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Risk Management board update - September

Chris Sutton provides an update from the latest board meeting

The Risk Management board is responsible for developing and delivering the value of IFoA membership, for actuaries who work in risk management practice or who want to know about this field.

The first meeting of the 2021-22 session took place on 28 September with Peter Telford our new chair welcoming a number of new members. The board strategy endorsed at this meeting places much emphasis on member engagement and communication, and this formed a thread that ran through much of our discussion.

1,000 and 4,000

In the latest update on Practice Areas across the profession based on August 2021 member data, there are approximately 1,000 IFoA members who self-select Risk as one of their areas of practice but then nearly 4,000 members who include Risk in their newsletter preferences. This suggests that for every actuary who sees themselves as a risk management professional there are three additional members interested in this area. We need to ensure that as a practice area and board we are engaging widely and constructively whatever proportion of a member’s working week is spent on risk management activities.

Through the remainder of the meeting, we explored various ways in which that engagement might develop.

CRO Group

Russell Gill updated us on the CRO Group which is a mutually supportive discussion group for Chief Risk Officers held under Chatham House Rules. Having recently surveyed its members’ priorities the group has scheduled upcoming topics for discussion including the integration of risk management with strategy and decision making and has brought forward a discussion on climate risk.

Lifelong Learning

With the profession moving to more digital delivery, the emphasis in Lifelong Learning is shifting from staged events to quality of content. Steve Wilson joined the meeting to share a paper on what we should be seeking to achieve in this endeavour. Risk content is likely to focus on climate, ESG, governance, technology and CRO best practice. This should be intertwined with opportunities for members to develop communication skills for example in presenting to non-actuarial audiences or managing conflict situations. We will continue to work to ensure the right balance between formational learning in the profession’s Education syllabus and ongoing learning.

Research and Thought Leadership

How we develop new knowledge and content is part of the remit of the board’s Research & Thought Leadership sub-committee which is now chaired by Fred Vosvenieks. A recent review of research priorities has highlighted the need for us to demonstrate how and why actuarial skill sets are valuable in risk management practice.

Climate risk and Sustainability

An area we are undoubtedly going to be talking about more and more is climate and other associated sustainability risks. The board agreed to establish a new Working Group which will seek to accelerate the actuarial risk management contribution to this important theme through the promotion of research, growing awareness across the risk management community, and understanding how the day-to-day work of risk actuaries is being impacted as well as what new career opportunities are opening up. Simon Cartagena will chair this group which will partner with Sustainability practice area colleagues and report directly to the board.


You can find out more about the Risk Management Board or the CRO Group via their webpages

If there is anything you think should be discussed at the board then please let us know either via the Risk Management Community LinkedIn page or by emailing . Our next meeting is in December.