Progress in the Profession

Jeremy J. Brown

Photograph: Hyon Smith

I began my year as president of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) by talking about the pride that actuaries have for their profession, and the hard work and rigor that embodies who we are. I also spoke about the importance of continuous learning and the SOA’s Strategic Plan in helping us to advance the profession.

This year, we collectively have accomplished so much on behalf of the profession. We have taken new leaps forward with predictive analytics. We have looked for innovative ways to enhance educational opportunities and member participation. We’ve banded together to develop new ideas and tap into our knowledge and skills to address timely topics affecting the public.

You’ve probably heard me say time and time again how I’m a firm believer in, and a subscriber to, lifelong learning. This year was no exception. We witnessed changes to the ASA curriculum and other new advancements and offerings with professional development, including the predictive analytics efforts with our inaugural symposium and seminars tailored by experience level, and also the pilot of the SOA’s certificate program for predictive analytics. I was glad to see that a number of our members participated in these offerings, and I’m happy about the positive responses we’ve received.

Congratulations
to the IABA

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) congratulates the International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA) on its 25th anniversary! For 25 years, IABA’s focus on increasing the number of black actuaries and influencing their successful career development and civic growth and achievement has helped the IABA realize its vision to be the world’s leading actuarial organization dedicated to influencing diversity. Membership is open to all who support its mission.

Read the IABA newsletter, which includes a timeline of the IABA from the last 25 years.

I’ve appreciated the many conversations with members and candidates, the meetings with other actuarial organizations, and the messages and notes from you all. I’ve learned new ideas from meetings with actuaries around the world, and I’ve had the opportunity to glean different approaches from our professional development meetings. I also enjoyed speaking with future actuaries at universities and candidate events, and especially with brand-new fellows of the SOA at Fellowship Admissions Courses. I’ve long volunteered with education throughout my time as an SOA member, and this experience continues to stand out to me.

In past columns, I’ve highlighted the SOA’s global efforts to support the profession, the benefits of networking and volunteerism, and, of course, expanding opportunities for actuaries, particularly with predictive analytics. I also discussed how we’re bringing the SOA’s Strategic Plan to life. These are all important ideas, ones that help define our organization and its members.

We need to reach out to future generations to help them understand and consider becoming part of our profession. This outreach embodies the concept of inclusion, as we partner with other organizations and groups from the perspective of diversity. We need new ideas and viewpoints to continue innovating within our field, and that includes fostering the best and brightest to join us.

Through participation with volunteer opportunities, maintaining our pride in the profession and our focus on embracing progress—the ever-expanding future—we can and will continue to make great strides and accomplishments in advancing the actuarial profession.

There is also the fantastic thought leadership that our members have helped bring to the forefront of conversations, from health care to longevity and pensions. Actuaries are leaders, and through member volunteers sharing their insights, we’ve been able to continually help raise the profile of actuaries.

Again, I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president and encourage you to participate with the organization as much as you can. There is much you can gain and, in turn, much to give back to the profession.

Jeremy J. Brown, FSA, MAAA, is president of the Society of Actuaries. Follow him on LinkedIn: bit.ly/JJBrownSOA