice areas.

Our main objective, of course, is to foster actuarial development and actuarial leadership in areas of emerging practice. That includes not only the traditional sectors (insurance and pension) but also non-traditional roles or industries such as big data, financial institutions (e.g., banks and fintech), risk placement and management strategies for businesses and their assets, and climate change. Needless to say, these initiatives also seek to ensure that the CIA keeps getting better and better at meeting its members’ needs and provides them with career opportunities that adjust to the ever-changing labour market.

Late in 2016, the new committee met for the first time to lay out a common vision and prepare a first draft of its action plan for 2017. The committee is made up of Joshua Bue, Jacques Demers, David Landriault, Denis Latulippe, Zhouliang (Joel) Li, Martin Roy, and myself.

Our priorities for 2017 will be to

  1. Put tools in place to foster recognition and development of the profession within institutions not traditionally associated with the actuarial field, such as banking;
  2. Help present and integrate new predictive modelling tools; and
  3. Foster recognition of the role of actuaries in developing and implementing asset management strategies.

At the same time, we will try to lay the foundation for actuarial growth in the fields of health, climate change, and the application of genetic knowledge.

A number of initiatives have already been identified for 2017 to help us meet our objectives:

  • Enhance our understanding of the needs of actuaries whose career path is taking them outside the traditional areas of practice;
  • Develop online educational materials to better promote new predictive modelling tools;
  • Review the positioning strategy for the Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) credential; and
  • Do away with legal constraints and foster greater recognition of actuaries’ capacity to dispense advice in the areas of investment management and strategies.

We invite you to send us your comments and suggestions to help us make this initiative successful in both the short and medium term.

Claude Ferguson, FCIA, is Chair of the Emerging Practices Committee.

Institute News


By Chris Fievoli, FCIA

International Actuarial Association (IAA) members gathered in Cape Town, South Africa last November for their latest council and committee meetings. After each meeting, the (e)Bulletin looks at a specific topic from the event to provide CIA members insight into some of the discussions taking place.

Given the venue of this past meeting, it seems appropriate to focus on what is happening internationally with actuaries in banking. The South African actuarial profession has seen significant success breaking into the banking sector, with close to 300 actuaries and students employed there. Similarly, Australia lists about the same number of members with banking as a practice area. Both countries have banking education qualification for actuaries either in place or in development, with South Africa having established a new fellowship track. The United Kingdom is also in the process of developing more formalized education in this sector. Other countries—Canada included—have yet to see the same level of involvement and development.

IAA Banking Working Group

In order to facilitate greater achievements in this area, the IAA has established a Banking Working Group, chaired by South African Michael Tichareva. Their first in-person meeting took place in Cape Town. CIA member Erik von Schilling serves as Vice-chair of the working group and CIA member Fei Xie also sits as a member. Going forward, the group will focus on the following areas:

  • Identifying the roles that actuaries are playing in banking organizations;
  • Creating a forum to encourage communication for actuaries working in the sector;
  • Providing leadership in terms of defining and developing actuarial practice; and
  • Providing support to member associations interested in developing banking practices.

The first meeting of the working group was followed by a one-day banking seminar sponsored by the South African Actuarial Society banking group.

Although experiences differ by jurisdiction, there is general support for the idea that actuaries have a skill set that can be useful in a banking environment. Although established standards do not yet exist, actuaries can readily apply their skills in financial risk management, data mining and analytics, and stress testing. Those actuaries who do work in banking typically get involved with credit management (both retail and commercial), treasury asset liability management, liquidity and capital management, customer segmentation, and capital/enterprise stress testing.

Are You an Actuary Working in Banking?

We would like to hear from any CIA members who currently work or have worked in banking, so that we can know who you are and better build the network of Canadian actuaries in this sector. If you or anyone you know fits this description, we encourage you to contact Erik von Schilling.

The next set of IAA meetings will take place in Budapest, Hungary in April 2017. We will provide a recap of those meetings, focusing on a different area of interest, in a future issue of the (e)Bulletin.

Chris Fievoli, FCIA, is staff actuary, communications and public affairs, at the CIA Head Office.



By Catherine Jacques-Brissette, ACIA

Climate change is receiving increasing attention from governments, businesses, the media, and the public all around the world. In 2016, an unprecedented global momentum has built up. Governments and businesses have taken ambitious commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, demonstrating a strong willingness to transition to a lower-carbon economy. Greater transparency and management of climate-related financial risks and opportunities have been requested by investors and implemented by more and more companies. The key events below show a widespread acknowledgement from major stakeholders worldwide that climate change represents a substantial risk to the global economy and that it should be controlled.

The COP of Action

In November 2016, I attended the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Indeed, I had the privilege to join the official Canadian delegation in Marrakesh, led by the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, representing my employer, Bell Canada. The COP is the supreme decision-making body of the UNFCCC, bringing together business leaders, government representatives at all levels, and civil society members from nearly 200 countries.

COP22 was a pivotal point in international climate discussions, transitioning from the years of negotiation that led to the Paris Agreement, to a new stage targeting implementation. The Paris Agreement is an international agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to a level likely to limit global warming below 2°C over pre-industrial levels. The agreement became effective much earlier than expected, right before the opening of COP22. At the time of writing, it has been ratified by 118 parties, including Canada, China, the United States, India, and the European Union.

At COP22, parties jointly stated that the "extraordinary momentum on climate change worldwide . . . is irreversible". In the Marrakech Action Proclamation, conference delegates asserted their commitment to fully implement the Paris Agreement. In order to reach this objective, the international community has started putting together the nuts-and-bolts decisions known as the "Paris rule book", which should be finalized by 2018.

Canadian Action Plan

During COP22, the Canadian government announced its ambition to reduce national emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement’s 2°C threshold. In December 2016, Canada’s first ministers released the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, describing their "plan to grow our economy while reducing emissions and building resilience to adapt to a changing climate". The federal carbon pricing benchmark is at the core of this framework.

Private Sector Initiatives

Corporations around the world have also set up ambitious action plans to address climate change. Since COP21 in December 2015, the number of companies making climate commitments through the We Mean Business coalition has more than doubled. At the end of COP22, 200 companies aggregating $4.8 trillion in market value had put forward science-based emissions targets consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 2°C limit. During the COP, I attended an event showcasing leaders from major corporations around the world who explained why doing their fair share to address climate change makes business sense. This event also highlighted the rapidly growing number of businesses planning or currently implementing an internal price on their carbon emissions, adding up to more than 1,200 companies as of September 2016.

FSB Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures

In December 2016, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) (known as the Bloomberg task force) created by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) released its recommendations, aiming to support organizations in disclosing climate-related financial risks and opportunities in their mainstream financial filings. Such increased transparency is meant to facilitate better pricing of the financial impacts of climate change, as well as optimal investment, lending, and insurance underwriting decisions. Ultimately, effective disclosure of these risks would contribute to a well-planned rather than a precipitated shift to a lower-carbon economy, thus minimizing disruptive impacts on financial markets.

The TCFD has put together four broadly applicable recommendations on climate-related financial disclosures for businesses from all sectors and jurisdictions, with supplemental guidance provided for financial-sector organizations, comprising banks, insurance companies, asset managers, and asset owners, including pension funds. Incidentally, numerous global asset managers and institutional investors attended COP22. Investors are increasingly demanding comprehensive climate disclosure, and the Bloomberg task force, which is expected to be a game changer, is already receiving significant attention from the financial sector.

The Actuarial Profession

Climate change involves complex and pervasive risks that impact many economic sectors. Thus, actuaries have an interest in understanding potential long-term impacts of climate change, as these may affect the assumptions used in assessing the value of assets and liabilities, as well as operating costs. The insurance and reinsurance sectors are already taking those risks into account in their assumptions, and they have started extending climate risk coverage to provide better risk management tools to their clients. Unsurprisingly, many insurance and reinsurance companies attended COP22.

Because climate change issues are global systemic challenges, they will be addressed best through a multidisciplinary approach, which was highlighted at COP22 by the great diversity in backgrounds and economic sectors of participants. I believe that actuarial expertise in risk analysis, combined with stakeholder cooperation, can serve the public interest by providing tools to manage the financial contingencies associated with the different climate risks, and contribute to the design of policy options for controlling them.

The Actuaries Climate IndexTM (ACI) and Actuaries Climate Risk Index (ACRI) are great illustrations of how existing actuarial techniques can be expanded into the climate change field, in collaboration with other stakeholders (i.e., climate scientists in this case). These indices are leveraging actuaries’ expertise in the assessment and mitigation of the financial consequences of risk into the analysis of climate change.

I am confident that the actuarial profession can play a meaningful role in overcoming climate change challenges, and I look forward to continuing to support the CIA toward that end, in collaboration with the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee.

Catherine Jacques-Brissette, ACIA, is Chair of the CIA Climate Change and Sustainability Committee.


Dave Dickson, President

  • That we make progress on our strategic plan.
  • That we improve member engagement.
  • That the next time I visit Ottawa in the winter there isn't record-setting snow.
  • That the Québec City Annual Meeting is our best and most successful.
  • That at the end of the year our staff, Board, and volunteers feel that the CIA had its best year in 2017.

Alan Cooke, Director

In 2017, I resolve not to engage in any political discussions on the Actuarial Outpost and post comments only in the sports threads.

Sharon Giffen, President-elect

My resolution is to work hard to ensure that every member of the CIA finds value in engaging with the Institute at least once per year.

Robert Stapleford, Immediate Past President

For 2017, I hope to visit the offices of the Australian Actuaries Institute and to start convincing my two-year-old granddaughter of the merits of an actuarial career.

Marie-Hélène Malenfant, Chair of the Members Services Council

My resolution for 2017 is to work very hard to initiate the various stages of the strategic plan regarding member services, including public statements and emerging practices. My goal is that by the end of my term in June 2017, these projects are already on the road to success.

Dave Pelletier, Chair, International Relations Council

  • For the profession worldwide:determine what it will take to make the Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) designation meaningful for employers, clients, and regulators, and begin to take the steps necessary to get there.
  • For the CIA: build on what the profession is doing in other parts of the world, identify opportunities in "wider fields" (such as banking) for actuaries and what needs to be done to realize them.


By Chris Fievoli, FCIA

"What is an actuary?" This is a question that most of us have had to face at some point, primarily when we get into discussions about our choice of career. That being said, it may interest you to know that the CIA has a position on who can refer to themselves as an "actuary". This is one part of our Policy on the Use of CIA Membership Titles and Designations presented in this article.

Rule 10 of the CIA’s Rules of Professional Conduct deals with titles and designations:

Rule 10

A member shall make use of membership titles and designations of a recognized actuarial organization only in a manner that conforms to the practices authorized by that organization.

Annotation 10-1 "Title" means any title conferred by a recognized actuarial organization related to a specific position within that organization. "Designation" means a specific reference to membership status within such organization.

The CIA has, for over 50 years, granted the FCIA (Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries) designation, and more recently introduced the ACIA (Associate of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries) designation. The CIA is also an award signatory for the CERA (Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst) designation. CIA members who have earned any of these designations and continue to be a member of the CIA in good standing may use them in any situation and are entitled to append the corresponding initials after their names.

Exceptions to the Rule

The one exception to this privilege is if the designation is being used in conjunction with an activity that violates the Rules of Professional Conduct, particularly rule 1, which requires all members to uphold the reputation of the actuarial profession. It is difficult to come up with specific examples of this, but suffice it to say that if you wanted to use your FCIA designation while promoting a blatantly illegal activity, it would not be allowed.

Also note that rule 10 requires CIA members to follow the practices authorized by any recognized actuarial organization. Most CIA members also hold membership in either the Society of Actuaries (SOA) or the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), so you will need to ensure that the use of your designation meets the requirements of those organizations as well.

Finally, it is important to note that a designation is not like a university degree that once earned, stays with you for life. It must be maintained through continuing professional development and annual payment of dues, unless a member qualifies for an exemption from either obligation.

What is a Title?

A "title", on the other hand, refers to a position that a member may hold in the CIA, such as the chair of a committee or a member of the Board of Directors. In this case, the use of titles is a bit more restrictive. You can certainly use your title in any official CIA correspondence and it can be included on your résumé. On the other hand, CIA titles cannot be used to promote commercial interests or to express opinions that are not official positions of the CIA. So if you want to write a letter to the editor of your local paper to express a personal opinion, you cannot mention your position on a CIA committee, but you are free to use your designation (provided your letter does not violate rule 1!).

What is an Actuary?

Now we come to the question that we opened this article with—what is an actuary? For many years, the CIA has held the position that only a qualified Fellow can refer to themselves as an actuary. The rationale for this position is that the Fellowship designation is representative of having achieved full qualification—a combination of education and professional experience. As a result, CIA members are requested to avoid use of the term "actuary" to describe someone who does not meet that criterion. This should be kept in mind when employers designate job titles for non-Fellows, or when recruiting advertisements seek candidates who do not have Fellowship status. Either of these instances would be an inappropriate use of the term actuary, but the term "actuarial professional" could be a suitable option

Note that numerous pieces of legislation and regulation recognize the FCIA as the sole designation that meets the definition of what an actuary is. For example, the very first definition in the Insurance Companies Act (thanks to the alphabetical arrangement) states that an actuary is an FCIA. That being said, the term actuary is not a professional title protected by provincial professional legislation, which means that, unfortunately, a non-member of the CIA could refer to themselves as an actuary for commercial purposes, and would not be prevented from doing so. The CIA hopes that by promoting the designations that we offer and the high standards required to achieve them, users of actuarial services will recognize that CIA designations are the mark of quality professional actuarial work.

All of which is to say that you should use your titles and designations properly, but also use them proudly—you have earned them!

Chris Fievoli, FCIA, is staff actuary, communications and public affairs, at the CIA Head Office.

Events News

It’s a girl! On December 22, 2016, Josée Gonthier, manager of communications at the CIA Head Office, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Both mother and baby are well. Her proud parents named her Annabelle.

Congratulations to Josée and Phil!

Research Hub


Damien Lapointe Nguyen

1. How long have you worked as an actuary?

I started to work in 2008 after graduating, and completed my FCIA in 2011. So it’s been eight years, five of them as a Fellow.

2. Please describe your current professional title, company, and role.

I am a senior actuarial assistant in research and development at RGA Canada. RGA Canada is the Canadian entity of the Reinsurance Group of America, which is a global life reinsurance company with its main office in Chesterfield, Missouri. About 150 employees work in the Montréal office. I support local research for our lines of business in Canada and act as a liaison with the global research team.

3. What has been your involvement with the CIA since you became a member?

I only started volunteering about two years ago, after I moved from corporate to research. I joined the Research Committee’s (ResCo's) Individual Life Experience Subcommittee and the chair at the time needed a vice-chair who would replace him eventually. To be honest, I did not quite know what the responsibilities were but accepted being his vice-chair which led me to where I am right now.

4. You are currently Chair of the Individual Life Experience Subcommittee; could you describe the subcommittee’s work and your role as Chair?

The subcommittee currently works on experience studies around individual life products. Every year, we revise the mortality study and recently we’ve done a lapse study on lapse-supported products (T100 and UL Level COI [universal life level cost of insurance]). In the next few years, we will probably have to refresh the CIA mortality table. My role as Chair consists of being a liaison with the Research Committee, communicating directly with the researchers who were mandated for the projects, and organizing the subcommittee meetings.

5. Why is this research/work important?

As actuaries, we study markets that are changing over time. Experience studies allow us to refresh very important assumptions when evaluating our block of business, pricing products, or even designing new ones. One could argue that the past may not always be a good predictor of the future, but understanding the recent past is usually a good way to start. The CIA studies can be used on multiple levels: they can be a benchmark for big companies that already have their own study or be essential to smaller companies that do not have enough data to rely entirely on their own experience. In addition, CIA tables act as a common language in the industry; for example, when reinsurers and insurers deal together.

6. What time commitment do you make as subcommittee chair? What type of time commitment must members of the subcommittee make?

It is very difficult to assess the time commitment as it is very variable. Sometimes we have two projects at once, sometimes we have none. For example, when we were in the translation and approval process of the lapse study, the chair could have worked about two-to-three hours per week including the meetings. But when we are in the data-gathering period of the mortality study, then I’d say about 15 minutes per month, just to stay updated and make sure the project is progressing as usual. A non-chair member would put in a little less time as they are not summarizing opinions from members, organizing meetings, or acting as liaison to ResCo.

7. ResCo is going through a process of restructuring. Could you briefly describe how this will change the work of the subcommittee? Will it make it easier or harder for people to volunteer?

Restructuring changes have not yet been approved, but if they are, the subcommittee itself will not exist anymore. Project oversight groups (POGs) will be formed for each project. While the volunteers may be the same, this will be a significant change as we no longer expect subcommittee members to participate on all ongoing projects and complete the three-year term. Instead, we will form multiple task forces with specific mandates. Members will now know exactly what they have volunteered for and when their commitment ends. I believe that this can increase engagement as we are being clear and specific about the role of POG members.

8. What are the benefits of volunteering with the Research Committee?

Being part of the Research Committee or any other subcommittee allows you to network and exchange ideas with people from the industry and from different backgrounds. You also stay updated on current industry research projects and trends. And of course those hours count towards continuing professional development (CPD)!

9. If someone is interested in being part of this subcommittee or a part of the Research Committee, what should they do?

They can reach out to any committee/subcommittee member and they will get referred to the right person. There is always room for new members. If some are hesitant about joining, they are free to ask questions of me or any other members. Most companies have members volunteering for the CIA. Login to the members' site, and navigate to the Research Committee page for the names and e-mail addresses of committee members.

10. Any other thoughts?

The branding and reputation of our profession is largely dependent on the CIA work. This work would not happen without volunteers finding extra hours in their already busy schedules.

Damien Lapointe Nguyen, FCIA, is Chair of the Individual Life Experience Subcommittee. 

Social Media and the CIA

The Actuaries Climate Index™ (ACI) is an educational tool designed to help inform actuaries, public policymakers, and the general public about climate trends and some of the potential impacts of a changing climate on the United States and Canada. The index is an objective measure of observed changes in extreme weather and sea levels. It is intended to provide a useful monitoring tool of climate trends and will be updated quarterly as data for each meteorological season becomes available.

This is some of the media coverage the ACI has received since its launch on November 30, 2016:

For more information on the ACI, visit the ACI website or see the ACI article in the December 2016 (e)Bulletin.

Volunteers on the Move

Board Updates

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

  • Tribunal Panel: Robert J. McKay, effective December 8, 2016.

The following people have completed their term with the council named below, and have left with thanks:

  • Eligibility and Education Council: Mathieu Boudreault and Kim Young, effective October 1, 2016.

In accordance with item 1.3 of the international strategy document and on recommendation of the International Relations Council (IRC), Micheline Dionne was appointed as international ambassador as defined in that document, effective January 1, 2017 for a period of three years.

Practice Council

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

  • Task Force on Pension and Post-retirement Benefit Accounting Discount Rates: Maxime Carrier, Louis-Bernard Désilets, Elana Hagi, Jason Malone, and Sébastien Rannaud, effective October 4, 2016;
  • Committee on the Appointed/Valuation Actuary: Kevin Morrissey, effective October 11, 2016;
  • Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting: Stéphanie Fadous (Chair) and Marie-Andrée Boucher (Vice-chair), effective January 1, 2017;
  • Committee on Post-Employment Benefit Plans: Navaz Cassam, Michael Allen Furlong, Scott Mossman, Kristina Percy, and Lucian Shulte, effective October 20, 2016;
  • Committee on Risk Management and Capital Requirements: Edward Swerhone, effective October 31, 2016;
  • Working Group from Retraite Québec on Transfer Values: Thierry Chamberland, Joseph Gabriel, and José Legault , effective September 1, 2016; and
  • Committee on Pension Plan Financial Reporting: Angelita Graham, effective November 1, 2016.

The following people have completed their term with the committees named below, and have left with thanks:

  • Task Force on Pension and Post-retirement Benefit Accounting Discount Rates: Wendy Achoy, Sébastien Cliche, Martin Cyrenne, Douglas Isaac, Melissa Kirshenbaum, Geoffrey Melbourne, Boris Pavlin, Marlene Puffer, and David Walsh;
  • Committee on the Appointed/Valuation Actuary: Larry Madge;
  • Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting: Rebecca Rycroft (Chair), effective December 31, 2016;
  • Committee on Post-Employment Benefit Plans: Wendy Achoy, Ian Ingham, Brian Jenkins, Elisabeth Lamarche, and Natalie Thompson;
  • Committee on Risk Management and Capital Requirements: Jay Zhong; and
  • Committee on Pension Plan Financial Reporting: George Ma.

The Practice Council approved the creation of the following committee, effective December 13, 2016:

  • Enterprise Risk Management Practice Committee: Danielle Harrison (Chair), Mario Robitaille (Vice-chair), Kathryn Hyland (PC liaison), and Pierre Lepage.

The committee’s mandate is to be the primary source of risk management guidance for the actuarial profession.

More specifically, the committee will do the following:

  • Develop a common vision regarding the overall framework for the ERM guidance material and establishment of priorities;
  • Recommend areas of research and topics where educational notes and/or Standards of Practice would be beneficial to Canadian risk practitioners;
  • Review non-Canadian resources that require determination by the ERMC as to their applicability to Canadian risk practitioners;
  • Promote the application of actuarial science to enterprise risk management;
  • Promote actuaries as risk management professionals both within and outside the profession; and
  • Communicate existing research and case studies of work in the field through various media (presentations at meetings, webcasts, CIA website, etc.).

In pursuit of this mission, the ERMPC will be guided by the following principles:

  1. Any requirements established by the ERMPC are intended to capture leading practices.
  2. The ERMPC should create and promote guidance material for actuaries such that actuaries have a clear advantage relative to non-actuarial risk management practitioners.
  3. The ERMPC should build on existing global actuarial guidance and resources and adapt or endorse them as needed to be applicable to Canadian actuaries working in a risk management function.
  4. Engage other CIA committees to provide assistance and draw upon their specialized areas of expertise. In general, where ERM is applied to a specific practice area, the ERMPC will work with that area of practice to develop guidelines.
  5. The committee will report to the Practice Council and will liaise and work in collaboration with other CIA committees on matters of common interest and will also draw upon other resources in the CIA, CAS, and SOA Joint Risk Management Section. 

The Practice Council approved the creation of the following committee, effective November 10, 2016:

  • Group Insurance Committee: Lyna Gendron (Chair), Jojy Oommen, Tina Baird, Jeremy Bell, Isabelle Bouchard, Nicolas Boutin, Denis Garand, Edward Tsu-Jen Kuo, Stéphane Levert, Nabil Merali, Mark Pawziuk, and Faisal Siddiqi (PC liaison).

The committee’s mandate is the following:

  • Monitor and report periodically on market and public policy issues related to group insurance;
  • Act as a sounding board/advisor to the CIA leadership on group insurance issues;
  • Provide a resource on group insurance to existing CIA committees and task forces:
    • As a source of volunteers on group insurance-specific topics;
    • As a source of advice on the special circumstances of group insurance;
    • Provide suggestions/recommendations for action plans arising from emerging issues;
    • Look for research opportunities; and
    • Promote involvement of group insurance actuaries with the CIA.

The Practice Council approved the creation of the following task force, effective November 10, 2016:

  • Task Force on Mortality Improvement (formerly under the MSC): Jacques Boudreau (PC liaison), Alexis Gerbeau (Chair), Scott McManus, Louis Adam, Assia Billig, Emilie Bouchard, Robert Brown, Anna Doudina, George Graziani, Ling Guo, Robert Howard, Hrvoje Lakota, and Yeh Ching Seto.

The task force’s mandate is the following:

  • Include appropriate representation from relevant practice areas;
  • Develop a best estimate assumption for the general population;
  • Determine whether the best estimate assumption for the general population needs to be modified for different subgroups;
  • Leverage work done by the UK actuarial association and Society of Actuaries (SOA) where appropriate;
  • Provide education to members; and
  • The level of conservatism (margin for adverse deviations), which is specific to each practice, is out of scope.

Eligibility and Education Council

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

  • Committee on Examinations and Assessments:
    • Group Benefits Examination Subcommittee: Erin Crump;
    • 2017 Practice Education Course Subcommittee: Graham Kent and Matthew Didier, effective November 1, 2016;
      • 2017 PEC Individual Life and Annuities Track Working Group: Graham Kent (Co-chair) and Matthew Didier (Co-chair), effective November 1, 2016;
      • 2017 PEC Finance and Investment Track Working Group: Graham Kent (Co-chair) and Matthew Didier (Co-chair), effective November 1, 2016.
  • Committee on Continuing Education:
    • Property and Casualty Insurance Subcommittee: Maxime-Frédéric Brochu-Leclair and Véronique Ouellet;
    • Enterprise Risk Management Subcommittee: Vy Le (Vice-chair) and Xiangxiao (Jessica) Ma;
  • Committee on Education:
    • ACIA Syllabus Subcommittee: Mathieu Boudreault (Chair) and Joel Li;
  • Task Force on the Future Vision of CIA Education: Bruce Jones and Patrick Kavanagh, effective October 1, 2016.

The following people have completed their term with the (sub)committee named below, and have left with thanks:

  • Committee on Continuing Education:
    • o Enterprise Risk Management Subcommittee: Jing (Nancy) Ning and Andrei Titioura.

The Task Force to Review the Merits of Program Accreditation has been disbanded with thanks.

Member Services Council

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

  • Communications Committee: Jason Alleyne (chair), effective November 13, 2016;
  • Climate Change and Sustainability Committee: Catherine Jacques-Brissette (Chair), effective November 18, 2016.

The following people have completed their term with the committees named below, and have left with thanks:

  • Climate Change and Sustainability Committee: Karen Lockridge (Chair) and Todd Friesen, effective November 18, 2016; and
  • Communications Committee: Frank Reynolds (Chair), effective November 13, 2016.