August 25, 2010

The Role of Actuaries in Enterprise Risk Management

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) is a key area of interest for actuaries.

Actuaries have a number of key competencies to offer the market for ERM, namely:

  • A strong range of quantitative risk management techniques
  • Rigour in approaching the assignment
  • Integrity in executing the assignment
  • Objectivity in communicating in business terms about the assignment

All of these are reinforced by the most demanding of professional requirements.

The unique offering of the actuarial profession can be summarised as follows:

Actuaries’ blend of quantitative competence, rigorous professionalism, and commitment to ongoing educational development makes them the leading experts in the measurement, analysis, and management of enterprise risk

The IAA is engaged in a number of ERM-related activities through its Committees and Sections. The two principal IAA committees involved in ERM activity are the Enterprise and Financial Risk Committee (EFRC) and the Pension and Employee Benefits Committee (PEBC). The two principal Sections involved in ERM activity are AFIR/ERM (Actuarial Approach for Financial Risks) and ASTIN (Actuarial Studies in Non-Life Insurance).

The key actuarial credential in ERM is the CERA credential. The Chartered Enterprise Risk Actuary (CERA) credential, first awarded in 2007 by the Society of Actuaries in the United States, is the most comprehensive and rigorous demonstration of ERM expertise available. In order to meet current and future needs in the ERM marketplace, the CERA credential was developed to include the theoretical, practical and professional underpinnings of ERM.  It is designed to focus on how all types of risk, including operational, strategic and reputational risks, collectively impact an organization.  Recognition of the CERA credential as a global qualification in ERM has been established under the terms of a multilateral treaty signed by 14 IAA Full Member Associations, representing about 85 percent of all actuaries in the world currently.

The IAA has appointed a Task Force on the Role of the Actuary in ERM to suggest how best to promote the position of actuaries in the ERM field and to support and direct research in ERM. Their report has been accepted by the IAA Executive Committee and will be discussed at the upcoming Council meeting in October.

To learn more about the work of the IAA in this area, contact:

Fred Rowley, Member of the Executive Committee.
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The International Actuarial Association (IAA) is the worldwide association of professional actuarial associations, with a number of special interest sections for individual actuaries. The IAA exists to encourage the development of a global profession, acknowledged as technically competent and professionally reliable, which will ensure that the public interest is served.
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