Announcement: In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Society of Actuaries is offering candidates in mainland China the option to reschedule or cancel exams running now through March 31. The SOA will provide a full refund for cancelled exams. Contact SOA Customer Service to reschedule or cancel your exam.  

October 2019 SOA Board of Directors Meeting

Schaumburg, IL (December 6, 2019) – The Society of Actuaries (SOA) Board of Directors met on October 26 – 27, 2019 for its regular fourth-quarter meeting. The Board covered a variety of important topics during the meeting, which also marked the conclusion of service on the Board for several Board members and the beginning of service for those elected in the 2019 annual elections.

2020 Strategic Initiatives

The SOA Board approved the 2020 portfolio of Strategic Initiatives. The Board reviews and updates annually the portfolio of strategic initiatives pursued by the SOA, which are intended to move the organization toward achieving the objectives in the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan. The 2020 strategic initiative portfolio includes:

Membership Engagement (Updated/New) – The Membership Engagement Initiative has been broadened from work in 2018-19 focused on Young Professional Engagement. The initiative’s 2020 work will focus on implementing a new strategy to communicate with members about the SOA,’s programs and services and, most importantly, the value it brings to members, candidates, and employers. The SOA will strengthen its member and candidate communications channels, develop new ways to connect with members and provide professional networking opportunities, and further strengthen key engagement models used today, such as the Professional Interest Sections. The SOA plans to introduce new digital services and resources for the actuarial profession, including a new online platform for actuarial clubs, organizations and events.

Professional Development Redesign and Engagement (Continuing) – As the SOA membership grows beyond traditional geographic and demographic markets, and as changes occur in best methods for delivering professional education, the SOA is making important changes in its professional development programs and offerings. This initiative was launched in 2019 and is currently in its research phase. In 2020, we will complete the research and change recommendation phases of the project and begin planning and implementing new programs and educational delivery methods. The SOA will explore ways to provide members with more Emotional Intelligence Skills (EQ) and Adaptability Skills (AQ) to meet the needs of employers. These efforts are focused on providing actuaries with skills to increase their agility and creativity in working with new technology. Additionally, the SOA plans to partner with Plug and Play on a variety of InsurTech-focused events and projects for SOA members and the insurance industry and technology sector. Kicking off this partnership, the SOA hosted the Long-Term Care (LTC) Tech Summit, Nov. 7, at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, Calif., where industry trailblazers gathered to discuss technology, predictive analytics and LTC services. 

Long Term Growth Strategy (Continuing) – The rise of big data and data analytics, innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and a changing economic landscape are rapidly altering insurance, risk management, and employee benefit markets and the work of actuaries in those markets. The SOA is working to position members and candidates to succeed in this changing landscape and to take advantage of the many opportunities it will offer. Work on the initiative began in 2019 and will continue in 2020. It includes analyzing changes in the environment facing the profession, gaining perspective on the profession’s positioning relative to market challenges, and conducting generative Board discussions to establish a strategy for response. This was the Board’s third meeting of discussion on the Long-Term Growth Strategy. This initiative will remain the focus of extensive discussion and review by the Board until it is completed.

Other Reports and Discussions

In addition to the 2020 strategic initiatives, the Board discussed other topics and issues during the meeting, including:

International Strategy – The SOA’s International Strategy supports members around the world where they live and work. In 2019, the International Strategy Initiative  assessed the performance of the SOA’s strategy in Asia, evaluated several countries for inclusion in future SOA efforts, and developed tools for continuing to manage our activities outside North America. From this review, the SOA is allocating additional resources and focus to several new countries and will be continuing assessments of others in 2020. We will also be completing our assessment of an ongoing program of engagement in Latin America.

Reorganization of Fundamentals of Actuarial Practice (FAP) – As part of the SOA’s commitment to updating its educational programs and to international markets, we are currently making major changes to the FAP course, a requirement for the ASA credential. This self-paced e-Learning program, comprising 8 modules and two take-home written assessments, is designed to create a breadth of capabilities for all ASA candidates and an awareness of foundational concepts in all actuarial practice areas.  Accessed by most candidates early in their careers, FAP provides realistic contexts for commonly-practiced analytical techniques and is the logical point to broaden candidates’ exposure to internationally-relevant issues. We are adding content that will address international considerations and highlight those issues through multiple formats and media.  Broadened international content will address new practice areas, the global health systems debate, regulatory variance, and other emerging topics. These improvements will also continue the SOA’s commitment to meeting best practices in education delivery, by increasing candidate interactions with the content, incorporating additional skill-building opportunities, and streamlining and modernizing our assessment processes in the FAP. The SOA announced the 2020 FAP changes in April 2019, followed by details on the transition period. The new FAP course will become available January 1, 2020.   

2020 Budget – The SOA Board reviewed and approved the 2020 budget and five percent membership dues increase. The 2020 budget will fund the ongoing operations of the SOA, as well as investments being made in a variety of important new programs and initiatives. The 2020 dues increase is $30 FSA and five-year ASA ($630) and $15 ASA, less than five years ($315). The SOA’s 2020 budget calls for operating revenue in 2020 of just over $59 million U.S. 

Governance Review and Recommendations – The Board continued its regular discussions of SOA governance practices. During this meeting, the Board reviewed and adopted recommendations from its Governance and Policy Committee for changes in the deployment of presidential officers and Board members for public speaking and ambassadorial functions to a variety of audiences. The Board seeks to reduce the burden and time commitment of service in the presidency to make the role more accessible to qualified candidates and ensure employer support. Also, the Board seeks to ensure that the public “face” of the SOA’s elected leadership reflects the diversity of the membership by highlighting all Board members and providing opportunities for a wide array of SOA leaders to present the SOA’s message in public forums.

International Actuarial Association (IAA) Direction and Purpose – The SOA is the largest member association of the IAA, the global association of professional actuarial organizations. The IAA is currently undergoing an extensive governance and structural review aimed at developing and implementing recommendations to make the IAA a more effective organization and more responsive to its “Full Member Associations.” During this meeting, the Board heard a presentation offered by IAA President-elect Tonya Manning, FSA, MAAA, EA, FCA, and Executive Director Mathieu Langelier. The Board will continue discussions of this topic at upcoming meetings in 2020.

Leadership Team Appointments, Outgoing Board Members, New Board Members

The SOA Leadership Team serves as the most important committee of the Board, providing direct oversight of a variety of operational matters and important interorganizational relationships. In addition to the three Presidential officers and the Executive Director (non-voting), the Leadership Team includes two other Board members appointed to serve on the Leadership Team. During this meeting, the Board approved the President-elect’s (Andy Rallis) recommendations of the following Leadership Team appointments:

  • Secretary/Treasurer: Christine Hofbeck, FSA, MAAA; and
  • Member-At-Large: Jennifer Haid, FSA.

The Board recognized the service of outgoing board members whose terms have ended, including:

  • Past President, Mike Lombardi, FSA, FCIA, MAAA, CERA
  • Andie Christopherson, FSA, MAAA;
  • Eileen Luxton, FSA, FCIA;
  • Tim Rozar, FSA, MAAA, CERA; and
  • Mark Yu, FSA, MAAA.

Incoming Board members attending and observing this meeting for the first time (followed by their ascension to the Board at the end of the 2019 Annual Meeting) included:

  • President-elect, Roy Goldman, Ph.D., FSA, MAAA, CERA;
  • Lisa Kuklinski, FSA, MAAA;
  • Robert Eaton, FSA, MAAA;
  • Sharon Giffen, FSA, FCIA; and
  • Xu (Vincent) Xuan, FSA, MAAA.

In addition, Flick Fornia, FSA, MAAA, EA, FCA, continues his service on the Board with a second consecutive term.

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