Smooth transitions on several fronts

This article originally appeared in the CIA (e)Bulletin.

By Marc Tardif, FCIA
CIA President

On September 17, I led my first Board meeting as CIA President. As I have participated in Board meetings for five years already, I felt fairly comfortable leading my inaugural meeting as President. It was our pleasure to welcome four new members, including three women, as well as a reserved role for a new Fellow. In terms of diversity, I am proud to note that we have made great strides. Indeed, we are on the verge of achieving female-male parity, with seven women and eight men now sitting on the Board.

Below are some of the key issues discussed during the meeting, which deserve special attention because of their cumulative and transformative impact on our organization.

New strategic plan in the works

With regard to the 2020–2023 strategic plan, we are already at the discussion stage. We have identified two main strategies: fostering greater engagement with Canadian actuaries, and further developing a continuing education program that allows our members to remain on the cutting edge of their area of practice, or to switch to new areas of practice should they wish. A task force has been charged with presenting a final version of the plan.

Governance review: profession’s accountability to the public

The proposed amendments to the Bylaws were approved in the spring of 2019. We are now implementing phase 2 of the governance review, which focuses on the actuarial profession’s accountability to the public through, among other things, the creation of the Actuarial Profession Oversight Board (APOB), most of whose members will be external to the Institute. Several existing committees tasked with protecting the public interest have been consolidated and will now operate under the APOB umbrella. The new oversight board will begin operating on January 1, 2020, offering an independent perspective on the Institute’s capacity to meet its commitments in terms of upholding the public interest.

A module-by-module approach for the CRM system

The development of our customer relationship management (CRM) system is on track. We have opted for a gradual approach, rolling out one module at a time. This approach allows Head Office staff to test and refine each module, and lets members become comfortable with the changes as they are introduced.

As I’m sure you know, the first module we rolled out covered payment of annual dues, enabling a more efficient system for better online payment of dues and eliminating repetitive manual data entry tasks. We just launched a second module: a tool to monitor continuing professional development (CPD). As of October 16, we will open a third module to members, that provides greater functionality in the My Profile area of the website and in managing membership options.

Climate-related work

As you may be aware, the Board ratified the CIA’s second level 2 public statement on the financial risks of climate change. We released Time to Act: Facing the Risks of a Changing Climate at the end of September. I invite you to read the related article in this edition.

You may also have seen that the winter 2018–19 Actuaries Climate Index data was released at the end of August. Although we are always working hard to ensure content is accurate, sometimes an error slips past even a group of diligent actuaries! The press release had a small mistake and has now been amended online.

In closing, I’d like to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving, surrounded by loved ones and friends. I hope that the long weekend will give you a well-earned break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Marc Tardif, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

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