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From the President

by Mavis A. Walters

Over the past 18 months or so there have been five meetings of the presidents and presidents-elect of international actuarial organizations from primarily English-speaking countries. This group has included the leadership of the CAS, the SOA, the AAA and the CIA from North America; the Institute of Actuaries, a U.K. organization; the Faculty of Actuaries, the counterpart of the Institute in Scotland; the Society of Actuaries (Ireland), whose members are members of the Institute; and the Institute of Actuaries of Australia. In addition, we have been joined on occasion by a representative of the Government Actuaries Department in the U.K. and officials of the International Actuarial Association.

Besides getting to know each other, these meetings have provided an opportunity for us to share information about the issues of concern to each organization and to learn how others may have dealt with similar concerns. These meetings were particularly helpful in keeping us all up-to-date with the organization and implementation of a restructured International Actuarial Association.

One issue that has been on the agenda for the past several meetings but which is now being pursued somewhat more vigorously, particularly by our colleagues outside of North America, is that of mutual recognition. Simply stated, this would mean that an actuary who has attained Fellowship by examination in one of the organizations would be granted Fellowship by the accrediting body of another country if that actuary moved to that country and wanted to practice there. For example, an FCAS moving to Australia, upon request to the Institute, would be granted Fellowship in the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.

While CAS members would certainly find this appealing, this recognition would not be granted without reciprocity; that is, a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia practicing in property-casualty and moving to the U.S. would, upon petition to the CAS, be recognized as an FCAS. This latter proposition is not as likely to find favor among the majority of CAS members.

Currently, the CAS does provide some recognition of the examinations sponsored by the Institute of Actuaries (U.K.), the Faculty (Scotland), and the Institute of Actuaries of Australia. We grant credit for exams passed based on the equivalency of these exams with the CAS Syllabus. Currently such exam waivers fall short of Associateship requirements in the U.S. and the new Affiliate membership class, which was recently sent to the Fellows for approval to implement, falls short of the recognition sought by our international colleagues.

The concept of mutual recognition is sound and all of those participating in the latest discussions thought it to be a worthwhile goal. Organizations with a rigorous education and examination procedure should find some way to respect the attainment of the highest levels of achievement within each organization. On the other hand, there are some very difficult issues that need to be addressed and there are no readily apparent solutions. For example, we are the only organization specializing in property-casualty issues and no other education and examination structure comes close to ours. And why would we want to grant an FCAS to those who may not be familiar with our legal, regulatory, and accounting systems?

Discussions will continue with the International Presidents group on this topic and I know Steve Lehmann and Alice Gannon would be very interested in hearing your views.

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Since this is my last column as president of the CAS I would like to take this opportunity to offer some personal comments.

First, I would like to recognize the long and dedicated service to the CAS and to the Actuarial Review of Stan Khury, who retires as editor-in-chief with this issue. Stan has been only the second editor-in-chief of this fine publication and he has worked very hard over the years to pull it all together. We owe him our thanks. And congratulations to Walt Wright who moves up to become editor-in-chief with the next issue. I am sure Walt will do very well in this position.

Finally, I would like to give thanks to Tim Tinsley and the entire CAS office staff for the truly outstanding work they do, day-in and day-out, on behalf of all of us. Those who have had the opportunity to work with the CAS Office staff understand what hardworking, dedicated professionals they are and all of us owe them our thanks and appreciation.