Archive of 2010

23Dec2010
Online shopping? Pick up a CPD e-course Thumbnail

Online shopping? Pick up a CPD e-course

by Leslie Fausher, SOA e-Learning Manager With the holidays fast approaching, shopping malls are filling with frantic shoppers looking for last-minute deals on everything from ties to the largest-ever High-Definition Television (HDTV). If you’ve selected your friends wisely, you’ll be getting the HDTV. If not, then there’s always the popular option of re-gifting. It’s true what they say: They’ll never know. Savvier shoppers are avoiding long lines, parking lot showdowns and cold temperatures by shopping online. From the comfort of their own home, they are commanding books, toys and electronics to float off the shelves and materialize at their doorsteps – all with a few clicks of a mouse. Pretty powerful stuff. This year, there is another online purchase worth considering that is far more valuable than any gift you’ll receive: Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits. (more…)

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13Dec2010
Author
steppema
Category
General
Tags
Actuaries Go to Medical School Thumbnail

Actuaries Go to Medical School

by Sara Teppema, SOA Staff Fellow, Health It’s complicated. Health care, that is.  Of course all of us know this, and we actuaries who practice in health care observe it every day as we assess health risks and work with health care financial, claims and utilization data. This past November, at the SOA Health Boot Camp, 75 of us went beyond the data to begin to understand the intricate human systems – literally down to the molecular level – that drive health care costs and utilization for two high-cost conditions:  diabetes and asthma.  (more…)

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09Dec2010
Author
nortner
Category
General
Tags
Right Man Walking: Optimizing Early Prisoner Release – A Discussion of the Article in The Actuary Thumbnail

Right Man Walking: Optimizing Early Prisoner Release – A Discussion of the Article in The Actuary

by Nickolas Ortner, FSA My inspiration for the article, “Right Man Walking: Optimizing Early Prisoner Release” in the December/January issue of The Actuary, was the result of recent publicity—starting with news in my current and former home states of Nebraska and Wisconsin, respectively, and realizing that this has also become an issue elsewhere—related to early release programs and seemingly unasked (and so also unanswered) questions related to released prisoners' recidivism and the underlying efficacy of such programs. It struck me as suboptimal in its simplicity—without digging in at the individual risk assessment level, and primarily focused on only the prisoners' most recent history—to release broad groups of "nonviolent offenders within a certain timeframe of their otherwise scheduled parole time." (more…)

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06Dec2010
Students are listening – what’s your advice? Thumbnail

Students are listening – what’s your advice?

by Lisamarie Lukas, SOA Director of Communications As you may have read in the December/January issue of The Actuary, our University Outreach program continues to grow and has proven to be a valuable way for us to connect with future members of the profession.  What we’ve learned is that students really appreciate the opportunity to talk with practicing actuaries – and as a result, we always take at least one featured actuary along with us on our visits. Hearing from one or two actuaries is great, but we want to be able to provide an array of insights and perspectives.  So, we’re asking – what advice do you have?  What’s one thing you think we need to make sure to tell students as we travel around the U.S. and Canada? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below.   And, on behalf of the students we meet, thanks!

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22Nov2010
Author
SOA Blog
Category
General, Life
Tags
SOA Staff Actuary Profile: James Miles Thumbnail

SOA Staff Actuary Profile: James Miles

Name: James Miles Professional Designations: FSA, MAAA. I have also earned the FLMI and CPCU designations. Title: Consulting Staff Fellow, Individual Life & Annuity Solutions How long have you been at the SOA?  About two years. Why/How did you decide to become an actuary? I was an undergraduate mathematics major trying to leverage my book learning into a paying job. My advisor suggested that I look at actuarial science. After a few actuarial courses in graduate school and an observation that several companies were coming on campus each year to hire actuaries, I was convinced that being an actuary would be a good career choice for me. (more…)

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16Nov2010
Author
SOA Blog
Category
General
Tags
Will You Live to 100? – SOA’s Living to 100 Research Initiative Thumbnail

Will You Live to 100? – SOA’s Living to 100 Research Initiative

by Ronora Stryker, SOA Research Actuary As a result of medical advances, lifestyle changes, access to food and healthcare as well as other factors, people are living longer than in the past. While there are many studies and census statistics that support this, most of us can see this mortality improvement trend in our own families as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are surviving to advanced ages not reached by past generations. What does the future hold for us and future generations? Will history repeat itself and the same mortality improvement rates of the past continue? How might obesity and other forces impact future mortality improvement trends? (more…)

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08Nov2010
Author
dsegal
Category
General
Tags
Update from the November 2010 Interactive Leader Session Thumbnail

Update from the November 2010 Interactive Leader Session

by Don Segal, SOA President, 2010-2011 Last Wednesday we (Brad Smith, Greg Heidrich and I) held our third Interactive Leader Session of 2010 and my first as president! Over 200 members joined the call. We were happy about the great turnout and that 97 percent indicated they were satisfied with the session! For those of you who weren’t able to join, let me share some of the highlights. 2010 Annual Meeting This year’s Annual Meeting was our second-largest ever, with over 1,900 attending! (The largest was our 50th anniversary in 1999 in San Francisco. You remember? The one with Tony Bennett.) Our keynote speakers this year were the legendary Ted Koppel, and the esteemed professor, Paul Embrechts, from ETH Zurich. In my presidential address, I spoke about the five C’s that, along with our strategic plan, will take us through the next year. You can read more about them in this post or in the transcript of my speech. October 2010 Board Meeting Update We are doing more to keep you infor

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28Oct2010
Author
SOA Blog
Category
General
Tags
The Five C’s Thumbnail

The Five C’s

by Don Segal, SOA President, 2010-2011 It was an honor to take office last week at the SOA’s 62nd Annual Meeting. Over 1,900 of you were in attendance, making it our second-largest Annual Meeting ever! In my presidential address, I had the opportunity to talk about my areas of focus in the year to come. For those of you who weren’t there, I want to give an overview of what I hope to accomplish as president. I describe my commitment to our Strategic Plan and the work of the SOA with what I call “The Five C’s.” The Five C’s are: Commitment to our Profession – Realizing that our actuarial skills can apply in any number of areas. Actuaries like Nick Blitterswyk have brought their skills to new areas, but I would like to see even more of us taking our skills into new territories! Communication – Creating better connections between the SOA, members and candidates. To do this, we will be introducing new programs to better engage members and candidates. In addition, we want to hear from

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18Oct2010
Author
mweber
Category
General
Tags
SOA Sections in 2011: Where Are We Headed? Thumbnail

SOA Sections in 2011: Where Are We Headed?

By Meg Weber, SOA Director of Section Services Did you know that within the SOA are 19 grassroots communities? We call them sections. Sections are professional interest groups formed around common issues related to an area of practice or special interest. For an overview, from Actuary of the Future to Taxation, here are the missions of our sections. One by one, the sections were created by individuals who had a vision. And the creativity did not end with their establishment. The energy and resourcefulness of section volunteers drives the development of sessions for our meetings, our seminars and our webinars. They publish, contribute to research, and support networking, whether it is face-to-face or using technology like LinkedIn. SOA members join sections because they enjoy the benefits of these efforts and that extra “informed insider” edge they need to stay relevant in the market. Even if they don’t have the time to actively participate, many members join sections to be a part of the com

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07Oct2010
Author
mmclaughlin
Category
General
Tags
If You’re an Actuary, You’re Only 1-1/4 Steps Away from Becoming a CERA Thumbnail

If You’re an Actuary, You’re Only 1-1/4 Steps Away from Becoming a CERA

by Mike McLaughlin, SOA President, 2009-2010   If you are already an ASA or FSA, you’re only 1-1/4 steps away from becoming a CERA. What steps do you need to take to earn the CERA designation? 1.) Pass the Advanced Finance/ERM Exam ¼.) Complete the Operational Risk Module Granted, these aren’t easy steps—nor should they be—to earning the most comprehensive and rigorous enterprise risk management credential available, but I did want to illustrate the short path to CERA. The CERA brings significant benefits to experienced actuaries. Experience in enterprise risk management is valuable to companies, and a seasoned CERA could be a valuable asset to a corporate Board of Directors. Greater expectations are being placed on boards to strengthen risk oversight and corporate governance. They are requiring expertise such as risk management, financial management and executive compensation. These are actuarial skills! These are exciting times in the life of the CERA! This is the first actuarial

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