Committee Profile: New Members Committee


By Paul Lai Fatt, FCIA

1. During the past 12 months, what projects has the committee completed?

These have been very exciting times for the committee, as we released a New Members Committee Survey in November/December 2015, and received the results at the beginning of this year. It was a lot of work for the committee to develop the survey and draft questions. Our goal was to focus on new members and get at the CIA’s value proposition. Rather than telling new members what they need, it’s better for the CIA to find out from new members what the CIA is doing well or not, and what it can do better.

2. What is the result of that work, i.e., what impact has it had (or will it have)?

The New Members Committee Survey is an ongoing project, as we are now in the process of drafting a summary report with recommendations that we can bring to the Member Services Council (MSC). We hope our recommendations will help the CIA better serve its new members by addressing concerns raised in the survey responses. However, any decisions on implementation of such recommendations would come from the MSC and other governing bodies.

3. What has been the highlight of the committee’s work so far, and why?

The highlight has certainly been the New Members Committee Survey, which is still in process. The committee has also benefitted from the decision, about 18 months ago, to invite a representative of the Actuarial Students National Association (ASNA), to join the committee. Jonathan Bondy attends meetings and, as a young person at the start of his career, provides a different perspective that is invaluable to the committee. Having an ASNA representative participate in the work of the New Members Committee is something we will maintain going forward.

4. What projects are still underway or due to begin in the coming months?

Our main work in the coming months will be preparing the report and recommendations from the results of the New Members Committee Survey. There are a lot of responses and comments to go through. It will probably take three-to-six months to get a final report to the MSC. Should any of our recommendations be accepted, it is possible that we would be involved in their implementation, but that has not been determined at this point.

We are also looking at networking and promoting the CIA to universities. Specifically as a result of our ASNA representative reaching out to me, I will be speaking at the first Atlantic Canada Actuarial Student Conference on March 12, 2016 at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

5. How has serving on this committee benefitted you? What is the most appealing aspect?

The most appealing aspect of serving on the New Members Committee is being able to have a voice in our profession. For me, one of the discouraging results of the survey was the general perception of our profession by our members. "Why did you become an actuary? –Love math." "What do actuaries do? – Risk management." "What is the purpose of the CIA? – Standards setting."

Why does the CIA exist? As actuaries, among other services, we help design property insurance products to protect people from floods and accidents, health products for illness, and pension systems that are robust. I think that as a profession we have a good story to tell, and we don’t tell it. I don’t think my voice would be heard without my involvement in the New Members Committee. I am happy to educate people on the profession.

Paul Lai Fatt, FCIA, is Chair of the New Members Committee.

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires