50 years of actuaries consulting globally – the history of IACA

Fifty years ago, the International Association of Consultant Actuaries (IACA) met in Munich for the first time. In June 2018, IACA will celebrate its 50th anniversary meeting with the International Congress of Actuaries (ICA) in Berlin. Brent Walker outlines its history, purpose, spread into Asia and why you should join.

Do you think you know it all? Do you think Australian Actuaries are better at problem solving than actuaries of UK, USA, Ireland, Canada and many other countries? If you can confidently answer yes to these questions then read no further. If you are a consultant actuary (or have been, or wish to be, or even consider that you might be some time in the future) and you are humble enough to answer no then please read on.

Did you know that there is an international association of consultant actuaries? The International Association of Consultant Actuaries (IACA) will be having its 50th anniversary meeting in conjunction with the International Association of Actuaries (IAA) in Berlin in June 2018. This is appropriate, as the first IACA meeting was in Munich in June 1968, Berlin being an impossible venue during its partition. Did you know that Geoffrey Heywood was the first chairman of the IACA committee, Max Lander was its first secretary and Australia’s Tig Melville was a founding member? Other founding members were from Germany, Holland, USA and South Africa.

IACA’s basic charter was to share wisdom, ideas, professionalism and when appropriate, business. IACA formally became a section of the International Actuarial Association in 2000.

IACA is for Actuaries Who Don’t Know It All

After 50 years, IACA’s charter is still to share wisdom, ideas and professionalism. Its current objectives read as follows:

To facilitate an international exchange of views, advice, research and practical information among consulting actuaries on matters affecting their professional responsibilities and business interests. To encourage and assist in the development of consulting actuarial associations in locations where there is an identifiable need for actuarial skills.

Our profession would fail if we did not share our wisdom, ideas and professionalism. No actuary is a knowledge island. We can always learn from each other and we learn much more when we exchange wisdom, ideas and professionalism across national borders. 

The Actuarial Consulting Congress of Asia

Some years ago, IACA saw a need for a professional consulting actuarial association in Asia because of the rapid growth in actuarial consulting there. So, in 2009, IACA sponsored the formation of the Asian Pacific Association of Consulting Actuaries (APACA). This body has now been formally re-constituted as the Actuarial Consulting Congress of Asia (ACCA) and its committee is made up of actuaries from Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Sweden and Frank Ashe from Australia.

IACA Meetings

IACA is one of seven sections of the International Actuarial Association IAA. Every four years the sections meet at the International Congress of actuaries. In the intervening years, the IACA usually meets with the Health (IAAHS) and the Pensions, Benefits and Social Security (PBSS) sections. In addition, the IACA has biennial international meetings. IACA often partners with other sections at their independent meetings and sometimes invites other international associations to partner it. For example, the IACA, IAAHS and PBSS colloquium in June 2016 was joined by the International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association (IPEBLA).

The topics discussed at the June 2016 IACA colloquium included:

  • Regulatory issues in various countries.
  • Innovation in public pensions.
  • Linking pensions to life expectancy.
  • Difficulties in providing retirement incomes to people on the move.
  • Cyber security.
  • Consulting in the Latin America Caribbean region.
  • Actuarial and legal aspects in conflicts of interest.
  • Actuaries working with lawyers in expert witnessing in personal injury cases.
  • Differences between UK and US when expert witnessing in pension cases.
  • The challenge of professionalism in cross disciplinary and international environments.
  • The actuarial discipline schemes in the US.
  • Personalised medicine revolution.
  • Whistle blowing and lessons on governance and crisis management.
  • Trees that feed.
  • Troubled plans and troubled plan sponsors.
  • Global health care cost drivers.

This event, as always, gave colloquium participants an opportunity to have personal contact with experts in subject topics that spark actuarial curiosity and innovation.

IACA needs you!

For IACA to continue its success it needs actuaries who are willing to contribute their skills but are humble enough to know they can develop synergies and learn additional skills from other actuaries in other countries. Are you humble enough to admit you could learn from your overseas colleagues? If you are and you are not a member of IACA then please join (it’s easy)! Go to the IAA website (www.actuaries.org), visit the IACA section, learn more about IACA and click the Join IACA button.

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