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Actuary

Actuaries evaluate, manage and advise on financial risks. They use their knowledge of business and economics, together with their understanding of probability theory, statistics and investment theory, to provide strategic, commercial and financial advice.


Actuary

Actuaries evaluate, manage and advise on financial risks. They use their knowledge of business and economics, together with their understanding of probability theory, statistics and investment theory, to provide strategic, commercial and financial advice.
 
The core of actuarial work lies within pensions and insurance, where professionals are most likely to start off; however, later on in your career there are opportunities to move into other emerging fields such as investment, healthcare and banking.
 

Main activities

Actuaries apply financial and statistical theories to assess the likelihood of a particular event occurring and the possible financial costs.

Specific tasks vary but work may include:

1. Analysing statistical data in order to calculate, for example, accident rates for particular groups of people;

2. Using mathematical modelling techniques and statistical concepts to determine probability and assess risks, such as analysing pension scheme liabilities, to price commercial insurance;

3. Monitoring risk within trading positions in investment banking to ensure excessive risks are not taken during the fast pace of trading;

4. Presenting reports, explaining their implications to managers and directors, and advising on risk limitation;

5. Advising on issues such as the selection of investment managers or the administration of pensions and benefits;

6. Working with IT professionals to develop systems to ensure compliance with the requirements of regulatory bodies;

7. Communicating with clients and carrying out relationship management, including with investment managers, financial directors and external stakeholders;

8. Supervising staff;

9. Working with mergers and acquisitions.

Routine Tasks 

Specifically, actuaries in their day-to-day work may be responsible for the following:

1. Developing new financial products;

2. Conducting valuations of assets and liabilities;

3. Advising on investment strategies and assessing the profitability of an investments portfolio;

4. Calculating funding rates and considering assumptions for pension scheme liabilities;

5. Analysing risks related to locations for catastrophe claims;

6. Measuring, monitoring and mitigating portfolio and enterprise risks;

7. Overseeing asset and liability modelling, product development and profit testing;

8. Preparing presentations, reports, valuations and quarterly updates.

Actuaries may also be involved with the acceptance of proposals for new policies, with legal and taxation matters affecting life assurance, or with the investment of funds.

Areas of Knowledge

Mathematics : Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications

Economics and Accounting : Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

Law and Government : Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process relating to Insurance

Administration and Management : Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Personnel and Human Resources : Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

Sales and Marketing : Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

Key Abilities

Oral Comprehension : The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Written Comprehension : The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. Mathematical Reasoning : The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Mathematical Reasoning : The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Number Facility : The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

Near Vision : The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Oral Expression : The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Deductive Reasoning : The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Inductive Reasoning : The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Top Skills

Active Listening : Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Mathematics : Using mathematics to solve problems.

Writing : Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Reading Comprehension : Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking : Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems

Speaking : Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making : Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Time Management : Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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