Honouring Canada’s actuarial leaders in IFRS 17 implementation

The annual President’s Award, conferred this year by President Hélène Pouliot, FCIA, at the 2023 CIA Annual Conference, recognizes members who have made significant contributions to the actuarial profession in Canada. This year, seven FCIAs received the award:

  • Steve Bocking
  • Marie-Andrée Boucher
  • Sarah Chevalier
  • Simon Guénette
  • Satnam MacLean
  • Cynthia Potts
  • Les Rehbeli

IFRS 17 and its impact on the Canadian actuarial profession

IFRS 17 is a new accounting standard that came into effect at the start of 2023 setting out principles for the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of insurance contracts within its scope.

The implementation of IFRS 17 has a profound business and operational impact on the insurance industry, requiring meticulous management and coordination between actuaries, accountants and finance experts. The IFRS 17 Steering Committee, the Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting (CLIFR) and the Property and Casualty Insurance Financial Reporting Committee (PCFRC) played a pivotal role in these efforts, ensuring effective coordination and providing timely guidance to CIA members.

Cynthia Potts and Les Rehbeli: The visionaries who ignited the IFRS 17 initiative

Cynthia and Les were Co-Chairs and the pioneers of the IFRS 17 Steering Committee. Their foresight and dedication were instrumental in establishing the committee’s foundations and orchestrating the collective efforts of the CIA. They spearheaded the development of crucial guidance for IFRS 17, ensuring that the Canadian actuarial profession was well prepared to tackle the new requirements.

Through the committee, they directed the development of guidance that aligned seamlessly with the accounting profession’s expectations. By consulting with representatives in this area, they fostered collaboration and synergy between the two professions, facilitating a unified and harmonized approach to implementing IFRS 17.

Satnam MacLean: Going above and beyond in engaging the actuarial community

After the completion of Cynthia’s term, Satnam (Sati) assumed the role of co-chair on the IFRS 17 Steering Committee. Sati’s contributions went beyond her position; she actively engaged with the actuarial community through a P&C podcast and presented at Convention A, a renowned virtual international conference held in 2022. Her goal was to showcase the remarkable achievements made in Canada during the implementation of IFRS 17 and share valuable insights gained from the experience.

Sarah Chevalier and Simon Guénette: Utilizing crucial P&C expertise

Sarah chaired the PCFRC and succeeded Sati as the P&C co-chair on the IFRS 17 Steering Committee. During her tenure, she played a pivotal role in coordinating the development of guidance materials and informative webcasts for P&C professionals. Her expertise and dedication were integral to ensuring a smooth transition for P&C insurers navigating the complexities of IFRS 17.

Simon, current Chair of the PCFRC, worked alongside the IFRS 17 Steering Committee and offered significant contributions, being instrumental in developing guidance for P&C actuaries. His active engagement with regulators on IFRS 17-related issues showcased his commitment to advancing the actuarial profession in Canada’s P&C insurance sector.

Marie-Andrée Boucher and Steve Bocking: Leaders in life insurance financial reporting

Marie-Andrée and Steve took on the challenging task of co-chairing CLIFR and worked alongside the IFRS 17 Steering Committee. Their exceptional leadership was demonstrated through their tireless efforts to develop comprehensive guidance on IFRS 17 for the life insurance sector. Additionally, they collaborated with the PCFRC on joint initiatives, reinforcing the cohesive approach taken by the CIA.

Marie-Andrée and Steve’s exceptional contribution to the implementation of IFRS 17 included leading the development of an educational note on discounting, a complex issue that required careful consideration. Recognizing the challenges faced by actuaries, they arranged for a third-party provider to supply reference curves, bringing crucial assistance in tackling the intricacies of discounting under IFRS 17.

Appreciation from the CIA

The Institute extends its deepest gratitude and celebrates the accomplishments of these outstanding professionals. They have left a lasting mark on the actuarial profession in Canada and their visionary leadership, diligent efforts and collaboration have set a remarkable precedent for future advancements in the actuarial field.

Further, we acknowledge the significant efforts of all the volunteers who played a role in the IFRS 17 projects, reflecting their exceptional commitment to the Institute and the actuarial profession in Canada.

Please, join us in showing appreciation for these talented and accomplished individuals in the comments below!

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