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Notice of Disciplinary Determination

On February 16, 2011, the Society of Actuaries convened a Discipline Committee to review a matter referred by the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline ("ABCD"). The matter related to the conduct of Robert S. Wagstaff, FSA, as an illustration actuary for a life insurance company during the period 1999 to 2008. The Discipline Committee determined that Mr. Wagstaff should be suspended from the Society of Actuaries for a period of five years due to material violations of certain Precepts1 under the Code of Professional Conduct .

As an illustration actuary for his employer, Mr. Wagstaff prepared, signed and issued annual certifications that his company's life illustrations were prepared in accordance with state regulations and in conformity with ASOP 24. During the years at issue, however, he had not performed the underlying tests required to make such certifications, or maintained the documentation to support the certifications as required by ASOP 24. The Discipline Committee determined that this conduct violated Precepts 1 and 3, which state:

  • Precept 1: An Actuary shall act honestly, with integrity and competence, and in a manner to fulfill the profession's responsibility to the public and to uphold the reputation of the actuarial profession.
  • Precept 3: An Actuary shall ensure that Actuarial Services performed by or under the direction of the Actuary satisfy applicable standards of practice.

Because Mr. Wagstaff had not performed the underlying tests required to make the certifications he issued during these years, he misled the state regulators where the certifications were filed, as well as the management, agents and policyholders of his employer. Mr. Wagstaff thereby violated Precept 8, which states:

  • Precept 8: An Actuary who performs Actuarial Services shall take reasonable steps to ensure that such services are not used to mislead other parties.

All members of the SOA are reminded of their responsibility to follow the Code of Professional Conduct. Members are encouraged to maintain familiarity with the Code and its precepts by regular review and/or participation in webcasts or professionalism sessions offered at various SOA and other actuarial conferences. In addition, in the US, the ABCD is available for counseling on matters related to professional conduct and actuarial practice.

1 The violations of Precepts 1, 3 and 8 relate to conduct during the period 2001 to 2008. For 1999–2000, the violations relate to the predecessors of these precepts under the Code of Professional Conduct in effect prior to 2001.