SOA Blog

Annual Meeting Presidential Luncheon Highlights

Outgoing President Tonya Manning presented awards and transferred the badge of office to Mark Freedman, 65th president of the Society of Actuaries, at Tuesday’s Presidential Luncheon.

Manning honored Marcus Robertson with the 2013 Distinguished Volunteer Service Award for his contributions to the advancement of the actuarial profession throughout his career. Manning also presented Anne Button, Emily Kessler and Alice Rosenblatt with the Presidential Award.

The badge of office was then transferred to Mark Freedman, who thanked Manning for her mentoring over the past year.

President Freedman’s address focused on his top three priorities for his term of office.

  • International development
  • Emerging Opportunities
  • Research supporting public policy

With 14% of SOA members residing outside of the U.S. and Canada, and five of the 10 largest exam sites being in Asia, Freedman discussed the need to think strategically about the global landscape, which means serving all members wherever they are today and wherever they may find themselves in the future. Economies are global, investments are global, and knowledge is global.

Next, Freedman discussed his second priority—capitalizing on emerging opportunities. Not only do we need to take advantage of opportunities as they occur, we need to create new opportunities, find new areas of practice, and expand into non-traditional fields.

Finally, Freedman talked about his third priority of research that supports public policy. He questioned whether we are doing enough to help in the public debates over such issues as health care reform, social security or public pensions. We must be an integral part of the discussion and educate by providing timely research to policymakers and regulators.

Freedman ended by urging members to think globally, think about emerging opportunities, and consider how they can help shape solutions to public policy issues.

Keynote speaker Zanny Minton-Beddoes, economics editor for The Economist, provided a synopsis of the global economy, looking at where the world economy is currently and where it is going in the short to medium term. She compared the U.S., emerging economies such as China, the UK and the “Euro zone”. Minton-Beddoes’ presentation was followed by a question and answer session.

Visit the photo gallery to view highlights of the meeting’s events.

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