24Feb2010
Author
mmclaughlin
Category
General

Learning More about the Actuarial Profession in Hong Kong

On my trip to Macau and Hong Kong I spoke to the Actuarial Society of Hong Kong (ASHK) twice. The first presentation was at their risk management conference in early February. I also gave a second presentation to ASHK members. The audience comprised approximately 75 actuaries and actuarial students, of a wide range of ages. My topic was the CERA credential, including the new Global CERA.

Some of you will have heard me speak on this in other venues. I can hardly contain my excitement over the opportunities for actuaries, not only in financial services but more broadly. Of course, we have a fair amount of work in front of us to communicate to employers and the public about the value a CERA can provide!

I discovered on my trip that Hong Kong has two excellent universities with outstanding actuarial degree programs. I met with professors from both Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University. I was impressed with the caliber of professors and their students! In both cases, the actuarial science degree program is the second-most popular program for top-notch students. (The most popular program? Medicine.)

I had the privilege of meeting Annie Choi, the Hong Kong Commissioner of Insurance. Their insurance valuation methods are based on current assumptions and first principles, which is somewhat different from the formula-based approach in the United States, or the principle-based approaches seen in Canada, UK and Europe (with Solvency II). Annie had been in her post only five months at the time, and the depth of her understanding of the issues was pretty amazing.

I can’t fail to mention the beauty and excitement of Hong Kong. The city is vibrant, full of life, but not congested. The island combines on the one hand a fantastic city skyline competitive with New York, and on the other hand spectacular, rugged landscapes. It’s high on my list for a vacation! And the dinner on the last evening, with my hosts from the Joint Actuaries Hong Kong Representative Office and the SOA’s China Region Committee was a culinary delight. I’ll have to go back soon …

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