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Actuaries are absolutely suited for Chief Risk Officers (CRO) posts and analysing ‘Big Data’ according to Dr Geraldine Kaye, managing director of actuarial recruitment consultancy, GAAPS Actuarial.
At a speech given to The Actuarial Society of Hong Kong in Macao in April, Dr Kaye told delegates “For some time the newly introduced position of CRO was seen as requiring someone of qualitative mode. It is now more appreciated that it needs a more quantitative approach using the modelling skills of the actuary. I feel sure it will eventually settle somewhere in the middle. Similarly we are beginning to see the revival of actuaries as CEOs.
However, the greatest challenge to an actuary who aspires to be a high flyer, is that to succeed they must also be able to communicate their ideas at Board level and be able to zoom in and out effectively from one aspect to another when questioned. They must be able to distil issues and explain, and also convince the recipient why the point is important.
Similarly, in many of the actuarial consultancies we are seeing the merging of the actuarial and risk teams. But this is a two-edged sword for actuaries since although it provides greater breadth of opportunities for actuaries, it also allows those without the qualification to encroach on traditional actuarial territory.”
Turning to the vast increase in legislation with financial services, Dr Kaye feels abilities connected with risk management and governance are required, and in these areas is becoming more accepted that actuaries are ideal. She added “Changes in financial services regulation whether or not it is good or bad for Society in general, will always increase jobs for actuaries in the short to medium term.
As actuaries, it is the long term that concerns us. Over the past few years we have seen crisis after crisis increasing job opportunities for actuaries, but for the moment there appears to be a brake. Will the actuaries no longer needed for these regulatory and compliance roles find other roles more suited to their abilities and more productive to Society. The short answer is yes. A new area that is suddenly opening up and becoming fashionable is ‘Big Data’.
Actuaries talk about analytics and have not pushed the areas of use to its full potential and seem to be missing out to other professions such as statisticians who simply call it ‘Big Data’. What many insurance companies are beginning to realise is how important is the accuracy and accessibility of the data they retain. The more accurate the data, the less risk associated to calculations associated with it and therefore there is a knock on effect to solvency calculations and thus to level of reserves required under Basel etc.”
Dr Kaye concluded by telling delegates, it was heartening to hear from the consensus of speakers that the world is in recovery and she would like to concur with this message and add that jobs for actuaries are definitely on the increase.
Below are some of the pictures from the conference.
When: 17th December 2012, 17:30 to 20:30
Where: Staple Inn Hall, London WC1V 7QJ
A helpful event where delegates gain a range of perspectives on the emerging markets for trading longevity risk.
Panellists will present their views on a number of issues such as: overview of the market and its economic function, key risks involved and challenges, emerging themes, the role of regulation and Solvency II and perspectives from risk sellers and buyers.
- Douglas Anderson, Hymans Robertson LLP
- Pretty Sagoo, Deutsche Bank AG
- David Epstein, Aviva
- Emma McWilliam, Milliman
To book your place email firstname.lastname@example.org
According to a survey carried out by Corporate Benefits at Friends Life, 26% of people would choose to opt out of a workplace pension scheme. The survey also found that 35% of those who did enrol would be unwilling to contribute any more than 5% of their monthly salary. This is despite only 14% of recipients thinking that saving 8% (the total level auto enrolment will reach) would provide for a comfortable retirement.
20% of those questioned said that they would not persuaded as even a 1% deduction could mean that they would struggle to make ends meet. However, 41% said increased tax relief would encourage them to save more for retirement.
“Unfortunately, as people are struggling financially in the tough economic climate, they are understandably focusing on paying the bills today rather than providing for the future,” comments Dr Geraldine Kaye of GAAPS Actuarial.
Research by Cable&Wireless Worldwide has found that 90% of consumers express some dissatisfaction with the methods of communications from UK financial services providers.
Almost half would like more comprehensive websites which include video explanations and calculators, and17% of those asked wanted an instant message service whilst using the site. With younger consumers looking for more interactivity from providers, insurance providers need to respond to accommodate these needs or risk alienating future customers.
Nicola Dicks, director, General Insurance, Life & Pensions at Cable & Wireless Worldwide comments “Running multiple communication channels is simply not good enough if the customer experience is poor and disjointed, that’s why it’s vital for insurance providers to improve existing communication channels before rushing to invest in new ones. To engage with and retain their customers, insurers should be providing the right information and advice at first point of contact, whatever method that is.”
“Whilst at the moment technology leadership is strongest amongst younger customers, communications requirements will continue to shift as generations move through different life stages. Insurers therefore need to make sure they get their communication channels right–or they could find themselves restricted to a diminishing segment. Improving communications infrastructure will have a fundamental role to play in delivering the transformation required.”
Jane Curtis, Immediate Past President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries comments on the introduction of auto-enrolment in the UK
After the recent introduction of auto enrolment a system which could see up to 11 million workers automatically enrolled into a workplace pension, Jane Curtis President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries comments on the ‘positive step’ to encourage people to save for their retirement
“Auto-enrolment is a positive step forward in the battle to encourage individuals to save for their retirement. However by effectively helping individuals to save without realising it there is the danger that they may sleepwalk into retirement without enough money in their pension pot to fund the lifestyles that they want to maintain when they leave work.
“To illustrate this; the minimum contribution for NEST will be 8% per year by 2018. For an individual earning £20,000 a year and assuming a 5% employee and 3% employer contribution for 20 years the NEST calculator assumes that the pension pot will be worth £47,000 in today’s money, which equates to a tax free lump sum on retirement of £11,700 and an annual income for the rest of life of £1,600. Adding this to the present basic state pension of just under £6,000 a year and someone earning £20,000 a year would experience a significant 65% drop in annual income.
“Of course there are many factors that will affect the value of an individual’s pension pot over time, but what these figures illustrate is that it is as important for each individual to be engaged in saving for their future as it is to automatically enrol them into doing so. This is a communication and education challenge for both the Government and employers and one where the expertise of the architects of pension products, such as actuaries, will have a key role to play.”
A poll into the use of telematics by drivers has found that more male drivers are willing to have their vehicle monitored for insurance purposes than women.
The survey found that 60% of men would be interested in using a device compared to only 40% of women. This is despite the ruling that insurers will no longer be able to use gender to assess insurance rates, causing women’s insurances prices to rise this December.
Duncan Anderson, global head of property, casualty insurance pricing and product management at Towers Watson said: ‘With the ban on the use of gender in setting insurance prices from December 21, young female drivers could materially benefit from the use of telematics.”
44% of all drivers identified insurance discounts as the most attractive benefit of using a telematic device.