Adeline Tan provides an update from the F&I Board.
The first quarter of 2022 has whizzed by, amidst different degrees of recovery and reopening from the pandemic. Members of the F&I Board gathered around their respective Zoom screens, for a packed agenda with key discussion areas on:
- Succession and governance
- Research areas
- Collaboration opportunities with other Practice Boards and MIGs
- Public policy
Succession and governance
A number of members will be stepping down from their posts with the F&I Board, although the F&I community may still be seeing their contributions in the MIGs and specialist research. It reminds everyone the need to do good work, and attract individuals to form the pipeline for future board members. Advertisement for new members will be through the IFoA’s webpage for volunteering opportunities, so keep a lookout! Volunteering is a valuable way to expand your network while paving it forward for future generations of actuarial students!
There were back-to-back presentations, starting with the excellent summary on the topics that are still running, followed by outline of future topics that have piqued the research working group.
- The ESG and sustainability summary is a colourful map of sustainability related policies established by government bodies and key institutions
While still in early stages of publication, all members agreed this was a refreshing way to present findings, and welcome such alternative formats for future sharing.
- Cryptocurrencies and digital assets was highlighted as a medium to long-term priority, as regulators are gearing up on addressing the forms of financing it presents. Discussions ranged from whether the focus is on levelling the knowledgebase of all actuaries, or to research governments’ developing standards.
- Vehicles to enable investment in illiquid assets is also undergoing research, with close ties to efforts of promoting illiquid investments for defined contribution pension plans.
With so many topics of interest, the research committee is running quarterly ‘learn and share’ meetings with shadows and chairs of these working parties. So far, these are well-received although the members continue to look out for innovative and efficient ways to meet the research objectives.
Similar to many other groups, the Board is making time to digest and understand the work that other Practice Boards and MIGs are occupied with. At this meeting, the Economics MIG, Banking MIG and NED MIGs made presentations. The rich issues falling into Economics is keeping the MIG active, with book reviews and current collaboration with FinSTIC, (the Financial Systems Thinking Innovation Centre). World events are likely to add to the long list of issues the Economics MIG may explore, and may also influence the VSMD (vision, skillsets, mindsets and domains) strategy. The Banking MIG also has a vibrant membership, and discussions are more focused on bringing more post-fellowship education material, as actuarial careers expand into the banking and finance sector. The NED MIG continues its good work in areas of governance and training, opening more channels for actuaries to consider contribution to boards.
Suffice to say the MIGs are like stained glass windows into the practical thinking and professional network-creation that IFoA membership can access! A cross-practice event will be held in June, and the Board is planning to make this a regular occurrence to execute a collaborative strategy.
Two IFoA members, Nick Spencer (Sustainability) and Leah Evans (Pensions) gave evidence to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Select Committee and the Work and Pensions Committee session respectively. Read more on these on the IFoA blog. The F&I Board also has an objective of contributing to public affairs, and below are topics that members will be convening on:
- Stewardship and green assets
- Productive finance (referencing DWP’s consultation)
- Solvency II (per HMT’s consultation)
Through connecting across the MIGs, lifelong learning and research working parties and the actuarial community, there is continue refinement of the objectives for board members, and also to ensure continuity of the F&I Board’s agenda.