Lifestyle Article - Matt Saker becomes IFoA President

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) is delighted to announce that Matt Saker FIA has begun his presidential term, taking over from Louise Pryor FIA. Matt has been part of the Presidential team for the past year as President-elect. Kalpana Shah FIA joins the team as the next President-elect.

 IFoA President Matt Saker said: “It is a great honour to be chosen as the next President of the IFoA. I am proud to be a part of the actuarial profession and to be a member of this organisation, which is working in the public interest and has a reputation for providing trusted and credible expertise. Since qualifying as an actuary nearly 30 years ago, I have watched the profession grow in size and also move to new fields. I believe that we will continue to flourish but there is no doubt, especially given the events of the past two years, that we face new challenges and must think creatively about how to overcome them.

 “We must ensure we are adapting to a rapidly changing society. Many employers are rethinking the structures within their organisations and as part of that, the use of those qualifying in traditional professions like ours. We are navigating the rise of the semi-professions, such as data science, where qualification and practice are less well-defined, and also dealing with advances in technology like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning which will change the nature of actuarial work. The marketplace for actuaries is changing and we must be agile in order to remain fit for the future. For example, although there will always be strong demand for Fellows which will remain the gold standard, if demand from employers and student members leans towards Associate as a destination qualification, then our role is to respond to that demand. We must provide the right mix of qualifications to suit the market, while also ensuring that standards remain high.

 “Actuaries still work predominantly in the traditional fields of pensions consulting and insurance, but we cannot assume that this will remain the case. We must push forward with plans to work with our members to provide the right skillsets so that as opportunities in wider fields arise, we are ready to jump in and demonstrate the relevance of actuarial science. The most obvious example is climate change which spans all sectors, in our traditional fields and beyond. If we don’t equip our members to move quickly into these new domains, then others could move in first and the opportunity will be lost.

 “I believe our current IFoA strategy has put us on the right path to give actuaries, qualifying now and in the future, the skills they will need to work across an even wider range of disciplines. But this is a partnership and we encourage our members to harness an entrepreneurial mindset and seek out new fields with new employers so together we can seize the initiative and showcase the broad range of expertise that actuaries have to offer.”

 IFoA CEO Stephen Mann, said: “I would like to congratulate Matt Saker as he becomes the next IFoA President. Over the past year, in his role as President-elect, he has championed the importance of actuaries becoming more influential and has been committed to raising the profile of the profession. I look forward to working with him over his Presidential term on delivering the strategy and ensuring our members have the right skillsets to flourish in a changing world.

 “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank both Louise Pryor as she moves to the role of Immediate Past President and Tan Suee Chieh, who ends his three-year term on the IFoA Presidential team. And I extend a warm welcome to Kalpana Shah as she officially becomes President-elect.”

 For a copy of Matt Saker’s Presidential Address, delivered via live videoconference on Thursday 16 June 2022, please contact Sonia Sequeira, IFoA Media Relations Manager.

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