Arlington, Va. — On September 26, 2018, the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and Society of Actuaries (SOA) jointly announced that their boards of directors had agreed to explore combining the CAS and SOA into one new professional organization. Founded in 1914, the CAS is the only actuarial organization in the world focusing exclusively on property-casualty risks with over 8,000 members worldwide. The SOA, with roots dating back to 1889, has more than 30,000 members, making it the world’s largest actuarial professional organization.
According to the CAS and SOA, collaboration discussions began in December 2016. Initially discussions focused on combining the educational systems only. Moving beyond their original intent, the boards began to discuss combining the organizations and looking at the ways that a larger organization could benefit members, candidates, employers, academics, regulators and the profession as a whole.
In their announcement and subsequent communications, the boards of the CAS and SOA have outlined the potential benefits of a larger combined organization, including additional resources, more opportunities for CAS and SOA members and the unification of the actuarial profession. The leadership of both organizations emphasizes the positive potential for collaboration between CAS and SOA members, as well as the current need to innovate and remain competitive in the face of the demands of a rapidly evolving insurance marketplace. The two Societies launched a joint website, StrongerAsOne.net, to keep members informed of the details of the proposed combination.
The idea of a proposed combination has been met with various reactions across the broad range of CAS and SOA members, as expressed in town hall discussions and online forums. The idea to combine the two Societies is not new; over the years, the SOA has made overtures to the CAS to join into one organization. Examples include a 1997 speech from an SOA president proposing a “big tent” to include P&C actuaries of the CAS and, in 2012, when the SOA expressed interest in entering the P&C market by offering its own credential. Members from both organizations have asked questions about the details of the function of such a large organization. A frequently asked questions (FAQ) page on the Stronger As One website offers details on the structure of the proposed governing board, practice areas and credentials offered.
CAS and SOA leaders are soliciting feedback via the website. Leadership is also conducting many in-person listening tours around the country for both organizations’ members to voice concerns and to ask questions. The proposal will only move forward if both boards approve it at their November meetings, with the CAS Board scheduled to vote on November 11 and the SOA Board on November 15. If the proposal passes, Fellows from both organizations could expect to vote on the combination proposal in early 2019.
Questions and comments on the combination proposal should be directed to mail@StrongerAsOne.net.