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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires

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

By Sharon Giffen, FCIA
CIA President

Biases. We all have them.

And, in fact, bias is extremely beneficial in our day-to-day lives, to allow us to make rapid decisions without having to examine every question from every angle. Should I cross the street here or at the lights? What should I order for dinner? Is that dog friendly or about to attack?

However, in decision-making for the longer term, our biases can get in the way and lead us to suboptimal outcomes. I believe that simply by understanding that bias exists in business decision-making, we have taken the first step to mitigating its impact on us. Importantly, we can and will benefit if we take the next steps to reduce its impact. One way of doing that is to engage a diverse population in critical decisions.

What is Decision Bias?

Decision bias or cognitive bias occurs when our accumulated experiences cause us to draw irrational conclusions. There are several forms of biases, and many articles available in the public domain that describe them. I will not attempt to define the various forms here. For myself, I know I have a strong “clustering” bias—I see patterns in random events and must remind myself regularly not to draw conclusions on that basis.

From my past work experience, I am aware of the three biases in decision-making:

  • Confirmation bias—the tendency to listen only to the information that confirms our preconceived idea and to discard the facts that would refute it;
  • Blind spots—the failure to realize that we have biases; and
  • The trap of groupthink or the “bandwagon” bias.

How Can We Reduce the Impact of Our Biases?

There is a presentation from the USC Marshall School of Business, from which I have drawn these measures:

  1. Develop a process or series of steps to ensure that bias does not make you skip over critical questions, and to ensure that all facts are drawn out in that process. Start with a clean slate, ensuring that you fully consider all relevant facts.
  2. Seek out multiple perspectives—work hard to get a diverse set of views on a question.
  3. Challenge the facts and the conclusions. When appropriate, assign someone the role of devil’s advocate—someone who will argue the opposite side.

Clearly, one cannot use such a process for every small decision in life, but these are good steps for major decisions—in your personal, business, and professional life.

Diversity in the CIA

How does this impact the CIA? As we all know, the elected Board makes many decisions on behalf of the membership. As a Board, we are subject to all the same influences on decision-making as any corporate board. We benefit greatly from having diversity at the table. We achieve the best possible representation by having the maximum participation in the vote.

I am sure you see where I am going with this—please cast your ballot. Candidates have provided a position statement as well as responses to questions posed to them. (Please login to the website to read them.) Who do you think most closely aligns with your views? Who will represent the diverse needs of the profession well for the next three years?

Voting opens May 2 at noon. Please take the minute required to vote!

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

 
In Focus


By Sharon Giffen, FCIA
CIA President

As planned under the memorandum of understanding on education with the Society of Actuaries (SOA), CIA leadership and staff met with our counterparts at the SOA to discuss strategic matters on education. We discussed a number of topics, including collaboration on curriculum and examinations, a focus on IFRS 17, and a joint branding initiative on a web page for Canadian candidates on the SOA website. We look forward to the future launch of this initiative. Please watch for an announcement in the coming months.

Further, we discussed the CIA’s ongoing review of the SOA General Insurance track, setting out a path forward for both parties. For the CIA, work progresses with the drafting of our employer survey, which encompasses a number of education and qualification topics including general insurance. We discussed, at a high level, the differences between the CIA syllabus requirements and the SOA General Insurance track. The SOA and CIA share a long history of successful collaboration and partnership in education matters which has mutually benefited both organizations. The SOA and CIA each considers the other a valued education partner and seeks to maintain and enhance the relationship.

 

Faisal Siddiqi

By Faisal Siddiqi, FCIA

This article provides a summary of the recent activities of the Practice Council.

Committee on the Appointed/Valuation Actuary

Many actuaries in the life insurance and property-casualty practices are currently very busy working on changes related to IFRS 17. The Practice Council has received updates related to IFRS 17 and development of educational notes, supplements, and explanatory reports from both the Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting (CLIFR) and the Committee on the Appointed/Valuation Actuary (AA).

IFRS 17 will have a significant impact on the insurance industry. One of the key priorities of the AA Committee is to enable the Appointed Actuary to effectively carry out, per CIA standards, the Insurance Company Act requirements to promote relationships between the regulators and boards of directors of companies.

The six priorities of the AA Committee are the following:

  1. IFRS 17: Help the Actuarial Standard Board’s (ASB) Designated Group on the insertion of ISAP 4 into the CIA’s Standards of Practice. Assist CLIFR and the Committee on Property and Casualty Insurance Financial Reporting (PCFRC) to develop educational notes, and help the Committee on International Insurance Accounting (IIAC) to develop document(s) that highlight the key differences between the valuation of liabilities under the current standards and under IFRS 17.
  2. Capital: Work with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) and the Committee on Risk Management and Capital Requirements (CRMCR) to integrate the requirements of dynamic capital adequacy testing (DCAT) and own risk solvency assessment (ORSA). Regarding the Life Insurance Capital Adequacy Test (LICAT), the AA Committee has provided input on the certification note.
  3. Segregated funds capital requirements.
  4. IFRS 17: Provide input on Canadian-specific promulgations on mortality improvement and the ultimate discount rate.
  5. Peer review: Assist the DG looking into this.
  6. AA Seminar: Planning for this year’s session.

Currently, the IIAC is working with CLIFR and the PCFRC to release educational notes related to IFRS 17 targeted for late spring/early summer. There is a lot of interest in this and we are all working to get these notes out to practitioners as soon as possible.

Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting (CLIFR)

CLIFR is very busy too and is currently working on or has recently completed work on the following:

  • Educational note on LICAT. Some minor changes were made to the draft educational note and then it was released in final form.
  • An explanatory report to assist insurance practitioners with setting the ultimate reinvestment rate.
  • Establishing working groups related to IFRS 17.

Committee on Pension Plan Financial Reporting (PPFRC)

The PPFRC also had a busy start to the new year. So far, they are working on or have released guidance related to the following:

  • Annuity guidance. This is the annual long guidance the PPFRC prepares to help pension practitioners. This year’s note included additional guidance for short-duration liability plans.
  • Commuted Value Standard. Work continues on this update mostly through the ASB but involves input from the PPFRC.
  • Stochastic Modelling Note. Work continues on this note as it applies to shared-risk and other plans.
  • Discount rate setting. Given the changes in various provincial pension legislation for funding pension plans, the PPFRC is considering and preparing a number of additional updates and notes.
  • Additional disclosure requirements. Revisions to subsection 3260 were released.

On top of this already busy schedule, the CIA, PPFRC, ASB, and Practice Council meet regularly with regulators to provide updates to the work we are doing and determine where we can help each other going forward.

Other Committees

The other practice committees are quite busy too! At the Practice Council level, we receive regular updates from each practice committee at our monthly conference calls. Of note recently:

  • The Enterprise Risk Management Practice Committee was established last year and has developed a skills and knowledge inventory for their group, recruited members to their steering committee, prepared submissions on corporate governance guidelines and ISAP 6, and completed the French technical review of two research papers.
  • The Committee on Post-Employment Benefit Plans completed work on their trend note paper, Model of Long-Term Healthcare Cost Trends in Canada. This was a joint paper with the Society of Actuaries.
  • The Committee on Workers’ Compensation has prepared an educational note on collecting and verifying data (data validation note).
  • The PCFRC released two notes: one on DCAT in November 2017 and another on 2017 guidance to AAs for PC insurers.

Conclusion

Finally, the Practice Council is working with the Board to help prepare for changes in the CIA’s governance structure and to improve our overall governance process. This involves reviewing our own due process, the documents we receive for review, and the transition to the new proposed committees.

As usual, the Practice Council is available to discuss our review work noted above and our membership is shown on the CIA’s website.

Faisal Siddiqi, FCIA, is Chair of the Practice Council.

 
Actuaries on the Move

Career developments

Sylvain Charbonneau was appointed president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Canassurance Group.

Louis Gagnon was appointed Country Corporate Officer for Canada by Marsh and McLennan Companies. He continues to serve as CEO of Mercer Canada.

Nick Komissarov was appointed senior consultant by Willis Towers Watson in its Americas Life Practice. He will be the head of the Chicago Life group and will provide consulting services to life insurance clients.

Rebecca Rycroft was appointed senior vice-president and chief financial officer (CFO) to support growth in Canadian life and health business at Munich Re Canada.

Actuaries in the media

Rob Brown, Barbara Zvan, and Serge Charbonneau were quoted in a Benefits Canada article regarding the tools available to plan sponsors to help close the pension generation gap.

Joe Nunes was quoted in an article on defined contribution plans in Benefits Canada.

The Toronto Metro profiled Martha Palaroan. The Associate, who works in the insurance industry, has taught herself carpentry and is gradually transforming her family’s house.

Cathy Preston wrote a blog post in the Huffington Post about the skills millenials need to survive in today’s new economy.

CIA member Andrew Whale was quoted in this Benefits Canada article on defined benefit plans and the new provisions under Ontario’s Pension Benefits Act.

The Globe and Mail published an article on actuaries’ ability to predict the future: The Top 1000: A better way to predict which stocks will outperform.

The online magazine eTurboNews has published an article on the recent update of the Actuaries Climate IndexTM (for summer 2017).

infosecurity magazine and IBM’s SecurityIntelligence website published an article on the results of the 11th Annual Survey of Emerging Risks, conducted by the CAS, CIA, and SOA’s Joint Risk Management Section. Over 200 risk managers primarily based in North America participated in this survey.

___________________________________________________________________________

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.

 
Public Affairs Corner

Bernard Morency

By Bernard Morency, FCIA

The CIA Strategic Plan 2017–2019 identifies influencing public policy as one of the CIA’s key goals. To fulfil this goal, the Institute regularly issues public statements, including responses to government, organizations, and regulatory agency consultations. These are considered level-1 public statements. Level-2 statements are those where the CIA is being proactive, to assess and take a position on an issue that it considers to be in the public interest.

Formerly known as the Public Positions Committee, the Public Statements Committee (PSC) identifies, reviews, and approves all public statements the Institute makes. Guided by the process outlined in 2017’s Policy on the Approval of Public Statements, members of the PSC  provide focused comments with a particular eye on our mission (i.e., serving the public interest), consistency with prior submissions, and clarity. The CIA President is also part of the approval process.

A Variety of Topics

The last few months have been particularly busy. Indeed, since mid-November 2017, the PSC has reviewed 13 level-1 public statements. These include submissions on defined benefit (DB) pension funding to Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Manitoba, four to the International Actuarial Association on revisions to Insurance Core Principles (ICPs) as well as disclosure of actuarial obligations of social security systems, and other topics such as Bill 141 in Québec, corporate governance guidelines to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), and discount rate guidance to the Public Sector Accounting Board.

A Collaborative Effort

With the collaboration of Head Office, the PSC keeps a record of all prior submissions as well as those currently underway. When the PSC learns about a submission opportunity, it appoints a drafting team to create a draft statement. This group is made up of members with subject-matter expertise, who know the material and represent an appropriate balance of viewpoints and local expertise when needed.

When possible, we turn to the CIA’s practice committees and councils for help in selecting a drafting team. For example, for our many submissions on pension-related matters, we asked the Pension Advisory Committee (PAC) and/or the Committee on Pension Plan Financial Reporting (PPFRC) for volunteers or recommendations on who should join the drafting team.

When appropriate, we may appoint an existing committee as the drafting team itself. For instance, the ERM Practice Committee prepared the CIA’s submission to OSFI on corporate governance guidelines. Another consideration is geographic location. For the submission to Manitoba on the Pension Benefits Act review, we asked practitioners from that province to prepare the submission.

Once a drafting entity completes a draft submission, three to five members of the PSC form an authorizing committee (AC). The draft submission is sent to all members of the PSC, who send their comments to the AC, which then meets and either approves the submission as is, provides comments to the drafting entity which decides on final content, or asks the drafting entity to revise the draft and resubmit it for approval.

Head Office staff edit and format the final draft and submit it to the organization that requested the feedback. Head Office then translates the submission, posts it on the website in French and English, and notifies members in the weekly announcements.

Level-2 Public Statements

A level-2 public statement requires member input and Board ratification prior to its release. Three single topic task forces (STTF) are currently developing public statements on climate change (Catherine Jacques-Brissette and Gaetano Geretto, co-champions), retirement age (Joe Nunes and Jacques Tremblay, co-champions), and risk classification (Emile Elefteriadis and Matthew Buchalter, co-champions). This type of document is a first for us and we are working hard to make them a success.

All three statements have gone through the first stage of member consultation. Other stages can include a webcast, written feedback, and presentation of the public statement at an actuarial or town hall meeting. We expect to release the next draft of each statement, for additional member feedback, between now and the end of the year. Eventually, the PSC will appoint five PSC members to serve on the AC for each statement.

Increased Awareness of the Actuarial Voice

Perhaps as a result of previous CIA submissions, organizations are now asking for the CIA’s input on a variety of topics. The media has also noticed our recent submissions and published stories about them.

When asked, we decide to provide comments or not, based on how the issue relates to our membership and expertise and our ability, given available resources and time, to prepare a submission that will serve the public interest and help us fulfil our strategic goal of influencing public policy.

I will make a more detailed report at our upcoming Annual Meeting in June. Do not hesitate to reach out to tell us what you think and how we could improve the process.

Bernard Morency, FCIA, is Chair of the Public Statements Committee.

 
Hannover Re (Ireland) DAC Canadian Life Branch
Lush Life Travel - an independent affiliate of Vision Travel
RGA Canada
Institute News

By Carmelina Santamaria

During National Volunteer Week, April 15–21, the CIA celebrated the significant value and far-reaching impact of its 550+ volunteers.

As part of the celebrations, volunteers received a thank-you card in the mail that included a conundrum: a puzzle to solve for the chance to win a $500 credit towards CIA continuing professional development (CPD) offerings.

Congratulations to Brock McEwen, who won the draw.

Our Greatest Asset

Volunteers are our greatest asset. Their active participation in the Institute’s work strengthens the profession and improves the work of all Canadian actuaries. Their value is apparent in all aspects of our success:

  • Delivering Canadian services and products;
  • Influencing public policy;
  • Developing emerging practices;
  • And much more!

As we look to the future of volunteering we will focus on supporting our current volunteers and nurturing the talented actuaries in our midst who will become our next leaders.

Thank you to all those volunteers who have set the groundwork, to those volunteers currently putting their time and commitment into the Institute, and to the future volunteers who will take the CIA to its next level of success.

Once again, thank you for your time and commitment to this great profession.

Carmelina Santamaria is the coordinator, volunteer services at the Head Office.

Here is the conundrum that was sent to volunteers. (The answer will appear on the website later in May. Note that you must log in to view the page.)

 

 

There are many ways to help grow the actuarial profession, including volunteer work, continuing professional development, and issuing public statements. But voting in the elections is the fastest and easiest way to have your voice heard.

Let’s Increase Member Participation

Each year, some 30 percent of Institute members exercise their right to vote. When we consider the statistics from past years, we see a gap in voting habits between new and long-standing members. Members who obtained their Fellowship during the past decade are less likely to vote (22 percent) as members who obtained their designation 20 or more years ago (35 percent).

There are various explanations for this disparity. While it may be tempting to attribute it to a lack of political commitment on the part of millennials—a  much maligned generation, to be sure—it is more likely that young actuaries simply think they don’t have the time, what with the demands of starting their careers while having to juggle family responsibilities.

For Joseph Kazibwe, new Fellow and Chair of the New Members Committee, voting is not only crucial but it’s also a practical way to get involved. “It is an effective method of influencing the priorities and focus of the CIA for the next 12 months through electing candidates who share our ideologies,” he says.  

The members of the Elections Committee are doing their best to make voting as easy as possible. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you cast your vote in an informed manner.

Reminder: the President-elect was elected by acclamation, and eight candidates are vying for four Director positions.

It Takes Very Little Time Vote!

Step 1: Learn about the candidates. Read their biographies and their position statements in the members’ section of the website (you will need to login).

Step 2: Explore the candidates’ original ideas and solutions in response to three important questions posed by members.

Step 3: Vote! Starting at noon on Wednesday, May 2, you can access your electronic ballot. Voting closes on Wednesday, May 23 at 3 p.m. Mark your calendar!

You care about your profession, so take a few minutes to vote. It’s the easiest way to become involved and to ensure that the Institute’s priorities are in line with your own.

To learn more about the elections, check out the CIA Elections Rules of Procedure.

 

In March 2018, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) published the Handbook for Economic Capital Modelling (you will need to login on the members’ site), which focuses on insurance risk and its components. The result of a six-year project undertaken by the P&C Minimum Capital Test Advisory Committee Industry Working Group (IBC MAC WG), the handbook will serve as foundational educational material on the use and development of economic capital models for decision-making, even as future practices change.

The CIA has special permission to share the handbook with its members. Over 15 CIA members collaborated on this IBC project, three of whom chaired the working group: Chris Townsend (initial chair), Anne-Marie Vanier (former chair), and Jacqueline Friedland (current chair). The IBC recognizes the extraordinary amount of time and effort required to research and collaborate on this project, especially Ms. Friedland’s hard work, dedication, and leadership, which made this project possible. For a full list of CIA members who collaborated on this project, please see the handbook.

Note that as IBC prepared the handbook for publication, the International Accounting Standards Board released its final version of IFRS 17 (International Financial Reporting Standards for insurance contracts). It is anticipated that IFRS 17 will be effective in Canada on January 1, 2021. Given the timing of the release of the new accounting standard and the uncertainty with respect to its interpretation as of the date of the handbook’s publication, implications, if any, of the new accounting standards were not considered in developing the handbook.

We hope that Canadian P&C companies at all stages of the economic capital model development process will find this educational document useful. 

 

Robert Dowsett

Past President Rob Dowsett, FCIA(1965), FSA(1954), MAAA(1966)

Former CIA president Rob Dowsett passed away April 8, 2018 in Toronto. He was 88.

Mr. Dowsett graduated with first class honours from the University of Toronto (Victoria College) in 1950 with a bachelor of arts in honours mathematics and physics. He began his career at Crown Life Insurance in 1950. He became executive vice-president of Crown Life in 1970, and president and CEO in 1971. In 1982, he joined Mercer, becoming vice-chair in 1985. After retiring from Mercer in 1995, he operated Robert Dowsett Consulting.

The CIA’s 10th President, from 1973–1974, Mr. Dowsett volunteered with the Institute from 1965 until very recently. He served on the YRT Reinsurance Committee, the Motto Committee, the Tribunal Panel, the Elections Committee, the Discipline Committee, and the Committee to Consider Broadened Role for the Valuation Actuary. He also volunteered as a director with The Actuarial Foundation of Canada.

Robert Dowsett (1973-1974)
Mr. Dowsett was the CIA’s 10th President, from 1973–1974. 

“The Canadian actuarial profession has lost one its finest with the passing of Rob Dowsett,” says Past President Stuart Wason. “I have known Rob since the early 1970s when he greeted me as Crown Life president and I was an aspiring actuarial student. We worked most closely during my actuarial consulting with Mercer. Rob had been instrumental in the development of Mercer’s insurance practice in Canada in the early 1990s. During these later years at Mercer, Rob was a very important mentor to me and one of the finest people I have ever met. His grace, high principles, statesmanship, and genuine love of people were unparalleled. Rob inspired all who knew him, often with a twinkle in his eye and the warmth of his smile, to do their best. I will miss him greatly, but his lifelong legacy carries on through those who have met him and been inspired by him.”

Past President Jacques Tremblay first met Mr. Dowsett in fall 1994. “Rob was set to retire from Mercer then, but decided to stay with us for the next 30 months to provide leadership and support as we were dealing with the Confederation Life liquidation. As far as actuaries go, they don’t come much better than Rob Dowsett. He was such a professional, a pillar, a fantastic role model, and a continuous source of inspiration for us all here at Oliver Wyman.” Mr. Tremblay remembers seeing Mr. Dowsett most recently at the 2017 CIA Pension Seminar. “Young Rob (88 years old) was there at 7:30 a.m., making sure he saw me before my presentation to provide his support,” he says. “Rob will be missed so much.”

A founding member of the CIA, Mr. Dowsett contributed extensively to Our history. Our achievements., a written history of the CIA produced as part of the Institute’s 50th anniversary celebration. He became a silver volunteer award recipient at the 2015 Annual Meeting.

Rob Dowsett obituary

 
Events News

AM 2018 Banner EN

By Joseph Gabriel, FCIA

I look forward to seeing you Learn, Adapt, and Thrive at the 2018 Annual Meeting. As staff actuary, education with the CIA, I have the best behind-the-scenes look at how the Continuing Education Committee and CIA staff did everything to put together a stellar program yet again.

From the Conventional to Digital Disruption

With some 50 sessions on wide-ranging topics, this year’s Annual Meeting promises to be broad, current and captivating. Participants are sure to find cutting-edge content that is relevant to their practice.

Pensions and Insurance

Learn more about the latest updates on retirement legislative changes. Speakers will provide details on the new Ontario regulations regarding the provision for adverse deviations, as well as other changes and their implications. Take part in panel discussions on the legislation and framework for pension plan terminations and commuted values and their impact on plan members in various contexts.

Other sessions will outline why actuaries should focus on cancer, the consequences of wrong assumptions, and correlations and dependencies across insurance product lines.

Mortality and Morbidity Outcomes

Hear about the results of a new study predicting mortality and morbidity outcomes in a data set of 500,000 lives. Using medical, lifestyle, and genetic data, speakers will demonstrate that adding knowledge of a person’s genetics, assessed using polygenic risk scores, to conventional rating factors significantly changes the prediction of an individual’s risk of dying or developing heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke. Speakers will discuss the impact on the life insurance industry with focus on the potential for anti-selection if insurers cannot access the same genetic information during underwriting.

LICAT and IFRS 17

Do you have questions about the new Life Insurance Capital Adequacy Test (LICAT) and IFRS 17? Speakers will discuss lessons learned from the LICAT implementation process and approaches to forecasting and projecting on a LICAT basis.

IFRS 17 will have a huge impact on actuarial financial reporting. Don’t miss the nine sessions that showcase the issues.

Healthcare and Pharmacogenetics

On the health side, a presentation on pharmacogenetics, or personalized medicine for the masses, will discuss the health and economic arguments for using pharmacogenomics.

Financial Services and Digital Disruption

What actuary isn’t wondering about the financial services industry’s unprecedented transformation? A revolution rooted in digital disruption and the adoption of innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of things. It is imperative that finance, risk, and compliance teams reinvent and transform to provide business advice and profitable growth while ensuring resiliency and compliance. A few real-world use cases will illustrate how and where blockchain networks are likely to trickle down into our day-to-day lives and profession.

The meeting will also include structured professionalism content, such as ethical decision-making for actuaries and the art of persuasion.

The Numbers Speak for Themselves

To see the magnitude of the effort and human capital invested in organizing the Annual Meeting, look at the underlying numbers:

  • 42 continuing professional development (CPD) charged sessions;
  • 53 sessions in total;
  • 48.5 total hours of CPD content;
  • 118 session speakers;
  • Four hours of available professionalism-structured CPD;
  • Two keynote speakers; and
  • Up to 7.75 hours of individual CPD.

Network with Colleagues

The social side of the event is important too. Take the opportunity to mix with colleagues, establish new connections, and welcome our new Fellows to the Institute.

In relation to this year’s theme, Learn, Adapt, Thrive, I will quote Aristotle: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

I hope to see you in great numbers on June 21–22 at the CIA flagship event!

Joseph Gabriel, FCIA, is staff actuary, education, at the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

 
Ethics and Professionalism


By Michel Simard
Executive Director

The annual dues renewal period is fast approaching! By June 1, you will be called upon to renew your professional status and personal engagement with your profession by paying your membership dues. Prompt payment allows your national, self-regulating professional organization to continue to protect the public and promote the actuarial profession on your behalf.

Membership dues constitute the lion’s share of the financial resources needed for the CIA to pursue its mission and deliver services to its members. A professional association should also be capable of swiftly reaching its members when required. We would appreciate receiving timely payment of your dues as well as a notification of any recent changes to your personal information and contact details.

Remain in good standing and maintain your designation by paying your membership dues as soon as possible. Note that timely payment of annual dues remains the sole responsibility of the member, even if they are paid by your employer.

Thank you in advance for your prompt action.

 
Spotlight on New Fellows


Warren D’Souza, FCIA

1. When and why did you become an actuary?

I attained my FCIA in 2014. I wanted to be an actuary because I was good at math, actuaries earn a good income, and they enjoy relatively low stress in their jobs compared to other professions.

2. Who inspired you to pursue an actuarial career?

In my first year at the University of Waterloo, I became good friends with a guy in the actuarial science program. I was in a general math program at the time. Since I was already math inclined, my friend encouraged me to try actuarial science.

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

The actuarial exams are very challenging; much more difficult than university exams. I did pretty well on the preliminary exams, but I found the FSA exams especially challenging. It took me a while to realize that the method to passing (for me) was memorization. I fought that for a while which slowed my progress. It was tough to fail exams, but I’m happy that I stuck with it. It’s definitely an accomplishment that I’m proud of.

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

I’m currently a senior consultant at Aon in the retirement practice and I’m also a people manager. In retirement consulting, we help our clients manage their pension plans. We do design, funding, accounting, administration, and legal work with respect to pension plans. Recently, a lot of our work concerns settlement of pension liabilities, de-risking, and winding up pension plans.

5. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the variety of the work. It’s challenging and stimulating to work on different projects from week to week.

6. What are your short-term career ambitions?

My short-term career ambitions are to continue to grow in my role as a senior consultant and to take on more responsibility, with the goal of progressing to the next level.

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

The rules for defined benefit pension plans are constantly changing with the economic environment, so there is a lot of work to do for our clients now and in the future. In 15 years, I can see myself in retirement consulting in some sort of leadership role.

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

After becoming an FCIA, I thought about volunteering with the CIA, but I wanted to do something that was relevant to retirement consulting as well. So I decided to volunteer for the Committee on Pension Plan Financial Reporting (PPFRC). The PPFRC prepares guidance and educational notes for actuaries working in the pension field. The material we produce helps pension actuaries do their work.

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

If I had more of a risk-taker personality, I would have liked to become a professional poker player. Poker is such an interesting game as it combines logic, math, psychology, and gambling. And it’s fun!

10. What are your hobbies?

I enjoy movies (especially superhero movies), poker, playing squash, travel, trying new restaurants, and spending time with my wife and daughter.

11. Where is your dream vacation destination?

My dream vacation would probably be one of those exotic destinations with the overwater bungalows. Like Fiji or the Maldives.

12. What is your motto?

Honesty is the best policy . . . except in poker.

Warren D’Souza is a member of the Pension Plan Financial Reporting Committee.

 
Volunteers on the Move

Board

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

  • Eligibility and Education Council: Daniel Settle Dine and Zander Smith, effective February 23, 2018.

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

  • IFRS 17 Steering Committee: Crispina Caballero, Stéphanie Fadous, Raul Martin, and Lesley Thomson (members) and Simon Curtis, Micheline Dionne, Luc Naud, Chris Townsend, and Jacques Tremblay (observers);
  • Climate Change and Sustainability Committee: Gaetano Geretto (vice-chair), effective March 9, 2018;
    • Single Topic Task Force on Climate Change Risk: Gaetano Geretto (co-champion), effective March 9, 2018; and
  • Task Force on the Implementation of the Proposed Changes to the CPD Requirements: Robert Boeckner, Dominic Bourbonnais, Peter Gorham, and W. Steven Prince, effective August 15, 2017.

The following person has completed her term with the task force named below, and leaves with thanks:

  • Single Topic Task Force on Climate Change Risk: Karen Lockridge, effective March 8, 2018.

The Board has approved the IFRS 17 Steering Committee mandate as presented:

  • To ensure that members are provided with the education and guidance they will need (and on a timely basis) to be ready for the implementation of IFRS 17.
  • The mandate is not limited to financial reporting, but should also encompass pricing, capital, enterprise risk management (ERM), asset liability management (ALM) and any other matters that can reasonably be expected to be affected by the implementation of IFRS 17.
  • Guidance will be promulgated by various CIA committees (including the Committee on International Insurance Accounting (IIAC), the Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting (CLIFR), the Committee on Property and Casualty Insurance Financial Reporting (PCFRC), and the Committee on Workers’ Compensation (WC)):
    • Steering committee to help identify areas requiring guidance, and to develop a work plan, including deliverables;
    • Steering committee to identify sections of the standards of practice where changes may be needed, and to recommend that the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) develop such changes as they consider appropriate; and
    • Steering committee to monitor progress and coverage and to take action as needed if any committees are not working to plan (e.g., recommend creation of new task force).
  • To work with other interested parties to understand areas of potential overlap, to recommend alternatives to streamline and reduce duplication, and to identify any gaps.
  • To liaise periodically with our counterparts in other jurisdictions (or as directed by the Board).
  • To provide (brief) written reports to the Board at every Board meeting, and in person from time to time, as requested by the Board.