Twice a year the Council and Committee of the International Actuarial Association (IAA) meet in various regions of the world. Kirsten Flynn spoke with Greg Martin, who attended the latest meeting in Mexico City.

In the past five years, the IAA meetings have taken place in the USA, Hungary, South Africa, Russia, Canada, Switzerland, the UK, Singapore and the Netherlands.

The latest meeting was held in Mexico City, Mexico over 27 November to 2 December 2018 and 236 delegates were in attendance, including 10 from Australia. These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss ongoing projects and consider new developments as well as to network and collaborate.

Kirsten Flynn recently caught up with Greg Martin, one of the Australian delegates, about his involvement with the IAA.

For more information about the IAA, including information about Council and Committee meetings, visit

How and why did you come to represent the Australian actuarial profession at IAA meetings?

I initially got involved with the IAA in the early days of the development of the International Insurance Accounting Standard in the early 2000s. Then I represented the Institute when I was Vice President and President during 2006-2008, including involvement supporting Fred Rowley when the CERA designation was globalized. Since then I have served, inter alia, on the ERM Committee, the ISAP5 and ISAP6 Task Forces, and now am a Vice Chair of the IAA Actuarial Standards Committee.

Why do you think it’s important for the Australian actuarial profession to be represented at IAA meetings?

Our world, however you define that (actuarial or generally), is becoming more and more “global”. Whether that be through trade; multi-national businesses we work for; globalisation of markets, products and regulation, especially the consequences of technology; the desire of many of us to work in other countries including in our rapidly growing Asian region; or to provide and “export” actuarial services including education services.

It is critical for our success to work with other actuarial associations around the world to promote, on the global stage, our profession and what it offers, to develop and enhance professional standards globally, and work together to expand the global recognition of the role and value we offer society. The IAA provides a key forum to pursue those objectives.

Which of the sessions you attended at the IAA meeting in Mexico were the most interesting and why?

Reflecting the raison d’etra of the IAA and “why it’s important to be there”, the IAA is in the midst of reassessing its priorities, focus, and the way it operates and organises itself. This is a big debate. Views around the word are not unanimous and some vested interests need to be balanced. Many of the meetings I attended reflected on different aspects of this debate – it is important for our Institute to be there and contribute.

In terms of things more at the coal face, a lot of work is being done on IFRS17, in terms of both a model actuarial standard (ISAP4) and global educational material (IAN100). Meetings discussing and progressing both those items, and the ability to influence the debate internationally, were very timely and relevant.

What issues were discussed that are most relevant to the Australian actuarial profession?

There were a wide range of issues that both directly and indirectly impact the Institute as an organisation and its members. Examples include: ISAP4 and IAN100 related to IFRS17; discussion of changes to the globally agreed education syllabus for Fully Qualified Actuaries; the IAA strategy and restructure; global insurance regulation developments; information sharing and co-ordination of mutually beneficial activities with other associations; development of actuarial roles in banking and big data; and environmental issues, to name a few.

What are some of the things you did with your free time in Mexico?

Unfortunately, I didn’t have much free time! I could only attend for the main meetings. However, I did get to go to some great restaurants and take a walk around the central part of the city for a few hours. 

Greg Martin is the Chief Actuary & Risk Officer for ClearView Wealth Limited, a listed life insurance, funds management and financial advice business.

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