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.