Editorial by Hugh Terry
I am an actuary by profession, but over the last 20 years have strayed into wider fields. As a result, I have been looking forward to us covering the topic of the Digital Actuary, and not surprisingly I have a point of view that I will come on to.
But first, take a look at KPMG’s piece written by Chris Nyce who is a Principal in the US. Chris’s article looks at the new opportunities that are opening up in these non-traditional fields. His advice for more training by insurers and more initiative by individual actuaries is spot on.
You will also enjoy Rick’s article. As usual, Rick has found an interesting collection of people to interview – in this case, three actuaries who are actively working on new opportunities in insurance. What comes through to me is the overwhelming opportunities that are opening up and the excitement that awaits.
So what is my point of view?
In essence, I believe actuaries have the core industry and numerical skills to be leaders in the transformation of digital insurance and the management of data insights. But, with a few exceptions I don’t see this playing out. Why is that at a time when ‘data is the new oil’ for the insurance industry does it feel like the actuarial role is becoming marginalised?
There is an urgent need for the actuarial profession to define a ‘near home’ initiative to support actuaries getting more involved in data insights within the insurance industry and also a need for senior management within insurers to think more deeply how to integrate emerging data and analytics units with actuarial functions and skill-sets. If this doesn’t happen then the actuarial profession will be marginalised to statutory calculations and seen as a compliance unit. The industry will be the poorer for it and scarce talent will be under-utilised.
It is time, in fact overdue, for more actuarial professionals to step forward to ensure they remain at the core of insurance decision making. And it can’t be left to individuals alone. The actuarial profession needs to radically re-think its approach to actuarial exams and the nature of the profession. How about setting up a global new designation and qualification; Insurance Data Scientist (IDS) that is affiliated to all of the respective professional bodies? An opportunity for global collaboration by all the actuarial bodies? The Digital Insurer stands ready to help.
To hear more on this topic do also sign up to our webinar on The Digital Actuary on 27th February 2019 – sign up and learn more here
The Digital Insurer
Rick Huckstep looks at the role of the digital actuary in the 21st century.