Announcement: SOA releases October 2019 Exam STAM passing candidate numbers.

October 2018 Board of Directors Meeting

Schaumburg, IL (October 15, 2018) – The Society of Actuaries (SOA) Board of Directors (Board) met October 13 - 14, 2018 in its regular fourth-quarter in-person meeting.

Stronger as One Update

The SOA Board discussed the exploration of possibly combining with the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) into a new professional organization. The SOA Board received a summary of stakeholder feedback on the proposal, continued its in-depth review of the idea, and provided direction to the SOA team involved in the ongoing discussions with the CAS leadership. The SOA Board remains hopeful that a final proposal can soon be completed for consideration by both organizations’ boards of directors.

2019 Strategic Initiatives

The SOA Board approved the 2019 Strategic Initiatives proposed by the Issues Advisory Council (IAC). The initiatives move the SOA towards objectives stated in the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan:

  • International Strategy: Review & Renew (New) – The initiative revisits and assesses the progress of the strategies for China and Greater Asia established several years ago.  The initiative also establishes a framework for assessing potential countries or regions for focus by the SOA to grow member, candidate and employer interest in those countries.
  • Long Term Growth Strategy (Continuing) – Work for the initiative includes studying what is changing in the environment facing actuaries and the actuarial profession, conducting a competitive analysis of challenges facing the profession, obtaining an external view of the profession’s positioning relative to those challenges, and conducting generative Board discussions to establish a strategy and set objectives.
  • CAS/SOA Combination: Stronger As One (Continuing)See above for status on this initiative, which continues in 2019.

2019 Budget

The SOA Board reviewed and approved the 2019 budget. There are no member dues increase in 2019. The 2019 budget funds ongoing operational initiatives: Young Professional Engagement, Opportunities for Actuaries and Information Governance/General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Compliance; new operational initiatives: Increase Participation in Professional Development Events and Digital Services; and, the 2019 Strategic Initiatives: International Strategy: Review & Renew, Long-Term Growth Strategy and Stronger As One. It also provides funding for ongoing activities and programs of the SOA.

Young Professional Engagement Strategy Approved

The number of SOA members who are millennials continues to increase (45% of the membership as of September 2018.) The Young Professional Engagement Task Force challenged themselves to examine how the SOA can increase its relevance with young professionals within 10 years of earning their ASA. The Task Force recommendations are based on input from young professionals and considers the vital impact that needs to be made early in the life of a member’s relationship with the SOA. Approved recommendations:

  • Streamline communications to be tailored, targeted and customized including customizable member newsletters and faster access to section content.
  • Better define and promote post-credential volunteer pathways including video outreach to members, better promotion of opportunities, and creating multiple volunteer pathways.
  • Improve transparency to promote trust. Improve transparency of the examination grading process and provide greater transparence and more engaging information about SOA activities and the SOA Board and governance structure.
  • Highlight societal impact of actuarial work. Tactics offered by the Task Force include stories about actuaries impacting society as well as contests and awards recognizing those contributions.

Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Approved

The SOA Board approved the 2019 diversity strategy recommended by the SOA Inclusion and Diversity Committee. Based on the results of the joint interorganizational research study analyzing the barriers to entering the actuarial profession for underrepresented candidates, the recommendations focus on the largest barrier to entry awareness – to increase the number of U.S. candidates who self-identify as African-American and Latinx and who took one of the first three exams (P, FM and IFM).

Recommendations approved by the Board include:

  • Promote early awareness (ages 12-20) of the actuarial profession. Lack of awareness is the biggest barrier for African American and Hispanic/Latinx to enter the actuarial profession. Awareness of the profession lags other STEM careers in general and is particularly low among minority students. Tactics include a new marketing/communications campaign targeting students, parents, teachers in counselors in underrepresented communities, expanding High School Actuarial Day to new, targeted markets and continued support of The Actuarial Foundation’s Math Motivators program.
  • Provide support for underrepresented candidates as they start taking exams by increasing financial support, promoting existing financial support and connecting candidates with mentoring opportunities. Tactics include assessment of existing financial support, gap analysis and a reconfiguration and possible expansion of financial support for underrepresented candidates. Tactics would be conducted by an interorganizational work group and launched in late 2019.

Opportunities for Actuaries – 2019 Strategy Approved

The SOA Board approved long-term strategy recommendations provided by the Cultivate Opportunities Team (COT). The strategy was informed by key stakeholders including the Board, member focus groups, SOA’s Employers Council, an employer survey and feedback from COT programs (internships, etc.) From observations made in these conversations the COT arrived at three key observations to inform their strategy discussion:

  • Explore ways to enhance actuaries’ business skills to increase mobility into c-suite and non-traditional jobs,
  • Continue to promote applications of actuarial skills in non-traditional roles, and
  • Provide encouragement to actuaries to take on new roles, connecting members with other members in c-suite or non-traditional roles.

The long-term strategy continues exploration and action on marketing/communication campaigns promoting actuaries in predictive analytics, expanding current campaigns to highlight actuarial skills, promoting the SOA Job Center, strengthening business skills through current professional development programs and possibly new partnerships, and create a pilot mentoring program to connect members with members in different job roles and skill sets.

Outgoing Board Members

The SOA Board recognized the service of the outgoing board members. SOA Board members whose terms have ended include:

  • Past President, Jeremy J. Brown, FSA, MAAA
  • Penultimate Past President, Craig W. Reynolds, FSA, MAAA; and,
  • Elected Board Members, Karen J. (Sasveld) DeToro, FSA, MAAA; Roy Goldman, FSA, CERA, MAAA; Marcus A. Robertson, FSA, FCIA; and William M. Sayre, FSA, MAAA.

“I want to thank all the outgoing board members, particularly Penultimate President Craig Reynolds and Past President, Jeremy Brown,” said 2017-2018 SOA President Mike Lombardi. “Their contributions to the actuarial profession and the SOA through their volunteerism and commitment are immeasurable. The profession is stronger and more relevant today due to their leadership.”

If you have any questions or comments about the SOA Board meeting, please send an email to membercomms@soa.org.