institute of actuaries - Actuarial Society of Hong Kong

The Actuarial Profession
David Alexander
Fellow of the Actuarial Society of Hong Kong
About me
 Current role: Life Manager
Hong Kong & Macau,
Swiss Re Life & Health
 FIA (Fellow of the Institute
of Actuaries UK), FASHK
 Studied Mathematics at
Warwick Univ, UK
 Has worked in the UK and
Hong Kong
 Should I become an Actuary?
 Actuarial training is seen as a
highly attractive career in
What does an actuary do?
 Communicate complex financial issues in an
understandable way!
 Actuaries apply their mathematical and
financial expertise and knowledge in the
business world.
Where do actuaries work?
 Insurance Companies (Life & General)
 Consultancies (Actuarial, Management,
Accountancy, etc)
 Investment and Banking
 Government Service
 Other e.g. Healthcare, Capital Projects
 Universities
The Actuarial Society of Hong Kong - Mission
• To increase the value to the community of the
actuarial profession.
• To encourage the study of actuarial science
• To uphold standards of professional conduct
• To regulate the practice by its members
• To discuss and comment on the actuarial
aspects of public, social and economic topics
• To consider the actuarial aspects of legislation
The Actuarial Society of Hong Kong
• 205 Fellows
• 91 Associates
• 145 Students
• Students study the examinations of the
actuarial bodies of:
• UK
• Australia
Actuarial Societies around the World
 USA - The Society of Actuaries
 UK - The Faculty & Institute of Actuaries
 Australia - The Institute of Actuaries of Australia
 Other Countries
 Many countries have an actuarial association
 Very few have a full examination system
 IAA - The International Actuarial Association
The Actuarial Profession has all that an attractive
profession should have:
 Professional qualification
 Autonomy and responsibility
 Variety and flexibility of opportunities
 Excellent pay
 It’s a well respected profession
 Internationally recognised qualification
Excellent Pay:
 Graduate entry salaries are offered between
HK$12-15,000 per month, according to the
sector and location of the position.
 Student actuaries often get promotions and
salary increases as they pass the exams.
 A newly qualified actuary will earn in excess
of HK$40,000pm, however senior actuaries
can earn over HK$100 000pm+ depending on
the job they do.
Actuaries In Hong Kong - Estella Chiu
 Chief Actuary, HSBC Life
 President of the ASHK
 Actuarial Science at
Univ of Western Ontario
 Worked in
 Canada
 Hong Kong
Actuaries In Hong Kong - Dr Chan
 Associate Professor of
Actuarial Science, HKU
 BBA Accounting,
Chinese University of HK
 Worked in
 Canada
 Singapore
 Hong Kong
Actuaries In Hong Kong - K C Chan
 Alternative Distribution Officer, Taiwan
Prudential Assurance Co.
 BSc Electrical Engineering, Univ of Hong Kong
 Worked in
 Canada
 Singapore
 Hong Kong
 Taiwan
 Japan
Internationally recognised qualification:
 There are many overseas opportunities
Geographical Distribution
of UK Fellows
A Chance to Travel on Business
– Personal Experience
• England, Scotland
• France, Spain,
Belgium, Holland,
• US, Canada
• Brazil
• Israel
• Hong Kong,
Mainland China,
Taiwan, Macau
• Japan, Singapore
• Australia
• India
Actuaries are experts in assessing the financial
impact of tomorrow’s uncertain events by:
 analysing the past
 modelling the future
 assessing the risks involved
 communicating what the results mean in
financial terms...and human terms
 deciding the appropriate course of action to
implement or recommend
Some Examples
 Setting investment strategy
 Buying a life insurance company
 Developing a pensions strategy
Setting Investment Strategy
Scenario - You are an actuary advising a life
insurance company where to invest its assets
of HKD1000m
 ensure solvency
 maximise policyholder return
 practical solution
Setting Investment Strategy - Considerations
 What proportion to invest in bonds, equities,
property and cash?
 Consider
 What are the company’s liabilities (currency and
 What risk appetite does the company have
 What regulations are there on investment
 What are their competitors doing
 What is the risk of insolvency for any chosen strategy
2. Buying another life insurance company
 Reasons for purchase?
 What are you buying?
 Type of purchase – hostile/agreed?
 What timescale is involved?
 How much are buyers prepared to pay?
Buying another life insurance company
 Value future profit streams to shareholders
 Embedded Value
 Add the Value of future new business
 Appraisal Value
Buying another life insurance company
 Communicate the results
 Separate values for different components
 No right answer
 Price is what someone is willing to pay
 Similar deals provide a good check
 Iterative process
3. Developing a pensions strategy
 understanding the client’s objectives
 understanding the organisation
 understanding legislation
 assumptions and analysis
 judgement and imagination
 communication
Communication, communication, communication!!!
 Meet with company contacts
 Attend board meeting
 Present recommendation to the Trustees
 Write reports for the company / board
 Prepare announcements for employees
 Develop illustrative modellers for members
 Attend employee roadshows
Becoming an Actuary
 How do I become an Actuary?
What do employers look for?
 a good academic record
 not only maths/actuarial science graduates!
 good communicators
 IT skills
 language skills
 an interest in business
 commitment / staying power
 enthusiasm
Qualification Routes
Part-time study
Correspondence Courses
Part-time Study
Correspondence Courses
Actuarial Science Diploma
University Degree
University Degree
Minimum Entry Requirements
 Good school results especially in
 University Degree preferably in a science
subject (Mathematics, Economics, Statistics,
Engineering etc or Actuarial Science)
Examination Syllabus
 Technical Examinations (similar for all
actuarial associations around the world)
 Practical Examinations (different for each
 Specialist Examination
 Communications Paper
Study Support
 Correspondence Courses
 Study Leave
 Company Tutorials
 Work Experience
 Colleagues
 Actuarial Society Presentations
 Reading other actuarial research, magazines etc
Where can I find out more?
 Your careers advisor
 Via the Actuarial Websites
 Careers information packs
 Web-sites
 Careers Guides
 Employers’ web-sites
 Work experience / summer placements
 Careers Expo!
Why do I enjoy it?
 It’s interesting
 It’s challenging
 It’s different all the time
 It’s satisfying
 … and it pays well!
 … and I still have time to enjoy life outside work!
Time to enjoy life outside work…
 Peter Eliot ( B&W Deloitte actuarial student)
street lugeing in his spare time in San Francisco.
Any Questions for our Panel?