April 2012

Chairperson’s Corner: Building Bridges

By Tom Edwalds

A key part of the mission of the Education and Research Section is to “promote ties between business actuaries, academic actuaries, and actuarial educators.” In order to do that, we need to create and maintain channels where conversations can take place between individuals in these different sectors. Some of the ways the section has done this for many years include sponsoring sessions at the annual and spring meetings of the Society of Actuaries, sponsoring the annual Actuarial Research Conference, and producing the Expanding Horizons newsletter. Recently, we added a new one: our LinkedIn discussion group. You can read all about the group in Jacques Rioux’s article in this issue. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to join the group and participate in the conversation. What can or should we do better as a profession to provide the right knowledge at the right time for those who need it? Are we preparing future entrants to the profession with the right skills and tools to address the needs of current and future employers? Are we doing the research that will enable us to seize the opportunities that current and future risks present? If we share our views and perspectives on questions such as these, we can help prepare the profession for the future. Isn’t that what education and research is all about?

Thomas P Edwalds, FSA, MAAA, ACAS, is assistant VP, mortality research at Munich American Reassurance in Chicago, Ill. He can be reached at tedwalds@munichre.com.