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

As I write this, the polar vortex has the western part of our country firmly in its grasp (-30 C coming to work this morning) and the rest of the country is feeling the winter in a lot of different ways.

Climate Change and Flood Risk

As we know, a single season does not make a weather pattern, but I certainly believe that climate change is a powerful factor that we will have to deal with for the foreseeable (hopefully it is foreseeable!!) future.

As the results of insurers come in from around the world the story is often the same—weather-related and other catastrophic events are the cause of severely reduced earnings.

As risk experts, actuaries cannot be blind to this effect, and we must apply our minds to analyze the results and, where possible, the causes. In Canada, flood is emerging as a major weather risk affecting many parts of our country—even more than the high-profile wildfires—and the role we can play advising on risk mitigation and planning will become more and more important. Read the article about a recent paper on this topic from the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation later in this (e)Bulletin.

Economic Uncertainty

Of course, weather isn’t the only unpredictable element in our universe. The drastic financial shift in the last quarter, which has finally begun to reverse, also affected the earnings of many of our employers and the financial status of pension plans. 

The year 2019 will be as busy and as interesting as 2018 was for the Canadian actuarial profession with IFRS 17 approaching—albeit potentially delayed a year—and with a federal election bringing many of the retirement programs in our country into focus.

The external world isn’t slacking off either—Brexit and US–Chinese trade talks, to name just two, are contributing to economic uncertainty.    

All the more reason for actuaries to continue to provide their advice and counsel, and for the CIA to speak on matters that we see affecting our society.

March Board Meeting

The opening part of the year is often hard to write a President’s update for. It’s not that nothing is happening, but with so many members involved in activities around year-end, many initiatives are underway but have not yet come to fruition.

Closer to home, we are approaching our March Board meeting at which a significant amount of time will be spent on analysis for the 2020–2024 long-range plan. We look forward to the work which the councils have done to express their aspirations. We know that there will be more things on the want list than we can deal with immediately, but the Board will assess the requests and consider the future direction of the CIA, leading to the adoption of the strategic plan at the June Board meeting, with the key elements needed for our continued success.

Annual Conference and Board Elections

We also look forward to two firsts in the first half of the year—first all-electronic annual meeting to conduct the business of the Institute, and our first ever annual conference, act19 in Montréal.

In the meantime, stay warm!! The Governance and Nominations Committee is still seeking candidates (log in required) for positions on the Board—including President-elect. I urge any of you with an interest to reach out to any member of the Governance and Nominations Committee to explore this opportunity to contribute to our profession.

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

In Focus

 

By Conrad Ferguson, FCIA

I thought it may be of interest to the membership to get a further appreciation of the responsibilities and activities of the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) over the course of a year. I will also highlight three initiatives identified in our strategic plan that are currently underway.

As stated in my previous article, the mission of the ASB is to support informed economic decision-making by actuarial report users. The ASB serves the public interest by developing, establishing, and maintaining high-quality standards of practice for actuarial reporting in Canada.

The ASB’s Mission

In delivering on its mission, the ASB must adhere to Terms of Reference approved by the Actuarial Standards Oversight Council (ASOC).

The ASB has the following responsibilities:

  1. To develop and maintain a policy on due process.
  2. To formally adopt changes to existing standards or new standards.
  3. To determine what needs to be mandatory, best practice, or is education guidance.
  4. To appoint designated groups, working groups or other groups, as it may deem necessary or convenient, to assist in the development of standards of practice, or to perform other duties as the ASB may prescribe.
  5. To remain current on all practice-related material developed through the Standards and Guidance Council.
  6. To participate in meetings with regulatory authorities or other interested parties.
  7. To advise ASOC and the CIA on required resources.

Due Process Review

We have recently completed a review of our due process. To that end, we examined the due processes of the actuarial profession in other countries and for another profession in Canada. This exercise did not identify gaps in our due process. In fact, our due process provides more details than most other groups we reviewed. However, certain clarifications were deemed necessary to improve on the existing document. The revisions were approved by ASOC. Our revised Policy on Due Process can be found on our website.

Standards of Practice Review

Items 2 to 4 in our list of responsibilities all relate to the work involved in developing our standards of practice. Typically, we aim to conduct a review of each of our standards every five years. External factors, such as new developments in regulations or in the international community, may cause us to review a standard earlier than planned. We report regularly via our website where members can find a summary of activities and the minutes for each of our meetings.

We typically establish working groups to explore certain issues or to review our policies. For example, we established a working group last year to review the elements that should be included in our review of the pension standards. We currently have a working group made up of ASB members conducting a review of our Policy on Designated Groups (DG). A DG is composed of volunteers and is tasked to conduct the review of a standard of practice based on a mandate defined by the ASB and to make recommendations to the ASB. This is an area where ASB members felt there was room for improvements related to the clarity on the role of DGs, the clarity of mandates, and the expectations in relation to timelines to complete the work. This process is underway and the results should be presented to ASOC for approval later this year.

Pension Standards Review

The review of the pension standards is one area that will require attention over the coming 18 to 24 months. Many things have changed in the Canadian pension landscape in recent years, not the least of which is the introduction of new types of target benefit pension plans and movement away from solvency funding.

The ASB felt that the task of completing such a review was too much to ask a single DG to undertake. As a result, we have approved three separate mandates for this review. One DG will focus on a review of the existing standard as it relates to going concern valuations and the general wording in the current standard. That DG will also have to incorporate the annuity purchase guidance in our standards of practice. A second DG will determine if a new basis to measure benefit security should replace the current “solvency or hypothetical wind-up basis” we have in our pension standards. It will also have to explore the legal aspects and the stakeholder’s perception of actuaries' responsibilities pertaining to their role. Finally, a third DG will look at the possibility of introducing certain stress tests as part of our reporting to clients and regulatory authorities. The Standards and Guidance Council (SGC) is currently actively recruiting for the three DGs.

IFRS 17

It should come as no surprise that a lot of effort is devoted to revising our insurance standards to adapt to the new financial reporting requirements under IFRS 17. This is a massive effort on the part of the ASB, SGC, and CIA to make sure that all our efforts are coordinated and that all the important questions are addressed before this standard comes into effect in 2022. We also need to be consider the implications of international actuarial standards and their application in Canada.

Remaining Current

Items 5 to 7 are ongoing activities and we meet with various regulatory groups or agencies annually, along with other CIA groups to ensure we keep them informed and respond to any inquiries they may have. These meetings are very valuable to the profession.

As you can see there are many activities conducted by members of the ASB. We are fortunate that as a profession we are able to count on dedicated professionals to ensure that the ASB can deliver on its mission. We are also indebted to all of those members, industry associations, regulators, and individuals who provide input on our various documents on standards. We need this valuable input to ensure we consider a broad range of views and develop high-quality standards of practice.

I take this occasion to thank my colleagues on the ASB, all of our DG members (we have more than 50 volunteers involved with DGs at any point in time), and all of the members and our broader publics for their valuable input into the development of our standards of practice. 

Conrad Ferguson, FCIA, is Chair of the Actuarial Standards Board.


By Benoit Miclette, FCIA

The Practice Development Council (PDC) began its existence on September 1, 2018, with four main goals:

  1. To proactively encourage and develop actuarial practice in all practice areas;
  2. To make recommendations to the CIA strategic and operational planning process with respect to marketing and branding of the actuarial profession in general and/or of specific areas of practice;
  3. To lead the development of emerging areas of practice, and promote and enhance the hiring of actuaries in non-traditional roles; and
  4. To collaborate with and assist other councils and the Actuarial Standards Board in the development and prioritization of standards of practice, guidance material, research projects, public statements, and educational and professional development opportunities for CIA members.

The PDC has 14 committees under its direction, representing established and emerging areas of actuarial work, either practice-specific (e.g., property and casualty, pension, banking), or crossing multiple practice areas (e.g., climate change, risk management, predictive modelling).

The PDC’s main focus is to identify projects, in collaboration with its committees, that will benefit the development of each new or existing actuarial practice area. The PDC then collaborates with other CIA councils to help find a home for these projects (e.g., research, standards and guidance, public statements) and help bring them to completion.

Current State of Actuarial Practices

From November to mid-December 2018, the PDC surveyed its committee members about the current state of their practice area, including opportunities, threats, and recent market developments. The survey also asked them to consider how actuarial work in their area of expertise could likely change in the coming decade, allowing the PDC to better identify where the CIA should focus its resources over the coming years (e.g., in education, training, research, international collaboration, etc.) to help foster this development.

Building Block for the Profession and CIA Strategic Plan

We cannot underestimate the value of having over 130 dedicated and focused volunteers taking the time to contemplate the future of our profession and providing input to help current and future generations of actuaries find excitement and challenges in their career. This input will serve as one of the building blocks in helping the CIA articulate its new 2020–2024 strategy.

Next up, the PDC will consider new areas of practice for actuaries and how to potentially collaborate with other actuarial associations to identify where innovative and pioneering actuaries have already forged non-traditional roles for themselves, thereby inspiring others to do the same. Through our efforts, we seek to find ways to expand the role of actuaries, attract more people to the profession, and create new opportunities for existing and future actuaries.

Benoit Miclette, FCIA, is Chair of the Practice Development Council.

Actuaries on the Move

Career developments

Assia Billig was appointed Chief Actuary and Head of the Office of the Chief Actuary within the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), effective April 15, 2019.

British Columbia’s College Pension Plan named Bita Jenab as its Director of Research and Analysis. Ms. Jenab has over 30 years of consulting experience. 

Sun Life Financial Canada promoted Vineet Kochhar to Senior Vice-president, insurance solutions.

Jay Mann, ACIA, was appointed Senior Director, total rewards at CN.

Philippe Toupin recently accepted the position of Vice-president, Retirement Solutions at Morneau Shepell. Previously, Mr. Toupin served as Vice-president Development at Gestion Optimum.

Actuaries in the media

Assia Billig, then acting director for the Office of the Chief Actuary, is extensively quoted in this Benefits Canada article related to an OSFI report on the Canadian retirement income system and the necessity of having multiple programs.

Marie Desrochers, Director at Sun Life Financial, gave a presentation regarding the Canadian annuity market. An overview of the insights she shared was published in this Canadian Investment Review article.

In an article published in Policy Options, Claude Ferguson takes an in-depth look at Québec’s pharmacare plan. In the article, he encourages Canadian policy-makers to further explore this hybrid model that offers cost reductions and administrative efficiencies.

Maryse Larouche, Actuary at GML Actuaires, wrote about the role of actuaries in the actuarial evidence field and the expertise they can provide in cases of litigation in the online magazine Droit-Inc.

In this Huffington post blog, Cathy Preston (Vice-President, Individual Markets at RBC Insurance), shares her tips to help other women progress in their career in insurance.

Jason Vary, President of Actuarial Solutions, was quoted in this Benefits Canada editorial on the Canada Pension Plan enhancement, defined benefits plans, and the pension discussions that need to take place in Canada this year.

________________________________________________________________

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.

Public Affairs Corner


By Sandra Caya

The first months of 2019 have passed by quickly as we work hard to make this year one of innovation and refreshed approaches to communicating with you. You might recall that in December 2018, we sent out a survey on CIA communications. Nearly 600 members replied, giving us a great sample of responses to help guide our activities and priorities for the coming year.

Linking with You on LinkedIn

One of the most interesting takeaways from the survey is how heavily our membership favours the use of LinkedIn over other social media for professional activities, at 63 percent of all respondents. The next closest is Facebook, with only 10 percent of respondents.

With this finding in hand, we have increased our presence and targeted posting on LinkedIn, and we are already seeing increased engagement with nearly 230 new followers since January, compared to only 60 new followers in the preceding period. If you haven’t already, make sure to follow our page to receive CIA updates, and remember to like and share our posts when you see them, to reach new influencers outside our network.

We are also excited to launch a new discussion space on LinkedIn Groups—the CIA Research Hub, exclusive to CIA members, where you are invited to join and talk about everything related to actuarial research activities at the CIA: new reports, research projects, thoughts and ideas on interesting external research papers, and general discussion on research topics. Request to join today.

Beyond Seeing Beyond Risk

Members primarily want to receive professional content—and it is no surprise that continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities and professional requirements (Standards of Practice, Rules of Professional Conduct, Bylaws, policies, educational notes) tied for first place with 84 percent response. Coming close behind are research, studies, and reports at 78 percent and industry news at 77 percent.

Our quarterly e-magazine, Seeing Beyond Risk, has been one way we have shared fresh ideas from peers and experts. Now, to make these articles and industry reviews more frequent, accessible and engaging, we are expanding the scope of Seeing Beyond Risk to other formats, including LinkedIn articles, podcasts, and eventually to blog posts and direct email content. Watch for expert Seeing Beyond Risk articles on our LinkedIn page, and if you have an idea for a story or opinion you want to share, email me at sandra.caya@cia-ica.ca.

To help make research releases more accessible to members and the public, we are launching the new Seeing Beyond Risk podcast series. Monthly episodes feature interviews with the authors of an upcoming or recent research report, sharing some of the key takeaways and applications of their findings. This month, you’ll find two episodes—a conversation with Keith Walter, Chair of the Research Council, and an interview with Marianne Purushotham about the newly released Canadian Segregated Funds Product Experience Study. Listen now!

Bringing Innovations to Your Inbox

Another survey result we heard loud and clear is our members’ preference to continue receiving CIA content via weekly emails (71 percent response) and monthly newsletters (58 percent response), but with a better reading experience and more relevant content.

With several major IT projects in our pipeline, we are looking ahead to big improvements in our communications technology over the coming year, meaning we will be able to deliver great-looking, targeted content to each member in a format that works for their needs. In the meantime, we have made some minor updates to our (e)Bulletin design, and we are doing our best to bring you fresher, updated ways of presenting content in all of our member communications as we transition.

This is just a snapshot of our team’s activities as we work towards giving you the content and information you need, how and when you need it—whether that’s in your inbox, on LinkedIn, from a podcast, or elsewhere online. We look forward to seeing you out there!

Sandra Caya is Associate Director, Communications and Public Affairs, at the CIA.

Elliott Bauer
Hannover Re (Ireland) DAC Canadian Life Branch
On the Horizon

Across the country, an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events means Canadian homeowners, communities, governments, and businesses face higher social and financial costs in recovering from weather-related damage. Flooding has emerged as the most pervasive natural disaster in the country. A recent research paper from the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (Intact Centre), Weathering the Storm: Developing a Canadian Standard for Flood-Resilient Existing Communities, provides analysis, solutions, and best practices to help mitigate flood risk.

Climate Change Risk Is Here Now

“Climate change risk is manifesting itself now,” says Natalia Moudrak, Director, Climate Resilience, at the centre. “It’s not going away. This is a new risk that professionals need to understand better.”

Founded in 2016, the Intact Centre is an applied research centre with a national focus within the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. “Our mandate is to look at climate change adaptation solutions for Canada to protect Canadians from extreme weather risk and to reduce property damage,” says Ms. Moudrak.

Why Flooding?

Published in January 2019, Weathering the Storm is one in a series of papers the centre has produced on flood risk. Ms. Moudrak explains that a 2016 Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) report showed that “property and casualty insurance payouts from catastrophic extreme weather events have more than doubled every five to 10 years since the 1980s”. She stresses that this is insurable losses. According to the IBC, total economic losses could be three to four times that amount, borne by governments, home and business owners.

“We wondered what was driving this trend upwards,” she says. “And discovered it is too much water in the wrong place at the wrong time—since 2009, more than 50 percent of increases in catastrophic insurable losses were attributable to water damage. We decided to look at flood resiliency, since it affects Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”

Left: Weathering the Storm, published in early 2019.
Right: Natalia Moudrak, Director, Climate Resilience at the Intact Centre. 

Retrofitting Existing Communities for Flood Resiliency

While the first paper, Preventing Disaster before it Strikes, presents best practices for designing new residential communities to be more flood-resilient, Weathering the Storm considers flood mitigation standards to develop for existing communities in Canada. 

The paper presents ways people can make existing houses and communities flood resilient, including installation of back-water valves, sump pumps, and sump pump backup systems, to name a few. However, getting people to implement these changes may be difficult.

“Do we really think homeowners will download reports and read them on a Sunday afternoon?,” Ms. Moudrak asks.
“The uptake on subsidies for existing flood mitigation programs by homeowners is consistently below 10 percent in Canada. Identifying these risks is not good enough. How do we make homeowners take action?”

Canadian Standards Development

As with the previous flood papers, Ms. Moudrak notes that Weathering the Storm will serve as a seed document for developing a new National Standard of Canada, with funding from the Standards Council of Canada. 

The Canadian Standards Association is already using the centre’s Preventing Disaster before it Strikes paper to develop a new National Standards of Canada (CSA W204). By October 2019, it will be possible to certify new subdivisions as flood resilient in accordance with this standard.

“Some insurers are offering a 5-to-10 percent discount on home insurance premiums for those homes located in a certified flood-resilient community,” says Ms. Moudrak. “This helps facilitate buy-in for the uptake of the standard from developers, homebuilders, municipalities, and others.”

As well, flood risk assessment training for home inspectors became available at Ontario colleges in fall 2018 through the centre’s Home Flood Risk Assessment Training Course. The course targets certified home inspectors in Canada, but a shorter version will soon be available for insurance, real estate, and mortgage brokers who see flood risk training as adding value for their clients.

"Weathering the Storm is a must-read document for all actuaries," says Odile Goyer, a member of the CIA’s Climate Change and Sustainability Committee (CCSC) and Vice-president of Reinsurance and Development at Optimum Général. “It provides a comprehensive and practical understanding of the risks and costs of floods in Canada and their mitigation. This report can therefore help P&C actuaries build sound flood product, pricing, and loss prevention programs but also help actuaries working in other practice areas to understand the impacts of flood risks and climate changes on their own products (life, health, mortgages, etc). Morerover, this report provides a good framework to prioritize investments in climate adaptation for communities in which actuaries no doubt have an important role to play, being able to provide long-term cost/benefits analysis, evaluate risks and opportunities, and calculate returns on investments.”

Anna Marie Beaton, also a member of the CCSC and a P&C actuary at The Co-operators, agrees. “This report provides a great foundation for understanding the factors and influences within our built environment and social and political systems that make communities vulnerable to water catastrophes. In this context, what it highlights is the growing importance of geospatial data and geospatial science within insurance. Almost all of the factors listed in the paper are spatial in nature.”

The Next Focus

The centre’s next focus is fire and urban heat. Ms. Moudrak says that the impacts of wildfire could affect 11 million Canadians[i] in the next decade: not just fire itself, but the resulting air quality issues for those outside the immediate danger zone. In addition, as the number of extreme heat days of over 30 C increase, particularly in urban centres, vulnerable populations such as the elderly, the young, and people with chronic illnesses, face greater risk of respiratory difficulties, heat cramps, exhaustion, heat stroke, and heat-related mortality.[ii]

According to Environment Canada, “by 2050, hot summer days in southern Canada exceeding 30°C are estimated to be four times more frequent than today”.[iii] In Toronto, the number of days when the humidex exceeds 40 C is expected to increase fourfold.[iv] Toronto Public Health indicates a health-based threshold of 26 C as the desirable maximum long-term goal for indoor temperatures.[v] Yet, in Toronto, only 6 percent of apartments have air conditioning, so this threshold will be frequently exceeded as per the projections above. “We want to determine what the best practices are to reduce urban heat, including greening streets and providing cooling spaces inside and outside buildings,” says Ms. Moudrak. 

“We look forward to this new research and their conclusions,” says Ms. Goyer, “as climate changes will increase the frequency and severity of wildfires and heat waves which will have significant social impacts by increasing the cost of fires, health, sickness, and deaths.”

Staying Informed

Climate-related risk affects all sectors of the economy. The work and research that the Intact Centre has done and plans to do in the future could help government, business, and individuals adapt to and mitigate those risks.

________________________________

[i] Peter, Brian & Wang, Sen & Mogus, Tony & Wilson, Bill. (2006). Fire Risk and Population Trends in Canada’s Wildland–Urban Interface. 33–44.

[ii] www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/environmental-workplace-health/reports-publications/climate-change-health/climate-change-health-adaptation-bulletin-number-1-november-2009-revised-december-2010-health-canada-2009.html

[iii] http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2008/hc-sc/H128-1-08-528E.pdf

[iv] www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/982c-Torontos-Future-Weather-and-Climate-Drivers-Study-2012.pdf

[v] www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-114428.pdf

Institute News

Many questions have been brought forward on different aspects of IFRS 17. To address these concerns, the IFRS 17 Steering Committee has compiled a set of Q&As to answer your most pressing questions on implementation of the new reporting standard. To date, the committee has posted Q&As about the following topics to the IFRS 17 blog (login required):

  • Implications for the actuarial analysis for liability for incurred claims for P&C contracts (posted January 31, 2019); and
  • Contract classification and establishing portfolios and groups (posted February 14, 2019).

Look for more Q&As in the weeks to come.

Alan Brereton passed away on December 18, 2018. He was 77 years old. A graduate of the University of Toronto (BSc), Mr. Brereton was a star track and football player, who competed internationally as a sprinter and was a draft pick by the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Instead, he pursued a career as an actuary for over 50 years.

At age 37, Mr. Brereton rose to the position of Appointed Actuary at Imperial Life. He later became a partner at Eckler, specializing in consulting to insurance companies during the time of demutualization within the industry. In semi-retirement he devoted his actuarial talents to charitable organizations issuing gift annuities.

An active CIA volunteer, Mr. Brereton served as a Councillor on the CIA Council (now the Board) from 1981–84. A member of the Actuarial Careers Committee from 1971–81, he also served as chair of the Compliance Committee from 1991–98, in addition to serving on several other CIA volunteer groups. In June 2018, Mr. Brereton received a Gold Medal Volunteer Award at the Annual Meeting.  

Alan Brereton obituary

RGA Canada
Events News

Plans for act19, the CIA’s annual conference, are underway. The theme focuses on actuaries in action, and we are excited to present what is gearing up to be one of the largest social and professional gatherings of actuarial professionals in Canada this year.

The newly revitalized annual conference has undergone a rebranding not only in name but also in program, format, and feel—promising an event that prioritizes the importance of career development and recognizes the value of having a great time with friends and colleagues while creating opportunities to make new connections.

Exceptional Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The act19 program offers the best in CPD, increased social networking opportunities, new session formats, and a high-quality meeting experience developed by Canadians for Canadians.

But that’s not all—act19 boasts an exciting lineup of guest speakers:

  • Nick Bontis, a leading strategy and management guru navigates the new world of digital technology, industry disruption, and information bombardment in a compelling presentation on transforming leadership and productivity for peak performance.
  • Jean-Claude Ménard, outgoing Chief Actuary at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, will share his experience and views on the profession, as well as the need for social justice around the world.
  • Chantal Hébert, national affairs writer with The Toronto Star and guest columnist with Le Devoir and L’actualité, and Jeffrey Simpson, former Globe and Mail national affairs columnist, weigh in with their expert opinion on public policy and matters of national importance as they relate to the profession.

Plan to join us for the act19 annual conference in Montréal on June 20–21, 2019. Stay tuned for more details!

Act now and save.

By Joseph Gabriel

The first jointly sponsored CIA, Society of Actuaries (SOA), and CAS Institute (iCAS) Seminar on Predictive Analytics held on February 27, 2019 was a resounding sold-out success.

CIA President-elect Marc Tardif, CAS President Jim Christie, and SOA Immediate Past President Mike Lombardi opened the session with remarks about each organizations’ commitment to predictive analytics (PA) given its key importance to the profession.

Mr. Tardif described the seminar content as eye-opening, particularly on data privacy issues, while Mr. Christie characterized the event as a “fantastic learning activity”, where the three organizations joined efforts to produce a cutting-edge seminar of great interest.

P&C Leads Insurers in Using PA

Participants learned that property and casualty (P&C) leads insurers in the use of PA, mainly as a result of the electronic collection of data to conduct business, and the substantial competitive advantage PA provides. On the life side, while PA is not as prominent, presenters showed that using a statistical approach to life insurance underwriting can reduce the application process by over 40 percent.

Wanted: Data Heroes?

Beyond data and modelling, governance was also brought into the PA mix. Governance, privacy, and bias considerations of the modelling process are real. Uncertainty about what is required from a regulatory perspective is a key issue. Speakers noted that with the rise in complexity of PA models, investing equally in the governance frameworks that surround this effort is a necessity. The notion of a CDO (chief data officer!), or “data hero”, was even proposed to emphasize the importance of data governance as part of an organization’s culture with regard to data.



Cyber Risk Modelling

An interactive session on cyber risk captivated the audience, which designated the dynamic nature of cyber risk as the first and foremost concern. The three pillars of cyber risk modelling were described; namely, the model itself, the data, and flexibility, given the short maturity and the ever-changing nature of cyber risk. Speakers exposed the broad implications of cyber risk, ranging from financial information fraud to major infrastructure network breaches. Surprising impacts included remotely overheating printers with the malevolent intent of causing multiple building fires simultaneously!

All sessions revealed that PA is well entrenched in actuarial practice, such as in mortality modelling using general linear models and in disability claims analysis, while making inroads into life and health insurance underwriting.

How to Thrive or Survive in the Millennial Age

To conclude the seminar, Canada’s leading authority on his generation, David Coletto, delivered an engaging and content-filled presentation. He explained why using his “SHIFT” approach is critical to leading and succeeding in today’s marketplace, based on the fact that on average, millennials have 5.5 connected devices from which data can be extracted and analyzed.

As both a Fellow and a staff member of the CIA, I am very proud to be part of a professional organization that played a major role in preparing such an important and uplifting CPD opportunity.

I hope to see you at our future events.

Joseph Gabriel is Staff Actuary, Education, at the CIA.

Social Media and the CIA

Podcasts are a great way to get information on the go. Just connect and listen while commuting, exercising, or whenever your schedule allows.

On Thursday, March 7, the CIA launched Seeing Beyond Risk, a pilot podcast series. Hosted by Jill Harper, Vice-chair of Communications on the Research Council (REC), the initial focus of the podcasts will be CIA research. Future episodes may explore actuarial topics beyond the work of the REC.

Why Podcasts?

The first episode presents an interview with REC Chair Keith Walter discussing the importance of actuarial research and the REC’s recent work. “We’ve done a number of things recently to make research more accessible, including updates to the research section of the website and a greater presence at meetings and seminars,” says Mr. Walter. “Now we’re starting this podcast series. I hope you enjoy listening to the first two episodes and that you’ll stay tuned for more podcasts in the future.”

“Listeners will hear some highlights about research projects that have been published recently,” adds Ms. Harper. “The idea is to give a brief introduction so that listeners can keep up to date on recent research and decide whether they want to read the full research report.”

Segregated Funds Research

The second episode features an interview with Marianne Purushotham, Corporate Vice-President, Member Benefits at LIMRA, and author of the Canadian Segregated Funds Product Experience Study.

“This is an exciting study, as it is the first ever to focus specifically on Canadian segregated fund products,” says Ms. Harper. “In this podcast, one of the study’s authors gives an engaging overview of the project and shares some of her insights into the project.”

The first two podcasts are available in English. Upcoming podcasts on the recent long-term disability (LTD) study and research on predictive analytics will be available in French as well.

The Seeing Beyond Risk podcast will be available on the iTunes store soon, with more platforms available in the future.

CIA members are invited to join the CIA Research Hub on LinkedIn to discuss everything related to actuarial research activities. Spearheaded by the Research Council (REC), this initiative will help put you in touch with the CIA’s actuarial research and let you join the conversation between researchers and practising actuaries.   

An Obvious Solution

The CIA has been very active in research, publishing over 30 papers in the last two years. While we have used traditional means to communicate research results, getting the research into interested members’ hands has been a challenge.

“We have a vast amount of research,” says Jill Harper, Vice-chair of Communications on the REC. “Our challenge is to let people know about research that may be of value to them without overwhelming everyone with communications.”

The REC turned to LinkedIn, a platform where many of our members are already active. In fact, in a recent communications survey, 63% of respondents said that LinkedIn was their preferred social media for professional purposes.

Jill Harper, Vice-chair of Communications
on the REC.

Building Conversations

The interactive aspect of this tool is very appealing. The CIA Research Hub gives members access to a network of CIA researchers, and gives researchers access to actuaries working in the field.

“We hope to provide an easy way to find out about research being done and to provide input,” says Ms. Harper. “Members can use this hub to learn about research as well as to have discussions about research and to make suggestions.”

Strategic research themes, such as aging and retirement, Canadian health care, property and casualty insurance, and emerging practices are among some of the topics open to discussion.

Join Us Today

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Board

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

  • Practice Development Council:
    • Appointed/Valuation Actuary Committee: Wallace Bridel (Co-chair) and Phillip Watson (Co-chair), effective March 1, 2019.
    • Group Insurance Practice Committee: Joan Ganas (Co-chair) and Benoit Miclette (Co-chair), effective January 30, 2019.
  • Research Council:
    • Experience Research Committee: Shannon Patershuk, effective immediately.
  • Standards and Guidance Council:
    • Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting: Nicolas Lévesque, effective January 21, 2019.
    • Committee on Property and Casualty Insurance Financial Reporting: Simon Séguin, effective immediately.
    • Task Force to Update Guidance: Helmut Engels (Chair), Steve Easson, Pierre-Paul Renaud, and Faisal Siddiqi, effective immediately.

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

  • Research Council: Étienne Plante-Dubé.
  • Standards and Guidance Council:
    • Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting: Marie-Ève Mainguy.
    • Committee on Property and Casualty Insurance Financial Reporting: Michel Dionne and David Lim.