Strengthening Asia’s Actuarial Future

SOA Greater Asia Committee chair shares highlights from 2023 and plans for 2024 Taik Ki (TK) Lee


Headshot of Taik Ki (TK) Lee smiling at the camera
Taik Ki (TK) Lee, FSA

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) established the Greater Asia Committee in 2015 to serve SOA members and candidates and coordinate activities in nine key regions across Asia. This committee supports the Asian actuarial community in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam and helps inform SOA members and candidates about emerging actuarial trends.

I am humbled and thrilled to serve as chair of the Greater Asia Committee for a two-year term, which began in October 2023.

The year 2023 was special in many ways. It was the first year that a lot of countries lifted travel restrictions. Many realized that in-person meetings, once taken as a given, were indeed blessings.

In 2023, the Greater Asia Committee, in collaboration with local actuarial associations in various regions, hosted many exciting activities and programs that engaged the Asian actuarial community. And, in 2024, we have many events planned, including the Asia-Pacific Annual Symposium in June.

Events, Articles and Virtual Learning

Attending conferences and seminars is a great way to learn about emerging actuarial trends in the industry, exchange ideas and network with other SOA candidates and members.

The largest SOA event in the region, the Asia-Pacific Annual Symposium, was very successful in 2023. It was held as the Asia-Pacific PAI-SOA Joint Symposium from June 20-22 in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. The four-day event attracted more than 500 in-person and online participants from 15 countries, and it provided great opportunities for the Asian actuarial community to discuss current industry issues and emerging actuarial trends.

Other more local-focused seminars were held in Seoul (September), Taipei (October) and Kuala Lumpur (November). An excellent selection of speakers, a good balance of different topics and efficient logistics led to the success of all these events as well.

To reach a wider audience in the region, the Greater Asia Committee’s webcast subcommittee hosted eight monthly webcasts in 2023. We selected topics and speakers carefully to help SOA members and candidates keep their actuarial knowledge up to date in this fast-evolving environment.

In addition to seminars and webcasts, our editorial subcommittee published seven articles on The Actuary website in 2023. We also continued our Asia Young Actuary Program (YAP) and coordinated a fun video contest for SOA candidates and members in Asia that attracted many participants. And our research subcommittee actively discussed which topics to conduct in-depth research on to support the Asian actuarial community.

Regional Outreach

Increasing our visibility in local industries is as important as supporting our members and candidates through events, articles and virtual learning opportunities. To increase the SOA’s visibility to local actuarial societies, we participated in local university visits, career fairs and employer meetings. We also had several networking events in a few local markets.

We held meetings to connect members and candidates with employers. In Singapore, there was the Singapore Actuarial Society (SAS) Career Fair. In Hong Kong and Malaysia, we conducted employer meetings to learn what they are looking for regarding skills and competency. An Asia Employer Council meeting also was held in March to serve the same purpose.

We have continued to build relationships with local Asian actuarial associations and have visited and discussed current local industry issues and ways to collaborate. Some of the bilateral meetings we had were with the Actuarial Society of Hong Kong (ASHK), Actuarial Society of Malaysia (ASM), Institute of Actuaries of Korea (IAK) and Society of Actuaries of Indonesia (Persatuan Aktuaris Indonesia, PAI). We also sponsored or supported events held by local actuarial associations, such as ASHK General Insurance Conference (June), Singapore Actuarial Conference (September), ASHK IFRS Seminar (October), International Vietnam Actuarial Conference (November) and Korea Risk Management Society Conference on Climate Risk (December).

To increase our visibility to potential SOA candidates and members, we visited many universities in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan. We also held faculty meetings to discuss emerging actuarial trends and curricula, and held networking events with students in these regions. During the networking events, we invited students and senior actuaries in the field to discuss the skill sets employers expect and answer student questions. Students volunteered to help with event logistics and showed enthusiasm and passion for this career.

A Look at Events to Come

We will continue our efforts to support the Asian actuarial community this year. We have already formed an organizing committee to prepare for our flagship event, the Asia-Pacific Annual Symposium, in June in Malaysia. Many exciting topics were proposed for this event, and we expect this to be another great event this year. The Singapore Seminar was held in March, and other exciting seminars are planned in Taiwan, Korea and Thailand. For details about the latest Asia events, please follow us on Asia LinkedIn, Asia Facebook and the SOA Professional Development Opportunities page.

Our webcasts and articles this year will cover interesting topics reflecting current and emerging actuarial trends. We also will continue our strong relationships with local associations, schools and communities to increase the visibility of the SOA and the actuarial profession in Asia.

I would like to express my deepest appreciation for the generous contributions of the Greater Asia Committee volunteers. They helped make last year a huge success. Their passion for this career, organization and fellow members and candidates is what really drives this journey.

I would also like to extend my appreciation to SOA Greater Asia Committee staff members Wai Ling Yung, Lucy Lee and Hanilore Fabul for being the hub for connecting different volunteers. Their efficient processes and professional mindsets deserve to be acknowledged.

Finally, I want to recognize Paul Setio Kartono, ASA, MAAA, who led the Greater Asia Committee last year. Under his leadership, we were able to move one step further in becoming a better group of professionals.

For those who haven’t had a chance to volunteer, I strongly encourage you to consider joining the Greater Asia Committee. It is a great opportunity to participate in making our profession better.

Taik Ki (TK) Lee, FSA, is managing director and head of Aon PathWise APAC with expertise and experiences in various actuarial areas, especially in hedging and asset-liability management (ALM).

Statements of fact and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Society of Actuaries or the respective authors’ employers.

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