CAS Leaders Reflect on China Visit
【Gary Josephson, Bob Conger】
It would be difficult to pick a single highlight of our recent(September 2013) visit to Beijing and Changsha, which included the 14th China Actuarial Annual Conference organized by China Association of Actuaries; meetings with actuarial employers; visits to leading universities to share information and perspectives with faculty members and students; discussions with China Insurance Regulatory Commission; and discussions with Chinese CAS members and other property/casualty actuaries individually and in small groups. Each of these elements contributed significantly to a very enjoyable and productive trip. We appreciate the time and thought that so many people put into making our visits informative and insightful.
We also were honored at the opportunity to speak at the CAA Conference. Gary’s remarks focused on the CAS’s vision of a vibrant partnership among actuarial organizations in delivering property/casualty actuarial education and in conducting research. Bob also presented at the conference, leading a discussion of solvency regulation in the United States. While we were very pleased at the opportunity to share our ideas and our experiences, we also appreciated the opportunity to listen to the feedback during later informal sessions, during which we learned more about the basic and continuing education needs and opportunities among students and actuaries in China, and also about the strong interest in mutually beneficial sharing of new ideas and new methodologies in important areas such as data analytics, capital management and regulatory solvency oversight.
As we reflect upon the diverse highlights of our visits and many separate conversations that we enjoyed regarding the property/casualty actuarial profession in China, we notice several strong and important recurring themes, including: growth, diversification and demand, ongoing evolution of university programs, continuing education, regulatory innovation, and international involvement.
Growth. When Bob attended his first actuarial conference in Xiamen in 2002, he recalls there being fewer than 25 credentialed property/casualty actuaries in China; in just eleven years, that number has grown to more than 200 – most of whom seemed to be present at this year’s CAA conference. The number of CAS members in China has grown to more than 50, and the number is growing rapidly We heard estimates from our members that the number of CAS Fellows in China is likely to triple (or more) in the next five years, based on the pipeline of local actuaries actively taking the CAS exams as well as the excellent job opportunities for CAS Fellows, whether trained in China or elsewhere in the world. And of course, the CAA credential itself is an impressive story,from the first property/casualty qualifying exam in 2004, to the launch of the CAA in 2007 and the first set of CAA property/casualty actuarial exams that same year, and to the recognition of CAA as a Full Member of the International Actuarial Association in 2010. The future looks bright also, based on the strong educational foundation in actuarial science provided by leading universities in China that are showing increasing awareness of the dynamic field of property/casualty work, the intensely specialized training of the CAS credential (the only actuarial organization in the world dedicated specifically to property/casualty actuarial training), and the local relevance and expertise associated with the CAA credential. We feel highly confident that the outstanding property/casualty actuarial talent pool in China will continue its strong pattern of growth.
Diversification and Demand. As is typical in the early days of the property/casualty profession in most environments, discussions about actuarial work in 2002 focused on the core activities of loss reserving and ratemaking. In fact, one of the interesting conversations at the 2002 Xiamen conference wondered whether the property/casualty insurance companies in China would come to see the need for more than one property/casualty appointed actuary called for by solvency oversight regulations. Our conversations with employers and actuaries have shifted steadily during our visits in the intervening years. This year,
we were fascinated to hear of the range of responsibilities being managed by the property/casualty actuaries in China. Actuaries and employers alike spoke with us about the current and growing involvement of property/casualty CAA and CAS Fellows not only in loss reserving, but in capital management, pricing, predictive modeling, product development, reinsurance analysis, risk management, investments, claims management, strategy, and branch and company management. Each of the companies expressed the high value they place on the actuarial skills that help them manage the business. CAS members and CAA Fellows have leading roles in non-life insurance and reinsurance companies in China and also in top consulting firms. This significant broadening of actuarial involvement also was evident in the breadth and depth of original research, practical applications, and business solutions presented during this year’s CAA conference.
University programs. In China, as in many other countries, visionary university professors were among the first to recognize the importance of a strong actuarial profession in supporting a strong insurance and financial services industry. Some of China’s leading universities have played – and continue to play -- key roles in raising awareness of the actuarial profession, and in creating fertile ground in which the actuaries of the future are nurtured and educated. Our trip this year included visits with staff and students at two universities – Hunan University in Changsha and Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, and we spoke with other university professors during the CAA conference. It was clear that the commitment to attracting and training top talent for the actuarial profession remains strong. At the same time, we heard strong interest in getting input from actuarial practitioners (such as CAS and CAA Fellows who are working in China), and from employers, to assure that actuaries who are being educated for the workforce will have strong theoretical foundations of knowledge, but also practical skills well-fitted to analyzing and solving the types of business problems they are likely to encounter when they enter that workforce. One way that CAS is supporting this need is through our University Engagement program in which CAS members are paired with universities to serve as resources for the faculty in providing information, practical perspectives, and case studies drawn from real property/casualty actuarial field work. We have a growing number of CAS members in China who are eager to be a part of this program, and we will be aligning them with interested universities in the months ahead.
Continuing education. We visited several property / casualty insurance companies in Beijing, and with senior actuaries from other insurance companies during the CAA conference. One common topic at these meetings related to seminars and other forms of continuing education. For example, we heard several expressions of interest in having CAS members present on topics of interest at CAA seminars, as well as at programs offered by universities and insurance companies (such as China Re’s annual seminar). Upon our return from China, we received approval from the CAS Executive Council to co-sponsor, with the CAA, a one-day seminar on predictive modeling this autumn which has been held in Beijing on September 15. We view this initial seminar as a first step towards a broader initiative for sharing CAS educational materials, and combining CAA and CAS expertise and resources, in the appropriate venues in China.
Regulatory innovation. Some very interesting sessions at the CAA meeting spoke to the innovative and important work that is being developed in the China regulatory system for insurers. We felt fortunate to hear about research being conducted regarding the performance of loss reserving methodologies, for example, along with extensive research being conducted by property/casualty actuaries in support of the development of the new China Risk Oriented Solvency System (C-ROSS). We supplemented our learnings at the CAA conference with a visit to the CIRC, where we heard more about some of the research that is still underway or is being launched this year. A number of consulting firms and insurance companies are working with the CIRC in various projects related to this initiative. We discussed CAS members’ experience in working with the US regulators in developing solvency regulation, and offered to share our experiences and research. A CAS group is looking into different ways in which CAS might be able to assist the CIRC in this important initiative. The pairing of technical and practical elements is a fascinating and recurring challenge here in China as elsewhere around the globe. But a theme that intrigued us even more was to see the extensive involvement of top property/casualtyactuarial talent in the development of new ideas and new systems – combinedwith the recognition that increased actuarial sophistication also will be required within the insurance companies in order to conduct their business in the disciplined manner that the regulations and the marketplace of the future will require.
International involvement. The rapid development of the Chinese actuarial profession, and of the China Association of Actuaries achieved a significant and visible milestone with the attainment of Full Member status in the International Actuarial Association in 2010. But the impact of China’s actuaries on the global marketplace is developing on many fronts. This includes a strong market for Chinese actuaries among leading global actuarial employers, of course. But we also see a broader global appetite for the insights that have been gained by actuaries in the China marketplace. For example, a delegation of Chinese regulators and actuaries spoke about the Chinese insurance market to a large audience at the CAS Spring 2013 meeting in Vancouver, and we understand the CAA will have a strong contingent of actuaries participating in the International Congress of Actuaries in Washington DC next spring. We also are pleased to see CAA delegates engaging in shaping the various initiatives of the International Actuarial Association through the IAA’s various committees. We look forward to collaborating with the CAA on these projects that will help strengthen the actuarial profession globally.
We are grateful for the hospitality and the conversations throughout our visit. Everywhere we went, we were greeted warmly. Our hosts at the various visits were genuinely interested in learning of the CAS plans for supporting our members, and the property/casualty actuarial profession, in China. And in turn, we found it interesting and very helpful to learn so much and to hear so many perspectives from actuaries, employers, regulators, students, professors, and colleagues – all of them having a keen interest in the actuarial profession in China.
（Gary Josephson, 北美产险精算学会(CAS)主席，电子邮箱：firstname.lastname@example.org；