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Council calls on members to ‘use your vote’

Nominations for IFoA Council are closing on 4 May and elections opening to voting members on 20 May.

We asked some current Council members to tell us why this is something every member needs to engage with.

Louise Pryor, President-elect, said “Elections to the Council of the IFoA are taking place shortly. All Fellows and Associates have a vote, but many of us fail to use it. This is a shame, because it’s the main opportunity we have to influence the IFoA’s direction.

“Council consists of 30 elected members and makes the major decisions for the profession – it determines the mission, vision and values of the IFoA, sets strategy and oversees its implementation, and decides on major changes of policy. So voting in the Council elections is your chance to make a difference – the decisions Council makes depend crucially on who the Council members are.”

She added: “In the last year, our Council has played a crucial role in determining the new strategy, working out what issues it should address and what the priorities should be. All initiatives, such as the recent policy statement on climate-related risk, have to be approved by Council and are often initiated by Council.

“The IFoA is made up of its members, and Council, representing the membership, is the supreme body in the organisation.

“Using your vote to choose candidates with the experience and qualities to guide the IFoA is an important way that you can play a role in our mutual success.”

Matt Saker, incoming President-elect, explained he had enjoyed the experience of serving on council.

He said: “Other than participating in the odd working group, since passing my exams I had not actively engaged with the profession and had often wondered how the IFoA worked. This curiosity eventually led me to put myself forward as a candidate and I was fortunate enough to be elected onto Council.

“Having now been on Council for five years, I can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of gaining a deep understanding of the profession and in determining future strategy.”

He added: “As we roll out our latest strategy, the next few years are going to be key in shaping the future of the whole profession and anyone joining Council now will have an important role to play in making sure we are successful.

“If you want to be part of this exciting process or, like me, you are simply curious, then I’d encourage you to take the plunge and put yourself forward for election. I’m confident that you’ll find the experience both challenging and rewarding.”

Mr Saker concluded: “If you’re not ready to take the plunge, then you still have an important role to play as a voting member of the profession. Each candidate has their particular perspectives and you need to use your vote to influence the make-up of Council.

“So please, take the time to vote when the ballots open, and help the IFoA better represent its members and serve society.”

Danny Quant, Council member, said he was surprised turnout figures were not closer to 100%.

He said: “Not all members who are entitled to vote do so. Personally, I am surprised that we don’t have closer to a 100% turnout. While I wouldn’t necessarily advocate a mandatory voting system, I do think that all voting members should consider that the mandate of Council members is an important one and decisions made on behalf of the whole membership by a group that is elected by a minority is at best 'awkward'. 

“At the IFoA, a higher voter turnout provides Council with a corresponding greater obligation and pressure, but also enthusiasm to do the right thing for our members and our profession.”

He added: “On the other hand, dare I say that a member who has not cast their vote has little grounds for complaint if the Council is not driving forward matters that the member believes to be important. 

“But let’s not dwell on this negatively; I would encourage all voting members to exercise their right and to endorse the candidates who, in their view, will guide Council to the best outcome for the IFoA membership and the actuarial profession.”

Cynthia Yuan, Council member, explained why she put herself forward for council.

She said: “During the last couple of years, we have in China seen several financial empires go from flourishment to diminishment. As a risk manager, their falls have astonished me and have constantly reminded me how important it is for a financial institution to be responsible and to put public interest above all.

“As a member of the IFoA’s governing council, I feel strongly about our profession offering a platform for actuaries who put public interest as top priority and apply their skills responsibly. Our council concerns itself with issues such as international inclusion, professionalism, climate change and sustainability, new skillsets for future actuaries, etc.”

She added: “The reason I put myself forward to stand for council two years ago was because I wanted to be involved in understanding and discussing these issues, which affect every one of us.

“As a council member based in China, I also strongly believe it is important for all parties to be heard. We stand as one in shaping our future together.

“If you want to be part of this exciting team in shaping the direction of the IFoA, please join us. I also would like to urge all eligible members to participate in the voting. Who is elected makes a real difference, so see which candidates represent your views, your practice area, your employer, your region.”

 

To stand as a candidate for election to Council, visit our nomination website, where you will be asked to submit a short statement.

Voting for your preferred candidate is easy. All voting members will receive an email from Civica Election Services on 20 May with links to candidate statements and the ballot.