The role and function of the actuary
What do actuaries do?
An actuary is a professional who applies analytical, statistical and mathematical skills to financial and business problems. This is especially valuable when facing real-world problems that involve uncertain future events or financial risk such as calculating the price an insurer should charge customers for various insurance benefits, understanding the impact that different investments have on a pension fund’s expected risk and return, or calculating a bank’s risk due to home-loan customers being unable to repay their mortgage debt. This ability to quantify that which is unclear helps individuals and businesses to safeguard their future, confidently and at a fair price, in an ever-changing world.
They are able to provide realistic solutions to complex problems with a long term forward view. They are recognised to be pragmatic, innovative and numerate.
Actuaries operate within a strict professional and ethical framework, advancing equity across all stakeholders and promoting the public interest.
What skills do actuaries have?
Actuaries undergo rigorous academic and practical training in order to master a wide range of skills, including:
- Analysing and managing uncertainty;
- Financial and mathematical modelling, including mortality and morbidity rates;
- Evaluating financial consequences;
- Analysis of risk and risk management;
- Scientific pricing and reserving techniques;
- Asset/liability management;
- Overall financial management, and
- Communication of complex financial concepts in understandable terms