Pigs may not but time Certainly Does!


“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot” – Michael Altshuler

“For disappearing acts, it’s hard to beat what happens to the eight hours supposedly left after eight of sleep and eight of work” – Doug Larson

“Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.” – Louis Hector Berlioz

… and one that really resonates …

“How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on.”
– Zall’s Second Law

This is my last article as President of the Institute. It seems like only yesterday that I was being hassled to get my article in for the March edition.

As you might expect, 2014 has been a busy year for me. It’s been a great experience albeit not without its challenges. I prepared a Presidential Address video which was available for viewing in January and, of course, you’ve all watched it
several times over the course of the year. I thought it would be worth going back to my statements regarding what I thought the year should contain and compare that to what has actually happened – thus utilising my ingrained practice of applying the control cycle.

The key points raised and my take on outcomes are:

  • Enhance the brand of actuary – the See What We See campaign had a successful initial run and, at the time of writing, round two has rolled out. Of course this is not the sole solution. More work needs to be done and Council will continue to work on ways to enhance our brand.

  • Mission statement and governance reviews – these have been completed and reported to Council. Both reviews provided considerable opportunities for members to contribute. Council is considering the outputs of the reviews as part of its review of strategy and I expect that outcomes will be advised to members in December.

  • Education – the Education Strategy Working Group (ESWG) has reported to Council and extensive enhancements
    to our pre-qualification education have been proposed. A wide range of members were consulted in the development of the ESWG’s report. Council is supportive of the nature of the proposals but a considerable amount of work is still ahead to ensure that the changes can be incorporated into university programs and align with the education review being undertaken by the IAA.

  • CPD – whilst not a huge amount has been achieved this year, the importance of developing a coordinated and forward-looking CPD plan has become clear. Council and HQ will be working on developing the plan in 2015.

  • Servicing members in Asia – after a few iterations, a Working Group has provided a plan to Council for its consideration. I expect that our members in Asia can look forward to improved support commencing in 2015.

  • Big data and data analytics – to be honest, the development in this space has been very disappointing for me. Council are well aware of the importance of this area and I anticipate that it will have a significant focus in the new strategic plan. With limited progress made in 2014, I consider that this is an area which will require a substantial time investment and with a level of urgency.

  • Banking – the South African Society has almost completed its banking subject and we look forward to being able to introduce a Part III course in the near future. Nevertheless, the Banking Practice Committee still has a fair amount of work to do before we’ll be in a position to introduce the subject.

  • Risk management – Council, via the Risk Management Practice Committee, is in the process of reviewing the Institute’s risks across all areas and, in particular, looking to reduce the siloed nature of many of our committees. This is a work-in-progress and I expect it to be completed in 2015.

  • Longevity – the main development in this area has been the Institute’s involvement in the Financial System Inquiry (likely to be known as the Murray Inquiry). The Institute and several of our members have provided considerable input into the review, and that will be recognised in the final report.

  • Transparency of Council – I’m hoping that members consider that the transparency of Council has improved in recent years and that there was further improvement this year. I expect this to continue to improve.

  • International involvement – the Institute is involved on the international stage in a range of areas. Throughout the year we have signed an updated MRA with the Institute and Faculty, agreed on a basis to share education material with the South African Society and agreed to co-host CPD events in Asia with the CAS and SoA. I consider it to be extremely important that we have involvement on the international stage and that it would be naïve to think otherwise. That said, it is important that we measure the effectiveness of our international engagement and such measurement may see changes to our approach in coming years.

    Daniel at the 15th China Association of Actuaries Annual Meeting
    Daniel at the 15th China Association of Actuaries Annual Meeting

Ultimately, I stated that I would see success as being a year in which Council works as a team to enhance the status of the profession and to ensure that the interests and needs of the broad range of members are served. We certainly have not solved everything but I do think that Council has worked well this year and that the interests and needs of the broad range of members have been considered in all of our deliberations.


Before I sign off, there are several people who I must thank.

Firstly, thank-you to my fellow Councillors. I think that the deliberations of Council have been effective this year and I wish those of you remaining on Council, notably Estelle Pearson as the incoming President, and Lindsay Smartt, the incoming Senior Vice-President, all the best in continuing to enhance the profession.

In my Presidential Address I thanked Melinda Howes and John Newman for their assistance and guidance and it is worth repeating. Of course we now have a new CEO and I consider that David Bell has made a great transition into the Institute and I am confident that HQ is in good hands. It would be remiss of me not to mention the HQ team. They do a great job in what, on many occasions, are thankless tasks. Julia controls where the President goes and what he/she does. Anne makes sure the President has some idea of what should be on the meeting agendas and the events staff ensure the President knows who to thank at the various events (and choreograph dancing).

Many of you will know that Taylor Fry is my employer. The firm has been very gracious in allowing me to spend the required time to be President and a special thank-you to those colleagues who have covered for me when I’ve been otherwise occupied.

Finally, my family deserve the biggest thanks. Being Melbourne-based means that I have travelled to Sydney regularly and there is also a considerable amount of national and international travel required. While I’m away I can still work (the wonders of technology) but I can’t be with my family. Ultimately they are the ones who have sacrificed the most for my year as President. So, thanks guys – things get back to normal now.

I hope you have all had a successful 2014, can spend some time relaxing over the Christmas/New Year break and hit the ground running for a bigger and better 2015.

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