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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries

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



By John Dark, FCIA
CIA President

The March Board meeting proved to be quite productive, with in-depth discussion and decisions taken on several significant Institute concerns.

Retirement Age Public Statement

The Board was pleased to ratify the CIA’s first level 2 public statement. The final document will be released to the public on April 15, with members, selected stakeholders, and media receiving copies under embargo beforehand.

A great deal of work and consultation went into this document, which presents a proposal for changes to retirement ages in public pensions and tax-assisted retirement savings programs. I would like to thank the members of the single topic task force, led by co-champions Jacques Tremblay and Joe Nunes, as well as all of our members who participated in consultations and the reviewers on the Public Affairs Council for the time and effort that you have given to this excellent statement.

Strategic Discussion

As I mentioned in my March message, one of the key items on the March Board meeting agenda was the 2020–2024 strategic plan. In terms of our current strategic plan, we agreed that we have made great achievements across the areas of education, public policy, governance, and emerging practices. But which, if any, of these areas need to continue into 2020–2024? And what about including new or refined areas of focus, such as member engagement, volunteer support, international presence, public engagement, branding, or others?

The Board discussed and shared many ideas, and we are continuing to explore how various topics should be emphasized or integrated into a draft proposal for the next meeting in June.

National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week takes place April 7–13, and our theme this year is “Raising the Actuarial Profession to New Heights”. Volunteers are the heart of the CIA, and we would not be able to do the important work we do without their dedication.

To those of you who commit your valuable time to the Institute and the profession, thank you. If you want to get involved, visit the volunteer centre on the website (login required).  

Policy on Member Rights and Privileges

We recently released the new Policy on Administration of Member Rights and Privileges. As with any change to the way we become eligible, retain, and pay for our membership and professional designation, this has resulted in some discussion on our general mailing list and among individual members.

We have noted your questions and feedback. The Board is undertaking discussions to address any concerns or issues, and we will share a more detailed response and clarifications in the coming weeks.

You are always welcome to reach out to us with further thoughts or queries at feedback@cia-ica.ca.

Upcoming Dates

Save the date for the Annual General Meeting on June 14, 2019. This is the first year we are holding it via webcast to give you a better opportunity to join.

Finally, I would like to remind you that the election campaign for Board members is about to begin. Get ready to meet your candidates starting April 16, and don’t forget to vote during the voting period in May.

John Dark, FCIA, is the President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

In Focus



By Alison Rose, FCIA

On behalf of the Eligibility and Education Council (EEC) I would like to highlight some exciting developments with respect to both core actuarial education and continuing education for Canadian actuaries.

The CIA Annual Conference

The March (e)Bulletin introduced the forthcoming 2019 Annual Conference, which is now open for registration. This event will be held in Montréal on June 20–21 and represents a rebranding of the prior Annual Meeting. While continuing to be the premier event for the profession to network and focus on career development, the new conference promises an increased focus on the provision of structured continuing professional development (CPD) content as well as new session formats.

The Continuing Education Committee has done a great job of arranging an exciting program with topics designed to appeal to traditional and emerging practice areas. IFRS 17 continues to be top of mind for insurance practitioners, and the program offers a full range of sessions that will enable attendees to stay informed of recent developments and their Canadian implications. Other topics spanning practice areas include regulatory developments, cyber risk, and data analytics.

With a top-class lineup of keynote speakers and plenty of networking opportunities to forge new connections and reaffirm existing ones, be sure to register now.

CPD Requirements Effective January 1, 2020

Now that the deadline has passed for CPD filing for the period January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2018, it’s time to plan your CPD in relation to the new requirements that come into effect on January 1, 2020.

As a brief reminder, the 100 required hours have been reduced to 80, still accrued over a rolling two-year period. Some terminology has been changed to allow members greater flexibility in choosing the CPD that is relevant to them. More information about the new requirements is available on the Continuing Professional Development page of the website.

There is also the mandatory professionalism module that members must complete by December 31, 2019. More information about the module will be available soon. Please watch for this important release.

E-learning

We are also working hard on a new e-learning platform that will be used in the future for the above-mentioned professionalism module. The platform will provide members with a technology-forward means of completing the required professionalism CPD at their own pace, with a variety of interactive features to make the learning experience more enjoyable. We expect to launch the e-learning modules later this year.

Practice Education Course

The revamped Practice Education Course (PEC) is now in its second year. New developments include the following:

  • Two offerings. This year the sessions will be held in Toronto (June) and Montréal (December).
  • New practice tracks are being added – P&C, ERM, and Finance.
  • More interactive session formats to be offered with emphasis on case studies. One of the aims of the PEC is to look at practical applications of actuarial techniques to real-world situations.
  • A dinner with CIA President-Elect Marc Tardif has been added to the agenda.

Successful completion of the PEC is one of the requirements for the FCIA designation. 

CIA Syllabus Review

The CIA education syllabus is reviewed every two years to ensure that we not only keep it current, but also consider the skills that may be required in the future. IFRS 17 is a key input to our review, along with potential emerging areas of practice in Canada such as banking, health care, and financial reporting related to climate change and sustainability. 

If you have thoughts on the future skill set of actuaries, or other education-related matters, please contact me through my online directory email address on the CIA member website.

Alison Rose, FCIA, is Chair of the Eligibility and Education Council.

 

By Keith Walter, FCIA

As always, the past few months have been a busy time for the Research Council (REC). During a very productive 2018, we published 20 research reports. Although it’s early in 2019, we have already published two papers, with several more, currently in the approval process, to come.

Selecting New Research Projects

As I write this article, the REC is in the process of choosing a new set of research projects to approve for its first funding cycle of 2019. This year we received 20 proposals for research in academic, experience, and topic-specific categories.

At its February 25 meeting, the REC discussed and ranked each proposal, considering type of project, its alignment with strategic themes, achievability scores, as well as the impact, cost benefit, uniqueness, and quality of each proposal. 

An important part of making research projects a success is reviewing and talking about the research. In early March, we launched two initiatives to help promote CIA research among members, and to give them an opportunity to discuss it with other interested individuals.

New Podcast Initiative

The Seeing Beyond Risk podcast, also available in the iTunes store and on Spotify, is a pilot project that initially focuses on CIA research. Featuring interviews with the authors of published research, the first two podcasts are available in English. Our most recent podcast, on the topic of the group long-term disability termination study, is available in French and English. Future episodes may explore actuarial topics beyond the work of the REC.

LinkedIn Community

The CIA Research Hub on LinkedIn provides an exclusive forum for members to stay up to date and discuss everything related to actuarial research activities. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to join the group and take part in the conversation between researchers and practising actuaries. 

Volunteers Needed

Every research project has a project oversight group (POG), a group of volunteers with defined responsibilities on managing the research project. It’s important that we have volunteers with relevant experience to join POGs to help make a project successful. Being on a POG is an easy way to volunteer, as it is a small commitment, with a limited time frame. Please consider volunteering with the REC. You may be able to claim the time towards continuing professional development (CPD) hours. For more information, visit our project oversight groups web page.

Keith Walter, FCIA, is Chair of the Research Council.

Actuaries on the Move

Career developments

Andréanne Bergeron was appointed Senior Manager, Executive Compensation at CN. She joined the organization in 2013.

Alec Blundell was appointed Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer at Co-operators Life and President and Chief Operating Officer at CUMIS. Mr. Blundell, who has over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, will be responsible for leading overall aspects of life, group benefits, wealth manufacturing, and operations for both organizations.

Caroline Grandoit was appointed Vice-President, Liability-Driven Investing and Multi-asset Class Solutions, at Fiera Capital. Ms. Grandoit joined Fiera Capital in 2017 as a senior analyst.

SCOR Global Life recently announced that it was appointing Brock Robbins as Head of U.S. In-force and Deputy CEO for North America.

Morneau Shepell has made Philippe Toupin its Vice-President of Retirement Solutions. Previously, Mr. Toupin was Vice-President at Gestion Optimum.

Actuaries in the media

Joseph De Dominicis, Vice-President and Ontario Retirement Leader at Morneau Shepell, was quoted in a Globe and Mail article regarding the fact that younger generations are not contributing to their RRSPs as much as baby boomers.

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, Director of Financial Security Research at the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University, wrote an article published in The Globe and Mail about the nomination of Assia Billig as Canada’s chief actuary – the first woman to hold this position. The article gives an overview of Ms. Billig’s tremendous expertise and of the future challenges the world faces due to an aging population.

Ms. MacDonald was also quoted in a Benefits Canada article on the recent federal budget regarding the advanced life deferred annuity proposal. 

In light of the recent scandal in the United States where wealthy parents rigged exams to get their children into Ivy League schools, Joe Nunes, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Actuarial Solutions, shared his reflections on the future of formal education in this blog post.

Mercer Canada’s Michel St-Germain was quoted in an Insurance Journal article regarding longevity insurance and asset and liability matching.

Following Canada Life Reinsurance’s recent long-term reinsurance agreement with Dutch insurer VIVAT, Rohit Thomas, Vice-President and Chief Pricing Actuary at BMO Insurance, was quoted in this Insurance Journal article regarding longevity swaps and why these transactions rarely occur in Canada.

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Inform your peers about your achievements and progress by publicizing your new job, title, credentials, or other information.

Email Bonnie Robinson, the CIA’s English editor, and we will aim to include your item in the next (e)Bulletin issue.

For more news on the CIA and its activities, follow us on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

Elliott Bauer
Hannover Re (Ireland) DAC Canadian Life Branch
Institute News



By Sue Alcott

I’m a firm believer that we can’t effectively manage a volunteer program if we don’t have at least a baseline understanding of who we’re working with and what motivates them. With this in mind, I started my pursuit of learning from our membership. Many of you have graciously taken my call and answered my questions about how you found yourself in your career path, what the CIA means to you, and what I can do to help. If we haven’t spoken yet, I assure you, we will.

Three Key Focus Areas

It’s from these opportunities to learn about what is important that we have been able to identify three key areas of focus:

  1. Recruiting
  2. Orientation
  3. Recognition

Recruiting

We have taken steps with our chairs to identify candidates for various roles and define processes to place volunteers into vacant positions in a timely manner. We will continue to work on this and have high hopes to develop a recruitment program that promotes volunteering to newer members and helps current volunteers move into roles that are challenging and offer opportunities for growth.

Orientation

Orientation is such an important part of volunteering. When volunteers have all of the information they need to volunteer they become better volunteers because they can start their role with confidence. It’s because of this that we created a CIA volunteer handbook, a guide that walks new volunteers through the processes and policies the CIA has in place to support you. We launched the handbook to our current volunteers on March 1, and received an overwhelmingly positive response.

Recognition

Interestingly enough, when I asked our volunteers about recognition, I was often met with silence. It’s not to say that the CIA doesn’t recognize volunteers, but the efforts made have become a process or formality and so maybe don’t resonate the way they once did. 

A robust, flexible, and diverse recognition program is the least the CIA can do to acknowledge the value of volunteer contributions. From a simple thank you card to a gold award, every volunteer deserves recognition. 

Next week is National Volunteer Week and our theme is “Raising the Actuarial Profession to New Heights”. We will be busy visiting and celebrating our volunteers across the country and have big plans to carry on throughout the year. Show your appreciation for CIA volunteers by heading over to the CIA Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook accounts and leaving a comment about how their work has impacted you, or just say thanks to our awesome volunteers.

We are also planning our first-ever volunteer appreciation social on June 19, the evening before the Annual Conference, in Montréal. It’s an opportunity for our volunteers to get together for a drink (or two), appetizers, and conversation.

April 28 marks my six-month anniversary with the CIA. It’s with thanks to you that these months have been packed full of learning and accomplishments! I’m looking forward to the next six months.

Sue Alcott is Manager, Volunteer Services, at the CIA.

Rian Dewji, ACIA(2018)

Rian Dewji passed away January 15, 2019. He was 28 years old. Mr. Dewji graduated from Queen’s University in 2013 with a degree in mathematics and philosophy. He read mathematics at the University of Cambridge as a masters student, with a focus on probability, statistics, and mathematical finance, receiving a degree with distinction. He was in the process of pursuing a PhD in mathematical finance and actuarial statistics at the University of Toronto at the time of his death.

Celebration of Life Service for Charles Galloway

A celebration of life service will be held for past president Charles Galloway, who passed away on November 15, 2018. The service takes place on Saturday, May 4, at 11:00 a.m. at The Simple Alternative, 275 Lesmill Road, North York (Toronto). After a meet-and-greet, family members will speak before opening the floor to anyone who would like to share their memories of Mr. Galloway.

RGA Canada
Social Media and the CIA

Don’t miss the latest episode of the Seeing Beyond Risk podcast, available in French and English.

Denis Garand, one of the authors of the recent Group Long-term Disability Termination Study, discusses significant improvements in the overall mortality rate for disabled lives, predictive analytics, important metrics for pricing and valuation, and next steps. 

The Seeing Beyond Risk podcast is also available in the iTunes store and on Spotify. More platforms may be available in the future.

If you have any questions, contact Bonnie Robinson, English editor.

Spotlight on New Fellows


Carly Wybrow, FCIA


1. When and why did you become an actuary?

I became an actuary in December of 2016; however, I started my path to becoming an actuary almost 15 years earlier than that. I think I wanted to be an actuary early on because it was a clear path to a career that used my strengths. I held at the Associate level for a while because I was tired of writing exams. Ultimately, I decided to finish my exams and become an actuary to further the progression of my career (which it definitely has).

2. What is your current job? Can you describe the type of work you’re doing?

I am a consultant and actuary at Actuarial Solutions Inc. (ASI), where we specialize in consulting on small- to mid-size defined benefit pension plans. I am the consultant and actuary on a large number of clients, where I am responsible for the administration, funding, and accounting work required for pension plan upkeep. I work with a great team at ASI, and a lot of my job is about organization and project management. I communicate with clients and other team members on a daily basis to make sure that the needs of both the plan sponsor and the plan itself are being met.

3. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I like the team I work with, I like the variety of work (each client and plan is different and has different needs), and I very much like that we are a smaller firm focused on client satisfaction and in delivering a quality work product.

4. What are your short-term and long-term career goals?

To be honest, I’m not much of a career goals person. In the short-term I just try to do good work every day. In the long-term, I would hope that I keep learning and progressing in my role. There are lots of paths you can end up taking in life, and I just try to be open to them.

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

I joined the CIA Single Topic Task Force (STTF) on Retirement Age in public pensions after obtaining my designation, and through the help of my fellow actuaries at ASI who nominated me for the position and who are very involved in the CIA themselves. My company is very supportive of our volunteering initiatives, and I think it benefits us both as individuals and as a firm.

6. How has the process of participating in the retirement age STTF been? What have you gained from the experience?

Working with the task force was definitely a good experience. All of the actuaries involved are incredibly smart, dedicated, and passionate people – and the profession is lucky to have them. I think I gained a broader perspective (lots of varying opinions from the task force members), and a view on how a professional committee operates (which is one I had not seen before). I also got to know the CIA as an organization better, and to see how they work behind the scenes. It was very impressive.

7. What advice would you give to another new Fellow looking to get involved as a CIA volunteer?

To future fellows I would say try to find some time to volunteer. We lead VERY busy lives these days, and if you are lucky you will have the support of your employer in your volunteer work. It will benefit you both. From a personal perspective, I think it both broadens and deepens your work experience by allowing you to work with other actuaries who have a great deal of experience to share. You will learn more than you would otherwise, and it might just open you up for greater experiences down the road.

Carly Wybrow, FCIA, is a member of the Single Topic Task Force on Retirement Age.

Note: To become a volunteer, visit the volunteer centre on the website (login required).  

Volunteers on the Move

Board

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

  • Eligibility and Education Council:
    • Continuing Education Committee: Emily Kozlowski (as academic member), Ngoc Thi Bich (Vy) (as liaison for the Predictive Modelling Committee), effective immediately.
      • Reinsurance Subcommittee: Umair Ali and Jean-François Lafond, effective immediately.
    • Education and Assessments Committee: Stéphane McGee (Co-chair) and Herman Tse (Co-chair), effective immediately.
  • Practice Development Council:
    • Appointed/Valuation Actuary Committee: Wallace Bridel (Co-chair) and Phillip Watson (Co-chair), effective March 1, 2019.
    • Climate Change and Sustainability Committee: Maxime Delisle, Frances Fu, and Muhammad Rizvi, effective February 25, 2019.
    • Enterprise Risk Management Practice Committee: Mario Robitaille (Chair), effective January 9, 2019.
    • Group Insurance Practice Committee: Joan Ganas (Co-chair) and Benoit Miclette (Co-chair), effective January 30, 2019.
    • Health Committee: Massimo Nini, effective February 1, 2019.
    • Investment Practice Committee: Maxime Delisle, Kelly Featherstone, Abdul Ibrahim, Abid Kazmi, Joanne Kurys, and Glenn Smith, effective February 22, 2019.

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

  • Continuing Education Committee: Patrick Duplessis (as liaison of the Predictive Modelling Committee), effective immediately; Stephanie Banfield and Claudia Gagné, effective October 2018.
  • Practice Development Council: Danielle Harrison.
    • Investment Practice Committee: Daniel Klein, Stanley Kwok, Benny Wan, Emily Zhang, and François Bourdon.
    • Enterprise Risk Management Practice Committee: Sylvie Paquette.