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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires

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


By Dave Dickson, FCIA
CIA President

Every former CIA president I have talked to has said that they loved being President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. The position is fun, challenging, rewarding, and lets you help shape the future of the CIA and our profession. It is one of the most professionally fulfilling positions a member can ever fill. You get to represent the CIA with members and with other organizations, make important decisions, work with others to move the CIA and the actuarial profession forward, and learn a lot more about our profession. Most of us work in one area of practice. As President you represent all the members and in doing so will learn about most of our practice areas.

Time Commitment

Members are often reluctant to run for President for a number of reasons. One is the time commitment, which is significant. Talking with other presidents, we feel it is 1.5 to two days a week, including travel, but it does vary a lot throughout the term. Many of our past presidents continued working while in the role. Over the last year or so we have been working to reduce the workload of the president. As an example, we have shifted more of the work to the immediate past president. Another reason members are reluctant to run is the actual election process and the prospect of losing. I found the election process fun. I reached out to many people and was surprised by how much support and encouragement I received.

Thoughts from Past Presidents

Immediate Past President Rob Stapleford became CIA President for many of the reasons I did: to give back to the profession, to work with national and international actuarial professionals, and from admiration for the CIA presidents who had served before. He shared some of the ways he benefitted:

  • Developing personal skills including leadership, time management, communication, vision, and the ability to deal effectively with a wide range of people with different skills, backgrounds, and personalities;
  • Learning new perspectives on approaches to common problems;
  • Interesting travel opportunities; and
  • A real enjoyment of the work and the ability to make a positive contribution.

Rob acknowledges that the time commitment varies substantially by week and month, with some weeks being in the 20–30 percent range, while others being as much as 80 percent or as little as 5 percent. The team approach helps. "Sharing duties among the three presidents, the Executive Director, Head Office staff, and council chairs can spread workload and address situations where it is impossible for the President to attend," he says.

Jacques Tremblay served as President from 2014–2015, covering the first half of our 50th anniversary year. Jacques had found that volunteering on multiple CIA committees and councils had been very helpful to his career and wanted to give back to the organization that had been so good to him. He found serving as President helped him grow as a professional, as he prepared for Board meetings, helped set the strategy for the CIA, chaired multiple meetings within the CIA and with other international organizations, and made multiple new actuarial contacts across North America and the world.

Jacques continued to work full-time while serving as CIA President. "You know the expression, if you want something done, give it to someone who is busy!" he said. "The reality is that you can manage this commitment. I received great support from Michel Simard, our Executive Director, and the entire CIA staff. I also received great support from my colleagues at work." Jacques managed his job and his role as President by working one day on the weekend to catch up on CIA matters. "Theresa (my spouse) was very understanding," he added, "and I received a lot of support from my colleagues and the CIA staff."

He says he enjoyed all aspects of serving as President, "but mostly the support and collaboration I received from the Head Office staff, Michel Simard, as well as Jacques Lafrance and Rob Stapleford. The teamwork—everyone working for our members and having a meeting of the minds on key strategic items—was quite an experience." He encourages people to run: "Like the Nike commercial, ‘Just do it’. The experience is fantastic. You will grow so much as a professional."

Serving on the Board of Directors

CIA members can also run to serve on the CIA’s Board of Directors. Serving on the Board is much less of a time commitment than President but it remains a challenging and fulfilling role. The CIA always has a lot going on and the Board sets and monitors our strategic direction. The Board meets four times a year and usually Board members also serve on a committee and sometimes get involved with initiatives. As a Board member you will learn a lot about the CIA and our areas of practice. Being on any Board is good experience, particularly if you are considering an executive role such as President in the future.

Strategic Plan

For the past 18 months, starting under the leadership of Rob Stapleford and the previous Board, the CIA has been developing its new strategic plan. Released on February 1, the new strategic plan, targets four focus areas:

  • Education—Enhancing the CIA education and qualification system;
  • Emerging Practices—Increasing the number of actuaries in non-traditional roles;
  • Public Policy—Influencing public policy; and
  • Governance and process optimization–Improving the CIA’s governance model and enhancing volunteer engagement.

I invite you to visit the CIA website to see the strategic plan in more detail.

Focus Group Updates

In our January (e)Bulletin, I wrote about the focus groups the CIA is holding as part of our project to improve member engagement and communications. The report from the initial focus groups held in Toronto on December 7, 2016 provides excellent information on how members perceive the CIA, and its strengths and weaknesses. The next round of focus groups take place in Montréal on February 8. We anticipate the final report will provide us with the kind of information we need to help us improve the CIA and make it the kind of organization our members want and need.

CIA Special Event

Are you concerned about the future of the actuarial profession? Do you have questions about the CIA? Want to share your ideas about emerging practices and the new and exciting opportunities for actuaries? We are organizing a special event in Toronto to provide a casual atmosphere for actuaries of all ages and from different practice areas to network, learn, and share ideas. After a brief talk, CIA President-elect Sharon Giffen and myself will open the floor to attendees to participate.

Watch for more information on this special event in the CIA announcements and the March (e)Bulletin.

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

In Focus

By Rémi Villeneuve, FCIA

Since 2000, the Practice Education Course (PEC) has helped prepare candidates for their responsibilities as a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA) by providing valuable practice-oriented workshops and discussions, supplemented by a three-hour, open-book examination.

PEC Origins

The PEC was created in 2000 when the Society of Actuaries (SOA) removed all nation-specific content from its examinations and the CIA needed to develop a syllabus and examination for each practice area to ensure that FCIAs were appropriately exposed to and assessed on their knowledge of Canadian requirements.

The original goal of PEC was also to ensure that all practice areas were equally served. Over time, the property and casualty (P&C) track was dropped from PEC, and for many years P&C candidates have been exempted from attending PEC given the CIA’s satisfaction with the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) Examination 6-Canada, for which the CIA establishes the syllabus.

In recent years, the CIA and SOA have worked together to improve coverage of Canadian content on SOA Fellowship tracks, and we are pleased to say that great progress has been made! The majority of SOA Fellowship tracks that are recognized by the CIA now cover the CIA education syllabus to at least 85 percent, which is the established threshold for education partners to meet.

Changes in 2018

The goal of the new PEC (PEC 2.0) in 2018 and beyond is to serve all practice areas equally, and have the flexibility to adapt as necessary to new areas of practice, as well as to reinforce professionalism, communication, and business acumen skills. PEC 2.0 will retain the current workshop format which encourages candidates to focus on the practical application of their technical knowledge to the real world, and it will be the capstone education requirement for all candidates for CIA Fellowship regardless of the originating source of their education, whether it be through the SOA or CAS education systems, mutual recognition agreements, or the Affiliate route to Fellowship.

Therefore, starting in 2018, PEC will include a property and casualty track. Also new for 2018, PEC will feature communication, business acumen, and Fellowship professionalism content.

The good news for candidates is that no examinations for any track will be administered at the PEC. For candidates to be eligible for PEC 2.0 in 2018, they must complete all examinations and assessments in advance.

The CIA will be relying on the SOA and CAS examinations for the assessment of Canadian content and as such, it will be imperative for candidates to have successfully completed the Canadian versions of the SOA and CAS examinations (where such Canadian versions exist) in order to be eligible to attend PEC 2.0.

PEC 2017 Candidates

PEC 2017 will be the last offering to include CIA examinations. Therefore, candidates pursuing the FCIA designation who have written a U.S.-specific version of an exam should plan to attend PEC in 2017 (provided that they meet the criteria) while the CIA examinations still exist. Otherwise, in 2018 and beyond, they will need to write the Canadian-specific version of an SOA exam they have already written in order to meet the CIA qualification requirements and be eligible to attend.

Group and Health Track

Note that for a transitional period, candidates in the Group and Health track of the SOA will still be required to write a CIA-administered Group examination in addition to the SOA Canadian Group and Health examinations. The transition period where an additional Group examination is required may last several years to ensure that candidates currently in the SOA education system cover the required syllabus material. The SOA has been making changes to its syllabus and examinations and our hope is that the Group examinations in fall 2017 will appropriately cover the CIA syllabus, but this will be subject to review and confirmation by the CIA.

Group candidates wishing to attend PEC in 2018 will be required to write the CIA Group examination in fall 2017, prior to the opening of registration for PEC early in 2018. The Group syllabus and reading materials will be published in spring 2017, and candidates may request to write the exam under the supervision of a CIA-approved invigilator. Contact the CIA Head Office for more information about the requirements for Group candidates.

Help PEC Candidates Stay Informed

Please help us spread the word by ensuring that candidates in your workplace are aware of the changes being implemented to PEC. We will also be conducting a webcast on February 22 where more information will be available and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions.

There are no changes to the 2017 PEC or to the eligibility requirements to attend it and no changes have been made to the professional experience requirement which is 36 months of professional actuarial experience including 12 months of Canadian-specific actuarial work which must be accrued while enrolled as an Associate of the CIA.

If you have any questions, please contact Alicia Rollo, director, membership, education, and professional development at

Rémi Villeneuve, FCIA, is Chair of the Eligibility and Education Council.

Actuaries on the Move

Career developments

Joel Cornberg has been appointed chief agent of Pacific Life Re’s new Canadian Branch, located in Toronto, which will serve existing retrocession clients and also reinsure longevity risks.

The board of directors of RGA appointedAnna Manning as its chief executive officer, effective January 1, 2017.

Actuaries in the media

Robert L. Brown and John Have wrote an article on employer health plans for workers 65 and over that appeared in The Globe and Mail and The Record.

Annie St-Jacques is mentioned in this article about life expectancy.

Fred Vettese was quoted in an article about how to make retirement savings last even in a bear market in The Globe and Mail.

Craig Allen is mentioned in a Toronto Stararticle about Ontario small claims court judges receiving training on illegal interest rates.

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
Institute News

Consider standing as a candidate in the upcoming Board elections for a chance to participate at the leadership table and make an impact through CIA governance.

Board openings include four Director positions (three-year terms), Secretary-Treasurer (two-year term), 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 as soon as possible or by April 1.

This is your opportunity to serve and support your profession.


The CIA’s annual national advertising campaign kicks off in mid-February. Its goal is to advance the Institute’s strategic plan and promote the actuarial profession in Canada. Previous campaigns have focused on enterprise risk management and healthcare. In 2017, the campaign is focused on the work actuaries are doing in big data and predictive modelling.

Big data poses an organizational challenge as businesses try to figure out what to do with the large amounts of information they collect. "The goal of this campaign is to showcase the skill set of actuaries in big data and predictive modelling to potential employers," says Kelly Fry, CIA marketing manager. "We want to highlight how actuaries are the professionals companies need to help transform their business." The campaign is built on a theme of "Actuaries Point the Way".

National Campaign

Marketing and communications agency Banfield created an integrated marketing campaign that includes video, print ads, advertorials, digital advertising, social media, and a landing page on the CIA website. The campaign will run nationally for six weeks in a variety of media, including The Globe and Mail, La Presse, Report on Business Magazine, and the National Post.

A landing page on the CIA website will include a 30-second video that demonstrates how big data has the power to transform a business and how an actuary’s expertise can help bring clarity to complex data and shape the future of an organization. Website visitors will learn about CIA members currently working in big data and predictive modelling in some emerging practice areas, such as health. In addition, visitors will be able to send questions to the CIA about help hiring an actuary to solve their big data challenges. Once the landing page is live, we will send the link to members so they can check out the campaign.

Social Media Presence

Social media will play a big role in the campaign with weekly posts to Facebook and Twitter and a heavy presence on LinkedIn. We encourage members to check out the campaign on social media and share the content on their channels. "Members can help elevate the profession and position actuaries as experts in big data and predictive modelling by sharing our posts to their personal networks," says Fry.


High school student Julien Pallage won a brand new iPad for proposing the best solution to the million dollar problem in the 2016 Back to School contest.

Why did you enter the contest?

I decided to enter to get an idea about the profession, because being an actuary is a fairly nebulous thing for me (and for many other teens, I would think). I had heard some adults talking in vague terms about this line of work. They suggested that with my interest in math, I might be interested in becoming an actuary. So that’s why I decided to enter the contest. I had nothing to lose and this was a chance to satisfy my curiosity.

Was the problem difficult?

All in all, I didn’t find it difficult, because all the concepts were clearly explained in detail to help high school students come up with the answer. But the question was very long and there was a lot of data to consider in order to do well (as is the case in the actuarial profession). And that was what was neat about the problem: being able to recreate an actuarial problem on a small scale.

How did it feel to win?

I’m still surprised, actually. I’ve never been too lucky when it comes to contests. In fact, after completing the problem, I remember joking with my parents that I had participated in a national contest and, who knows, maybe I’d win!

What did you learn from the Back to School presentation?

I found it stimulating. It gave me a better understanding of the actuarial profession, of how to become an actuary. and of the benefits of the profession. The only thing that was missing was an example of an actuarial problem, but I got to see one thanks to the contest.

Did you know about the actuarial profession before the presentation?

People had spoken to me about it a few times and I already had a vague notion of what the profession was about.

Are you inspired to embark on an actuarial career? If so, what do you find most interesting about the profession?

I have to say that despite starting CEGEP next September, I still don’t have a clear idea as to which field I’d like to work in. I’m very interested in math, science, entrepreneurship, and even politics, so everything is still up in the air. But I found the presentation and the contest very interesting, and so the actuarial profession is most definitely on my radar now in terms of a future career. What I find most interesting about the profession is the chance to use math on a daily basis, to solve problems using forecasting, and to be able to travel pretty much anywhere, since this profession is international.


Former CIA president L. Blake Fewster passed away January 11, 2017 in London, Ontario. He was 92.

Mr. Fewster had a distinguished career at London Life Insurance starting in 1946 until he retired, as senior vice-president and chief actuary, in 1991. He was an active volunteer with the CIA, serving as secretary and councillor on the CIA Council (Board), President from 1981–1982, and Chair of both the Education and Examinations Committee (1968–1972) and the Elections Committee (1982–1983). He was a member of numerous other committees including Life Insurance Financial Reporting, Emerging Issues, Consolidated Standards of Practice, and the Liaison Committee on the Proposed CIA/CICA Joint Policy Statement (1984-1991).

Mr. Fewster also served as a CIA representative with the Society of Actuaries.

L. Blake Fewster obituary


The CIA Head Office will be closed Friday, February 17 for a staff team-building event, and Monday, February 20 for the Ontario Family Day holiday. The office will reopen Tuesday, February 21.

Events News

By Alicia Rollo, CHRL

The CIA is fortunate to have a close relationship with the Actuarial Students' National Association (ASNA), one that we have developed and nurtured over the past 25 years.

The ASNA executive is an inspired and committed group of young professionals who in turn inspire students from across the country to get involved, learn, and network—the perfect foundation for their future careers.

The students themselves are so inspiring that we are easily motivated by their enthusiasm. Each year we look forward to coming up with new and interesting ways to engage them at the convention while providing practical information and tips that will help them as they embark on their careers.

The 2017 ASNA Convention was held in Toronto, January 6 and 7. The following are just some of the highlights of the CIA’s participation at ASNA this year.

Career Fair

The CIA once again hosted a double booth in the career fair. Many thanks go to Jamie Jocsak, Patrick Kavanagh, Dave Dickson, and Sharon Giffen for the generosity of their time and energy to greet students and answer their many questions about the CIA and the profession.

CIA Career Lounge and Professional Photo Op


New this year, in the CIA career lounge, we worked with a professional photographer to provide students with a headshot to help build their professional image. There were lineups all night Friday and all day Saturday. We had fun with the process and the students, who were very appreciative. It was so successful that we’re considering providing the service for members at the Annual Meeting in Québec City!

Professional Panel

A big thank you to Patrick Kavanagh, who was the CIA representative on the professional panel, a group of senior industry leaders who participated in two Friday night sessions. Students who attended were able to ask questions and received valuable career advice. In between sessions, Patrick was also meeting and greeting students at the CIA career lounge.

Case Competition

A few years ago, we suggested that the annual case competition be co-sponsored by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), and the CIA. ASNA agreed, and it has been a very successful model since. The case this year, generated by the CAS, was related to workers’ compensation. We were lucky to have Don Blue, chief actuary at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) as the CIA representative judge on the panel.

Congratulations to the student team from the University of British Columbia who won the case.

Education Sessions

This year, the CIA provided two education sessions. Michel Simard, CIA Executive Director and Joseph Gabriel, staff actuary, education, hosted the first one, on professionalism. Students were introduced to some of the concepts and challenges that they will encounter as future professionals, and were encouraged to discuss them openly.

The second session was the hot seat panel discussion on Innovation and the Evolution of the Actuarial Profession. The session was an open dialogue between CIA volunteer panellists and the students about the skill sets and type of work that may be required of actuaries in the future. Students were challenged in advance to submit their vision for the future and be called upon to sit in the panel "hot seat" to present. The goal was twofold: generate great discussion about the future of the profession and give students a chance to practise their presentation skills. As a reward, students who participated will be profiled on the CIA web site as promising professionals of the future, so be sure to check them out! Thank you to Claude Ferguson, Jamie Jocsak, and Joel Li for their participation on the panel, as well as to Chris Fievoli, CIA staff actuary, communications and public affairs, for moderating.

CIA Gala Dinner – Keynote Presentation by Sharon Giffen, CIA President-elect

CIA President-elect Sharon Giffen

We capped off the weekend with Sharon Giffen’s keynote presentation to students at the CIA-sponsored gala dinner. Each year, the President-elect addresses the students on Saturday evening. Given that they already have had a full weekend of activities, we try to make this evening fun and memorable. Under the themes of engagement and the future, Sharon delighted students with an interactive presentation including video messages from CIA members with words of wisdom for the students and some real-time polling questions using their smart phones which kept them engaged and entertained. We’ll be challenged to top this one next year!

My heartfelt thanks to all of the CIA volunteers who helped make the CIA presence at the 2017 ASNA Convention memorable. It is through your energy and enthusiasm that we are able to connect with students and increase their awareness and knowledge of the CIA and help them on their path to being the actuarial professionals of the future. Additional thanks to all the CIA Head Office staff who assisted in making the event a success for the CIA.

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

Spotlight on New Fellows

Hugo Boutin-Ouellet, FCIA

1. When and why did you become an actuary?

Up until college, I had never heard of actuarial science. Personal interest in mathematics and chemistry was leading me straight to a pharmacy program. However, a visit to Université Laval’s actuarial sciences open house day ended up being a game changer to my career plans. Presenters did an outstanding job at introducing the profession, discussing impacts we could have on societies, international perspectives related to the profession, and the diversity of possible career paths.

2. Who inspired you to pursue an actuarial career?

I’ll thank my dad for that. He is the one who told me to show up to that open house day, after telling me a story about one of his good old friends, a Fellow of the CIA who had a successful career with plenty of traveling opportunities related to work.

3. What was your experience of the actuarial exams? Did you experience any particular challenges?

I actually failed my very first professional exam. I was overconfident and didn’t end up preparing myself seriously for the exam. Failure made me realize that becoming a Fellow would not be a walk in the park. I changed my approach, dedicating sufficient time to exam preparation, and went through the rest of the program successfully.

4. How did you find the transition from being a student to becoming a young professional?

My transition went well, but may appear atypical for most actuaries. After completing the university program, I took a two-year break to travel the world, working here and there in non-actuarial roles to fund my trip. Finding an actuarial job once back in Canada did not end up being as challenging as I thought it would be and I was fortunate enough to land in a good company offering plenty of learning opportunities for actuarial students.

5. What is your current professional role? Can you describe the type of work you’re doing?

I recently took on a new challenge at Manulife/John Hancock to provide pricing and reinsurance support to its U.S. division. My team focuses on the development of new and innovative retail life insurance products to be distributed in the U.S. market and internationally. My key responsibilities are diverse, ranging from pure pricing duties to external client relationship management. I focus mostly on new business but do get involved in inforce initiatives from time to time. Every day comes with new challenges and problems to solve, making this role very exciting.

6. What do you enjoy most about your job?

The wide range of projects I get involved in, access to key individuals across a number of companies, and the opportunity to learn something new every day are real motivators to me. Also, being able to operate at multiple levels, from pure technical work up to strategy setting and decision-making is quite stimulating. Finally, switching from a role to a professional perspective, I really like the international profile of the actuarial field. Referring to my own experience, I have been privileged to work for and learn from Canadian, American, and Australian businesses to date.

7. What are your short-term career ambitions?

Establishing myself as a key resource to our U.S. division and our external partners.

8. Where do you see yourself professionally in 15 years?

It is hard to say, as a number of things could change by then, such as market conditions, company needs, and personal interests. My plan is to keep developing myself and be ready for any challenges down the road.

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

I would probably be a pharmacist; it sounds like a good profession to develop and own your business while having a positive impact on your community.

10. What are your hobbies?

I really enjoy travelling. I have visited over 20 countries to date and it feels like there is so much more to discover. I also have a passion for martial arts, learning new languages, and social activities.

11. Where is your dream vacation destination?

I would really like to travel around South America and do things like visiting Machu Picchu, trekking to Iguazu Falls, or wandering around Rio’s streets during the carnival.

12. What is your motto?

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. – Mahatma Gandhi

Hugo Boutin-Ouellet is actuarial director, U.S. insurance at Manulife.

If you would like to be featured in Spotlight on New Fellows, please contact CIA English editor Bonnie Robinson at

Volunteers on the Move

International Relations Council

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

  • International Insurance Regulation Committee: Helmut Engels, Patricia Hladun, and Anandhi Sarvananthan, effective December 12, 2016; and
  • International Insurance Accounting Committee: Pierre Lepage, effective January 5, 2017.

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

  • International Relations Council: Robert McKay; and
  • International Insurance Accounting Committee: Edward Lam.

Practice Council

The name of the Enterprise Risk Management Committee has been changed to the Enterprise Risk Management Practice Committee, effective immediately.

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

  • Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting: Steve Bocking, Wilson Ho, Mario St-Hilaire, and Claude Théberge, effective January 1, 2017; and
  • Property and Casualty Insurance Pricing Committee: Brian Pelly (Vice-chair), effective immediately.

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

  • Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting: Louis Nault, Michael Hayes, and Lisa Miolo.

Member Services Council

The name of the Public Positions Committee has been changed to the Public Statements Committee.

The following person has been appointed to the committee named below:

  • Public Statements Committee: Bernard Morency (Chair), effective December 22, 2016.

The following person has completed his term with the committee named below, and has left with thanks:

  • Public Positions Committee: Mike Hale (Chair), effective December 22, 2016.

Head Office Update