SAAX Group Event – Insights on Enterprise Risk Management

Enterprise Risk Management (‘ERM’) is widely recognised as a critical management issue for the Financial Services industry. At the recent SAAX group event, four ERM industry leaders shared their insights on developments in ERM and provide suggestions on how to succeed in a field where there are increasing opportunities for actuaries and risk professionals.

Adrian Baskir introduced the panel which was chaired by Marjorie Ngwenya. The panelists were Paul Sweeting, Jan-Hendrik Erasmus, Malcolm Kemp and Andrew Birrell. There was an interesting and participative discussion with many good questions and contributions from the floor.

Discussion focused on the new CERA qualification. This is a stand-alone internationally recognised qualification and one is eligible for it from Associate level and up.

Three qualities for actuaries are now being highlighted as important ….

  • Business Acumen – ie. “know the specifics of your industry before applying ERM principles” – it is not enough to know the ERM principles in isolation from your specific business
  • Develop strong communication skills – Actuaries are now required to be charismatic and understandable by non-actuarial folk – not enough to be numerate and often non-actuaries are very numerate themselves
  • Contribute to the business strategy of the company – Take time to do proper thinking – away from the audit thinking style of the operational side of the business.

In addition, all four panelists strongly suggest that actuarial thinking has much to offer and that actuaries should not be afraid to just plunge in and learn as they go … there is NO ideal career path … they believe one should just do the very best one can in current roles.

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