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New Zealand Society of Actuaries (Inc) PRESIDENT'S NEWSLETTER
 
DECEMBER 2016
 
 
 
Message from the President

It was fabulous to have a record turnout at our 2016 conference in Tauranga last month. A huge thanks must go to our organising committee of Mat Jensen, Catherine Edgar and Anagha Pasche for putting together such a brilliant event and also to all the presenters. I received a number of very favourable comments from overseas guests and local members on the event and in particular on the high standard of papers and presentations.

The conference dinner was a very suitable opportunity to present William White with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries' Charles M Stern Award for the best overseas candidate completing the exams. This is a tremendous achievement, and the second time a New Zealander has won the award since it was created in 1999 - Nina Herries won it in 2001. William's prize is worth £1,000, three quarters of which is specifically for future actuarial events and learning.


Attendees were set a number of challenges by the plenary speakers, including to find what we are passionate about and to think about giving more than we take to make the world a better place. One of the key suggestions from several of the plenary speakers was to read more books. Although we are all busy people, the upcoming Christmas holidays must surely be a great opportunity to try out this advice! Amongst the books recommended by our speakers to get us thinking about ourselves, our world and our future were:


Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy by Joseph Schumpeter (published in 1942)

Future Shock by Alvin Toffler (published 1970)

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know by Sir Ranulph Fiennes (published 2008)

The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better by Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (published 2009)

High altitude by Mike Allsop
(published 2013)

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (published January 2016)

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant with foreword by Sheryl Sandberg (published February 2016)

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly (published June 2016)



This looks to be a list which might qualify as "something for everyone". If you do get a chance to read any of these, drop a note to the Secretariat and let us know what you thought.

The new Council met for the first time immediately after the conference, and I'm delighted that John Smeed has accepted the position of Vice-President of the Society. John has been a huge contributor to the NZSA over many years, including a previous stint on Council and long term memberships of the Health Committee and  Professional Standards Committee, and will bring vast experience and wisdom to the role.

Council is already formulating plans for the coming year, with a personal priority for me being working more closely with our colleagues in Australia. We've had our first success in this area already, with Ben Coulter appointed to the Actuaries Institute IFRS17 Working Party as an NZSA representative. Closer liaison in these kinds of areas can only be of benefit going forward, reducing duplication of effort and increasing diversity of thought.

Our new Communications Committee is coming up to full strength and I'm looking forward to these newsletters coming out to you regularly going forward. The Committee welcomes volunteers, ideas or submitted articles - contact the editor through the Secretariat with your thoughts.

In closing, I'd like to wish you all a very merry Christmas holiday and a great break with family and friends. Drive safely and come back refreshed for the new year.

Best wishes
Andrea


 
 
News from Council and Committees
News from Council
The new Council met following the conference in Tauranga. Congratulations to John Smeed who was elected as Vice President and Ross Simmonds who was elected as Secretary, with Anne Lord continuing as Treasurer. A full list of council roles and responsibilities is as follows:
  • President - Andrea Gluyas
  • Vice President, Professional Development - John Smeed
  • Secretary - Ross Simmonds
  • Past President, Member services - Richard Beauchamp
  • Communications & External Relations - Adam Follington
  • Treasurer & Interest Groups - Anne Lord
  • Practice Committees - Nick Smart
 
Council is continuing to develop a forward strategy under the four pillars of Communication, Capability, Influence and Collaboration. Work is continuing on our key risks, ably lead by Anagha Pasche and Scott Lewis. A number of potential mitigating actions have been identified, which will be considered as we continue to develop our strategy. Council has reviewed the survey results, including reading all comments, and is reassured that the direction we have been pursuing is in line with members’ expectations, but clear that there is still work to do. A separate working party on external relations has been set up to reconsider our approach to building our profile and managing our stakeholder relations, with a particular focus on the stakeholders identified in the membership survey.

We look forward to publishing a more in depth analysis of the survey results in the new year.
 
2016 NZSA Conference
The 20th biennial NZSA conference brought 150 delegates to sunny Tauranga from the 20th to the 23rd of November. The theme ‘Beyond the Possible’ encouraged both delegates and presenters to stretch their thinking resulting in papers of a high calibre and insightful conversation throughout the conference. The organising committee put together a full and varied programme, balancing technical papers with highly relevant external speakers.

You can find a full summary, including more photos on our website here.
 
 
Event reports
Volunteers event
A wine tasting event was put on in October for the Society's volunteers to thank them for their hard work over the year. In Wellington, volunteers were treated to two white wines and two red wines, along with a unique story behind each of them told by Noble Rot's manager. In Auckland, volunteers were also treated to four wines, while being guided through tasting techniques and general wine trivia by Glengarry’s knowledgeable host. We would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to those who volunteered but were unable to make it to the event.
 
Christmas lunch
Another year has passed with another round of NZSA Christmas lunches being held in Auckland and Wellington. Attendance was fantastic again with around 50 people in Auckland and 25 in Wellington. Members enjoyed a three course meal while sharing some wine and Christmas crackers over cheerful conversation. It was great to see so many members turn up to close events for 2016 on a high.
 
The Australian Priority Investment Approach to Welfare - Findings and learnings from the Baseline Valuation Report
Unfortunately this event had to be postponed until next year due to the earthquakes closing Wellington CBD. We'll be rescheduling this event for a time when Michael Playford and Mike Clough are back over from Australia.
 
Notice Board
Future Pathways 
The seventh edition of the popular Future Pathways sessional meetings will be held in March 2017 and the Education Committee is looking for volunteers to present. This is a fantastic event for students or recently qualified actuaries who would like an opportunity to network with their peers, increase knowledge of issues facing the actuarial profession, and to develop their communication and presentation skills.

You can put together a presentation of about 20 minutes long (plus 10 minutes for questions) on any current topic of interest involving the profession. In the past, there have generally been two people working together on a topic. If you have a partner in mind, that’s great, if not, we can pair you up with another volunteer.

We’re keen to have presentations that cover different areas so as to highlight the variety of work actuaries do and so that presenters and other students can see the ‘Future Pathways’ that they may follow over their careers.

If you are interested in being part of this event, please contact Kevin Chou (09 487 5315, kevin.chou@sovereign.co.nz) for more information by 16th December 2016.
 
Website competition winner
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to update their details on the new website. We had a great response rate, not entirely driven by the lure of $250 dinner voucher I’m sure!

Congratulations go to Ian Midgley who has won this voucher. We will be in touch over the next few days to arrange delivery. 

For those of you have yet to reset your password and update your profile, please take some time to do so. If you have any feedback on current or future site improvements, please contact the Secretariat.
 
Committee Volunteers
Communication is one of the four pillars of our strategy. As we move into a new phase of communications with an updated website and new digital newsletter, Council has formalised responsibility for the society’s communication, so has put together the Communications Committee. We are looking for a sub-editor to join Jessie McCreary (lead-editor) and Jenn Dobinson (web-editor), along with a representative appointed by each committee/interest group.

If you would like to join the Communications Committee, either as sub-editor, or as a representative for another committee/interest group, please contact the Secretariat.
 
Members' News
New members and change of membership class
Fellow
Niel Smit, Sovereign
Leck Tham, Cigna

Student
Chris Casey, Datanium Ltd
Keith Inglis, Suncorp NZ
Nicolla Eagar, ACC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you have any thoughts on a newsworthy item for next year or feedback on this year’s newsletters, please contact Chantal at the Secretariat:
society@actuaries.org.nz.
 
 
 
Copyright © 2016 NZSA, All rights reserved.


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