Announcement: SOA congratulates the new FSAs for June 2019.

Merger of the Actuarial Education and Research Fund and The Actuarial Foundation

Merger of the Actuarial Education and Research Fund and The Actuarial Foundation

 

Within the next few weeks, the Actuarial Education and Research Fund (AERF) and The Actuarial Foundation will be merging. The named of the merged organizations will be The Actuarial Foundation (TAF).

Legally, the AERF will go out of existence, but all of its functions will be continued by the new, merged organization. For those of you who have participated in, or benefited from, the activities that AERF has historically supported, it should be business as usual, but with an organization that has the potential to collect significant extra funds to support all of these activities.

For the past five years, these two organizations have been operating under a trial affiliation agreement. During that period, the AERF agreed to give up any fund–raising activities. In return, The Actuarial Foundation agreed to guarantee an annual grant of $50,000 to support AERFs annual grant competition. In addition, The Actuarial Foundation also agreed to cover all of AERFs expenses related to its tax–exempt purpose.

During this trial affiliation period, both organizations Boards have explored the potential benefits of a merger and the mechanics of effecting a merger have also been worked out. Bylaws for the merged organization are now being worked out and both Boards are completing due diligence and legal reviews.

Formed in 1976, the AERF has long been supported by all of the North American actuarial organizations. Each of the five U.S. actuarial organizations, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Colegio Nacional de Actuarios of Mexico have been appointing two directors to the AERF Board.

In addition to sponsoring an annual individual grants competition, the AERF also supports, on behalf of the profession, the Actuarial Faculty Forum (AFF) that was formed in 1990 to provide communication among actuarial and pre–actuarial educators in colleges and universities, primarily in the U.S. and Canada, on matters of mutual concern, as well as the publication of AFFs communication device and newsletter, Conversations.

The David Garrick Halmstad Prize, for the best paper involving actuarial research published each year, will continue to be administered by TAF, as will all of the other Prizes that AERF has historically administered (for example, the John Hanson Memorial Prize and the Everett Curtis Huntington Prize). The Wooddy Scholarship Program will also continue. In recent years, the AERF has undertaken several new research co–coordinating functions on behalf of the Canadian and U.S. professional organizations. The most recent one of these is called The Actuarial Research Exchange, announced late last year, and located at the following web site (AERF.org/exchange). These activities will also be continued under the banner of the new organization.

One of the real benefits of the merger will be that there will be a unified message about our goals and mission whenever we conduct fund-raising from the members, as well as when we approach corporate and foundation sponsors. We will now speak with one voiceto both our actuarial publics as well as other interested parties. Donor advised funds and bequests will still be accepted.

The merged organization, the new The Actuarial Foundation, will combine the professional–oriented activities of the AERF with the public outreach programs of the current The Actuarial Foundation (such as the spectacularly successful Advancing Student Achievement and various Consumer Education projects).

The message to those of you who may be more familiar with the activities of the AERF than of the Foundation is that the best is yet to come. With the combined resources of these two groups, I think the future is extraordinarily bright and hopeful and I look forward to see many of you participate in all of the activities of The Actuarial Foundation.

[Curtis E. Huntington is currently the executive director and a member of the Board of the AERF. He is a Trustee of The Actuarial Foundation and will serve on its Executive Committee as Chair of its Research and Education Committee.]