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Being an actuary: our EMEA members' experience

Throughout the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region we’re seeing rapid growth in all branches of the actuarial profession. Members from Kenya and Nigeria tell us what inspired them to take on this challenging career and what they enjoy about being an actuary.

Mukami NjeruMukami Njeru, Fellow: Nairobi, Kenya

"Having qualified after an arduous journey involving various CA3 attempts, this instilled in me consistency, attention to detail and an appreciation for professionalism. It also  inspired me to be part of the ongoing development of the profession, as I believe that actuaries can make a tangible difference to society. Given the opportunity to volunteer

I did so in various capacities as a career ambassador, a guinea pig for certain exams, and as a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) co-ordinator for qualified actuaries at one of my employers. 

I am based in East Africa and am involved in the development of the profession in this region. Volunteering keeps me up to date with best practice within the global profession and allows me to be relevant both locally and internationally. I recommend it as I benefit from being kept up to date with the evolution of the profession, understanding the breadth of events the profession has to offer and keeping abreast of technical matters in my areas of interest."

Felix OwinoFelix Owino, Student: Kenya

“I really want to say thank you once again in appreciation of this golden opportunity.  Golden because the 400 Club has given a chance to a student voice to be heard from the deep village hearts of Africa in Kisumu-Kenya; how awesome these days. I have got more insights concerning the profession, latest being the IFoA Actuarial Knowledge Hub, CMI, timely updates on upcoming events and debates etc.”

Olawale AyodejiOlawale Ayodeji, Junior Actuarial Specialist: Nigeria

"From a young age, I dreamt of a career that would allow me to use my strong mathematical skills in a real-life situation. So my career goal has always been to be an actuary. The use of mathematics to solve problems greatly appeals to me especially when applied to complex real-life situations.

As a Junior Actuarial Specialist I work under the supervision of a fully qualified actuary (IFoA), which I believe is a privilege considering there are no more than 15 qualified actuaries in Nigeria. I have been able to pass six papers from the Institute within two years and I hope to complete the actuarial exams in a space of about four–five years.

I believe that the study of actuarial science and a future career as an actuary is a highly rewarding one, both financially and intellectually. I strongly believe that actuaries play a very important and essential role 
in analysing and shaping the state of the economy of any country. 

Each sector of this profession is equally important, although I am particularly keen on working within the pension and insurance sector. I am deeply concerned about the dearth of actuarial skills in Nigeria, which is also a motivation for pursuing the course and add my quota to its needs in my home country."

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Events calendar

  • The Growth Mindset for Actuaries

    13 October 2021 - 8 December 2021

    Fully booked.

    This practical course is aimed at actuaries at any stage of their career who want to develop their own growth mindset and apply it to their work setting and personal or professional lifelong learning. The content of the course builds on the lecture given by Dr Helen Wright on Growth Mindset as part of the President’s 2021 Lecture series, and will be delivered over a period of 2 months, from mid-October to early December.

  • Spaces available

    The role of actuaries within the health sector varies considerably from one country to another, due to differences in the local evolution of health systems and the funding models for health services. 

  • Spaces available

    This paper outlines key frameworks for reserving validation and techniques employed. Many companies lack an embedded reserve validation framework and validation is viewed as piecemeal and unstructured.  The paper outlines a case study demonstrating how successful machine learning techniques will become and then goes on to discuss implications.  The paper explores common validation approaches and their role in enhancing governance and confidence.

  • Spaces available

    Content will be aimed at all actuaries looking to understand the issues surrounding mental health in insurance and in particular those looking to ensure products and processes widen access for, and are most useful to, those experiencing periods of poor mental health.
     

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA Policy Briefing 'Can we help consumers avoid running out of money in retirement' examined the benefits of blending a lifetime annuity with income drawdown. Panellists, including providers and advisers, will look at the market practicalities of taking the actuarial theory through into the core advice propositions used by IFAs and Fund Managers. They will share a number of practical issues such as investment consequences before and after retirement and the level of annuity that is appropriate and answer questions from the audience.

  • Speech from the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey

    Lincoln's Inn The Treasury Office, London WC2A 3TL
    1 December 2021

    The IFoA is pleased to be hosting the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, to deliver a speech on delivering policyholder protection in insurance regulation.

    The speech will be presented to an in-person audience, and simultaneously live-streamed, at 14.00 on Wednesday 1st December.

  • The Many Faces of Bias

    2 December 2021

    Spaces available

    This webinar looks at the many types of biases, both conscious and unconscious and the impacts they can have in the workplace.  Raising our own awareness and understanding of the issues can help us avoid the pitfalls of unconscious bias in particular.  We’ve all heard the phrase ‘office banter’ but are we sure that’s how those on the receiving end perceive it and is it ok to go along with it?

  • Spaces available

    Actuaries need to take action now - but how?  With a focus on climate change, this session will provide informed insight to enable you to improve your knowledge and understanding of the issues involved, demonstrate how it will impact advice to your clients, and highlight prospective opportunities for actuaries within pensions and wider fields.

  • Spaces available

    Pension scams have become more prevalent as a result of the pandemic, and Trustees have increased responsibilities to protect members, which means that actuaries need to be in a position to provide advice in this area. Our specialist panel will include a professional trustee, an IFA and head administrator, two of whom are members of PASA.

  • Spaces available

    The covid-19 pandemic creates a challenge for actuaries analysing experience data that includes mortality shocks.  To address this we present a methodology for modelling portfolio mortality data that offers local flexibility in the time dimension.  The approach permits the identification of seasonal variation, mortality shocks and late-reported deaths.  The methodology also allows actuaries to measure portfolio-specific mortality improvements.  Results are given for a mature annuity portfolio in the UK

  • Spaces available

    In this webinar, the authors of the 2021 Brian Hey prize winning paper present a new deep learning model called the LocalGLMnet. While deep learning models lead to very competitive regression models, often outperforming classical statistical models such as generalized linear models, the disadvantage is that deep learning solutions are difficult to interpret and explain, and variable selection is not easily possible.

  • Spaces available

    The dominant underwriting approach is a mix between rule-based engines and traditional underwriting. Applications are first assessed by automated rule-based engines which typically are capable of processing only simple applications. The remaining applications are reviewed by underwriters or referred to the reinsurers. This research aims to construct predictive machine learning models for complicated applications that cannot be processed by rule-based engines.

  • Spaces available

    With the Pension Schemes Act 2021 requiring a long term strategy from Trustees and sponsors, choosing a pensions endgame strategy has become even more critical. However, it is important that the endgame options available are adequately assessed before choosing one. With an ever-increasing array of creative and innovative options available, this decision may not be straightforward.