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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires

February 2018
Elliott Bauer
D.W. Simpson & Company
Elliott Bauer
President's Update

By Sharon Giffen, FCIA
CIA President

Is it still timely to say “Happy New Year”? By the time of publication, many of you will have been back, hard at work, into the year-end reporting rush after December’s gatherings and celebrations with family and friends. I hope you still can recall and benefit from time off and have undertaken the new year with energy and enthusiasm.

For me, January has always been a time to reflect on the year just finished and the year to come. I’d like to share a few of the highlights from my contemplations this year. 

Outreach to Students and Members

In 2017, highlights included my visits to the Actuarial Students’ National Association, city actuarial clubs, and two Live Mic events where I had the opportunity to hear directly from members. I continue to encourage anyone who has something to say to connect with me—either through the Head Office or my personal e-mail. 

Local and Global Connections

Attending two International Actuarial Association meetings gave me much greater insight into the valuable contribution that CIA members make on the global stage. I couldn’t be more proud to sit at the table at the President’s Forum, knowing that Canadians are recognized around the world for contributing to the development of practice and standards.

It was also great fun to go back to the University of Waterloo, my alma mater, once to help them recognize and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Statistics and Actuarial Science Department and the Faculty of Mathematics, and again at a conference on Advances in Predictive Analytics. In both cases, I was reminded of the value of the relationship that the CIA enjoys with our academic colleagues. 

The Months Ahead

Looking forward to 2018, I am optimistic and confident that we will continue to see significant developments in actuarial practice in Canada. IFRS 17 will move closer to reality, changing actuarial practice in the insurance business. Capabilities in predictive modelling and analytics will evolve and require that actuaries acquire new skills to take advantage of these tools. Society’s debates about healthcare and pensions will continue, where actuaries can and should add our valuable perspective—a combination of fact-based analysis with a public-interest perspective in interpretation of that data.

How Can You Contribute?

Now is a great time to consider how you might be able to contribute to the CIA. Can you volunteer for a task force or committee? Are you ready to sit on the Board, helping to shape the agenda for the CIA? Or will you run to be the President? I can vouch for the positive side in the balance of effort and reward in this post!

Changes in Governance

At the CIA, we have some administrative issues to advance this year. Governance and structure changes along with continuing work on our membership management system will enable modernization and efficiency among the hard-working (and often under-appreciated) Head Office staff. Michel Simard, our Executive Director, continues to be instrumental in driving forward these initiatives—kudos to him and his team. 

With a short five months to go in my presidential year, I am ever impatient to move everything forward. I have come to understand much more personally the idea that each of us completes and implements some of the initiatives of our predecessors, moves the dial on others, and initiates activity that will not come to fruition for years in the future—even so, this is a rewarding year; an experience I am privileged to enjoy.

Please consider how you can get involved!

Sharon Giffen, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

 
Actuaries on the Move

Career developments

Jean-François Blais retired as president of Intact Insurance.     

Marc-André Giguère took over as president and chief executive officer of Munich Re, US (life and health) in January.

Jacques Goulet was appointed president, Sun Life Financial Canada. He joins the company from Mercer, where he was president, health and wealth.

Mathieu Lamy was named chief operating officer (COO) of Intact Financial Corporation.

Constance Lemieux, president and COO of La Capitale’s property and casualty division has announced her retirement, effective February 24 after a decade at the company. Christian Fournier, the current VP of claims, has been named as her successor.

Philippe Pagé is office leader for Mercer Canada’s health business in Vancouver, BC. He has over 15 years of group benefits consulting experience and has held senior-level roles in western Canada.

Faisal Siddiqi has joined EY as an associate partner. He will serve as an actuary in the people advisory services-rewards area of EY Canada. Most recently, he was Canadian wealth practice leader at Conduent HR services.

Gary Walters has become senior vice-president of underwriting for GroupHEALTH Benefit Solutions.

Actuaries in the media

Catherine Jacques-Brissette was interviewed by radio station 104.7 FM in the Outaouais about the Actuaries Climate Index.

Serge Charbonneau was quoted in an article on Québec pension funds in Benefits Canada.

Malcolm Hamilton discusses his own preparation for retirement in a Globe and Mail article. He was also referenced in a Financial Post article on the Canada Pension Plan.

The Globe and Mail quoted Bill Kennedy in an article on annuities.

Caterina Lindman was interviewed about the Actuaries Climate Index by the Canadian Press, CTV Halifax, Radio Humber (Humber College), SiriusXM (Canada Now), and 1310 News (Rick Gibbons Show, Ottawa).

The Task Force Report on Mortality Improvement recently published by the CIA was mentioned in a Benefits Canada article, plan sponsors to consider new mortality improvement scale. Dean Newell discussed the task force’s work.

The Submission to the Nova Scotia Finance and Treasury Board on its Pension Funding Framework Review and Other Issues Affecting Pension Plans was featured in an article from Benefits Canada.

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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.

 
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Institute News

The CIA is calling for candidates for its upcoming annual Board elections—a platform for participants to share their unique ideas and skills with the membership and, if elected, make an impact through CIA governance.

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 strives to achieve proportional representation by region and practice area on the Board whenever possible.

If you are interested in nominating an individual or submitting your own name for this year’s ballot, please contact Linda Fleurant-Beaulieu at the CIA Head Office as soon as possible or by April 3.

This is your chance to potentially take on a role that could expand your leadership experience and provide you with a wealth of networking opportunities, all while serving and supporting your profession.

 

By Alicia Rollo, CHRL

January is a great time to hit reset on plans and goals for the year. Last year, like all its predecessors, was a busy one and 2018 appears to be following suit.

Some Highlights from 2017

On the education front, 2017 was about new ways of operating. We signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on education with the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the plans for a new Practice Education Course (PEC) were formally approved, we obtained approval from the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) for coverage of their professionalism requirements, CIA eligibility and education requirements for the ACIA and FCIA designations were refined, and the Board approved an updated education syllabus which falls in line with the recently approved International Actuarial Association (IAA) education syllabus. In 2017 we also added communications education to our professionalism workshop and started making plans for a new PEC in 2018.  

On the continuing education front, a new policy for the delivery of continuing professional development (CPD) was approved which lays out a model for how we will deliver continuing education through the CIA’s own programs, as well as for those we deliver through partnership and co-sponsorship. We also piloted some new formats for seminars in response to member requests for shorter, local events that require less time out of the office, and we started a discussion about the need for greater continuing education courses related to IFRS 17.

Implementing Changes

As we enter 2018, it looks like the year of implementation. Beginning with our MOU with the SOA, which lays out how the two organizations will work together to ensure that SOA education and examinations will meet the CIA’s requirements, we now have CIA representatives in place on curriculum and examination committees who help facilitate communication between the two organizations and ensure alignment of processes. We are also working with SOA staff on a central area on the SOA website for Canadian candidates pursuing the ACIA and FCIA designations. The goal is to have current information about how the SOA education system helps fulfil the requirements for CIA eligibility and education requirements. Further, we will have our first annual education strategy meeting with the SOA in April. CIA leadership and staff will meet with our SOA counterparts annually to discuss both short- and long-term plans in education.

Practice Education Course

With MOUs in place with both the SOA and the CAS, the CIA now relies 100 percent on those organizations for the examination of the CIA education syllabus. This allows us to complete our transition plans for the Practice Education Course. With no examination at PEC beginning in 2018, the course is evolving while retaining some of the core elements that candidates and employers have valued since 2000. Track-specific workshops which help reinforce the practical application of the technical skills acquired through examination, plenary sessions on areas of emerging practice for the profession, as well as communications and professionalism content will be included. We are also looking at expanding the traditional PEC tracks to include an enterprise risk management (ERM) option.

Watch for registration opening in mid-February. Candidates are encouraged to register early as we expect increased demand this year as a result of the elimination of the exam. It’s important to note that the eligibility requirements have changed for PEC. Canadian-specific SOA examinations are required in addition to a two-year experience requirement. Please visit the CIA website for the most up-to-date information.

Group and Health Examination

The CIA will hold its Group and Health Examination for candidates in the SOA Group and Health track on February 22. We expect that this examination will be offered again in 2019, but that it will be phased out as updates to the SOA Group and Health track are implemented.

February Pension and Investment Seminar

February also features a half-day Pension and Investment Seminar, offered for the first time entirely in French. The seminar expands on topics presented at the November 2017 Pension and Investment Seminars in Toronto. We are extremely pleased with the response to the event which has sold out.

Annual Meeting 2018

Finally, plans are progressing well for the 2018 Annual Meeting in Toronto on June 21 and 22. The Committee on Continuing Education is working hard on finalizing the program; registration is expected to open near the end of February.

Notable additions this year include an IFRS 17 track, keynote speaker Michael Hyatt, one of Canada’s top entrepreneurs, speaking on the internet of things, and Dr. Greg Wells, self-proclaimed scientist, professor, broadcaster, and author, who has dedicated his career to understanding human performance and how the human body responds to extreme conditions. Dr. Wells’ topic will be “the corporate Olympian, peak performance secrets for business leaders”.

I would also like to welcome Leslie Lenton to the CIA staff. Leslie is project manager, education and professional development. Leslie joins our small education and professional development team which also includes Joseph Gabriel, staff actuary education, Nancy Jenkinson, manager, meetings services, and Roxanne Vézina, coordinator, education and professional development.  Our entire team looks forward to welcoming you at a future CIA event.

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

 

By Kelly Fry

The shape of things to come, the CIA’s national advertising campaign, wrapped up in December. The campaign told the stories of how actuaries have made contributions to Canada’s social programs like the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Employment Insurance (EI), and Workers’ Compensation. This milestone year was a very fitting time to inform Canadians about the profession’s significant contributions.

National Campaign

Marketing and communications agency Banfield created an integrated marketing campaign that included video, advertorials, digital advertising, social media, and a landing page on the CIA website. The campaign ran nationally for seven weeks online at The Globe and Mail, CBC, Radio-Canada, and on several social media channels.

The Globe and Mail content hub featured a series of articles with CIA members. Their stories highlight the impact actuaries have had on some of Canada’s important social programs. We encourage you to read the articles and share them with your networks.

Not surprisingly, The task of safeguarding Canadians’ retirement benefits was the most widely read article in the content hub. There seems to be a general understanding of actuaries and the work they do with pensions; however, other areas of practice, both established and emerging, are less understood. Advertising campaigns like The shape of things to come shed light on other industries where actuaries work.

Member Recognition

The landing page at cia-ica.ca/Canada150 features a campaign video highlighting the areas in which actuaries work and how that work will impact the future of Canadians. The member profiles help put a face to the incredible work actuaries are doing by discussing why these members became an actuary and how they see actuaries shaping our country’s future. Special thanks to Michel Bédard, Patrick Chamberland, Angelita Graham, Rob Hinrichs, Catherine Jacques-Brissette, Rebecca Rycroft, and Gary Walters for their participation.

Social Media Presence

Social media has once again proven to be a cost-effective way to deliver targeted messages to a selected audience. This campaign leveraged Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube to deliver content that resonated with Canadians. Our English Twitter account and Facebook posts delivered the most engaged audience results.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to members who have participated in recent advertising campaigns. If you have an idea for an ad campaign, or a comment, feel free to get in touch with me at kelly.fry@cia-ica.ca. You can stay connected to the CIA: like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or connect with us on LinkedIn.

Kelly Fry is manager, marketing at the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

 

The CIA Head Office will be closed Monday, February 19 for the Ontario Family Day holiday. The office will reopen Tuesday, February 20.

 
Events News

By Alicia Rollo, CHRL

The Actuarial Students’ National Association held its annual convention in Ottawa, January 5–7, amid some of the coldest weather on record for the nation’s capital. Even the most adverse conditions couldn’t prevent more than 600 students and numerous employers and actuarial organizations from enjoying a full weekend of networking and learning, not to mention a little entertainment courtesy of CIA President-elect, John Dark.

The CIA has been a proud strategic partner to ASNA for more than 26 years and we value the relationship immensely. The convention is one of our favourite career events for the opportunities that it provides to meet and network with tomorrow’s actuaries. Organized by students, for students, the convention is an impressive undertaking featuring a career fair, education and information sessions, a case competition, as well as networking and social events over several days.  

Strong CIA Presence

CIA volunteers and staff participate fully in all aspects of the convention in addition to hosting the CIA career lounge, an informal gathering place at the convention for casual networking and conversation. For the second year, we brought along a photographer so students could have a professional headshot taken. Non-stop line-ups from Friday until Saturday afternoon show that students recognize the importance of presenting a professional image on their social networks.

The CIA also held two education sessions: the first featuring a panel of CIA members in non-traditional areas of practice. Thanks to Jamie Jocsak, Renée Couture, Dominic Bourbonnais, Annie Blais, and Rémi Villeneuve for their participation. Mr. Villeneuve also served as the CIA’s representative judge for the case competition.

Hot Seat Challenge Panel Discussion

The second session saw the return of the CIA Hot Seat Challenge panel discussion. This format encourages students to practise their communication and presentation skills by assuming the role of panellist to share their vision and hopes for the profession’s future. It also provides a relaxed forum for questions about the CIA, the profession, and general career advice. Each year, a few lucky students are selected to be featured on the CIA website. Watch for the profiles of these young professionals in the coming weeks. Thank you to Claude Ferguson, Chair of the Emerging Practices Committee, Board director Renée Couture, and Damien Lapointe Nguyen for the professional advice offered to the students within the session.

"Dear John" Career Advice Column

The CIA gala dinner is an annual event where the current CIA president-elect gives the keynote presentation. Each year, we try new formats and media to make it fun and interactive. Polling and word cloud generation are favourites, since attendees are actually encouraged to use their phones during the presentation.

This year’s theme was the “'Dear John' Career Advice Column”. CIA President-elect John Dark entertained the students with some personal anecdotes from his professional career, and shared a few contributions from CIA members. Thank you to Mark Campbell, Emily Kozlowski, Brant Wipperman, Caroline Rendall, and Harish Pawagi who responded to our December request for interview horror stories and career gaffes; your stories and career advice for students was invaluable.

A Strong Partnership

The CIA and ASNA updated our memorandum of understanding in December. The agreement lays out a few areas in which the CIA and ASNA have common interest and partnership. In addition to our support of the annual convention, the CIA supports ASNA throughout the year through use of our webcast platform, teleconference services, and French translation. In 2018, the long-awaited job portal will be launched, providing students and employers an integrated service for matching co-op opportunities and candidates. In addition, new services for CIA members will be available, including a résumé database and career postings.

Congratulations to 2017–2018 ASNA President Victor Wang, who exemplified professionalism throughout his term. We look forward to another great year in our relationship with ASNA, and to working with Haidar Imam, ASNA President for 2018–2019.

Consider Sharing Your Knowledge

From a staff perspective, there is no more rewarding way to kick-start a new year than in the great company of thoughtful CIA members and inspiring actuarial students. Thank you to my colleagues at the CIA Head Office who helped make the student experience a great one.

I encourage CIA members to get involved where possible, either by coming to a joint ASNA-CIA networking event (next one is in August 2018), by participating in the convention as an employer, or by helping out with an education session. I promise you will gain from the experience. In the words of Maya Angelou: When you learn, teach. When you get, give."

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

 
Volunteers on the Move

Practice Council

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

  • Committee on Risk Management and Capital Requirements: Christopher Hurlburt, David Kroach, Anh Tu Le, and Valerio Valenti, effective December 19, 2017; and
  • Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting: Trudy Engel, Lisa Giancola, Katheryne (Qian) Ma, Marie-Ève Mainguy, Mary Stock, and Harry Li (observer).

The Practice Council created the Committee on Pension and Post-retirement Benefit Accounting Discount Rates with the following membership: Gavin Benjamin (Chair), Maxime Carrier, Louis-Bernard Désilets, Elana Hagi, Uros Karadzic, Jason Malone, Sébastien Rannaud, Martin Raymond, and Guillaume Turcotte, effective December 15, 2017.

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

  • Committee on Risk Management and Capital Requirements: Kevin Gray, Pierre Lepage, Irfan Sharif, and Edward Swerhone; and
  • Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting: Eric Lemay, Jean-Yves Rioux, Caroline Rendall, Nathalie Cloutier, and Salim Kassam.

Member Services Council

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

  • Editorial Panel: Shannon Patershuk and Elena Rhodes, effective October 30, 2017.

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

  • Editorial Panel: Max Bazile, Brian Jenkins, Leslie Lohmann, Christopher McRae, Michael Promislow, Raymond Chiu Hoi C. Tsang, Ai Lin Wong, and Stephen Cheng;
  • Health Committee: Rob Brown;
  • Pension Advisory Committee: Jacques Lafrance; and
  • Public Statements Committee: Jacques Lafrance.

The Public Statements Committee has updated its mandate as follows:

The committee is charged with the review and approval of all public statements of the Institute, pursuant to the Policy on the Approval of Public Statements. Public statements do not include material covered under the Policy on Due Process for the Approval of Guidance Material other than Standards of Practice (e.g., educational notes), or committee or task force reports, or research reports. These documents could, however, serve as the basis for an Institute public statement.

The committee is also charged with conducting an ongoing scan of the CIA’s environment to identify potential issues or topics on which the CIA could develop a public statement.

The committee shall normally be composed of 10–15 experienced CIA volunteers, and include multiple members from each major practice area. The CIA President shall automatically be appointed as a member of the committee. Not all members of the committee will necessarily be involved in the approval of each public statement. However, the President, or his or her delegate, shall normally review all public statements prior to their release.