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Connecting colleagues in risk management

In the third of our series on the work of the IFoA’s Practice Area Boards, Neil Cantle, outgoing Chair of the IFoA’s Risk Management Board, looks at the Board’s approach to supporting actuaries, whatever their focus, wherever they are based.  

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Neil CantleRisk management has finally started to become more ‘business as usual’, which is, of course, to be celebrated.

It does, however, mean that many of our members often do risk management within a wider context rather than as part of a defined risk function – they therefore do not necessarily identify ‘risk’ as their defining interest.

Supporting members’ practice

The Risk Management Board therefore focused its efforts during this session on repositioning our engagement model to ensure that there are more ways for members to get the support they need, at the point in their career that they need it, and in a manner that they (or their employer) find commercially acceptable.

We have diversified our Board to gain a wider set of views, including early-career members and members based overseas.

Our research community have continued to deliver excellent new content with five working parties delivering papers, sessional meetings, conference presentations and blogs.

In order to raise awareness of the usefulness and techniques of data visualisation in presenting complex modelling, we produced a series of data visualisation blogs.

In the year of GDPR and the first blockbuster fines levied under this regulation, our cyber risk working party published a paper on modelling Cyber Operational Risk and wrote on understanding the cyber risks that your employer is exposed to.

And at a Sessional Research Event meeting in London in March 2019, our risk measures working party presented their paper Investment risk for long term investors: risk measurement approaches - Considerations for pension funds and insurers.

Going forward, we will start to promote existing content more, to remind people of all the great collateral that has been produced over the years in the risk community.

Going into the new session we believe there is a solid foundation to build upon to support our members’ evolving requirements.

Building connections

The foundations built this session should enable the Board to reach and engage with more members, more often, and more meaningfully.

Getting conversations going amongst our members and giving them a sense of community is an achievable target for the next session.

We have had a few early successes in supporting colleagues entering the risk world for the first time, helping them connect with more experienced members who were able to offer valuable support.

The ability to deliver content across a wider range of channels – including social media and online video ­– will permit the Board a greater capability to reach across time zones and to provide interaction opportunities which are not limited by physical location.

This enables us to harness the enthusiasm for community amongst our overseas members. We see opportunities to facilitate the creation of local interest groups and then connect those groups across the globe.

We are getting good engagement with early-career members, including internationally – nurturing this relationship should help to create more sustained community engagement.

We have introduced roles on the Board for early-career members and have generally improved the tenure distribution on the Board. We believe that this has created a more sustainable flow of members to and through the Board.

We also have plans to introduce an advisory group where more experienced members, who are timed out from serving on the Board, can still be called upon to provide valuable input.

We have also re-engaged with the other Boards, giving us a wider support base which means we can benefit from synergies and scale in the delivery of conferences and other endeavours, and also better support our members whose ‘main’ identifier aligns them to the larger practice areas, like Life and General Insurance.

I’d love for more members to get involved with the Risk Management Practice Area, so I encourage you to look for the opportunities as they arise on the IFoA’s volunteer vacancies webpage.

Find out more about the Risk Management Practice Area.

Other blogs in this series