President's Message

Relations with the Society of Actuaries

I have been speaking at various formal and informal meetings of actuaries during the almost six months since I became your president. At virtually every meeting someone asks, “What is our relationship with the Society of Actuaries now?”

To answer this questions, I am going to describe to you the current relationship between the CAS and the SOA, but first I will give you a little background.

Last November the CAS Board failed to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary to take the proposed combination of the CAS and the SOA into a single professional organization. This was a necessary constitutional step before proceeding to a full CAS membership vote.

Why did the board decide not to move forward with the combination proposal? While I don’t know precisely what any individual board member’s reasons were, I will try to broadly describe the board’s collective thinking. I would characterize those who did not support the combination as not voting so much against the SOA as voting in favor of the CAS continuing to concentrate on the specialized needs of property-casualty actuaries and maintaining our unique culture and sense of community. Some board members wanted to continue our intense focus on developing our distinct predictive analytics strategy for our current and future members.

The board greatly valued the member survey conducted shortly after the initial combination announcement. The results of that member survey (which have subsequently been released to the membership) were discussed in depth by the board before their vote.

Our shared efforts with the SOA exploring the combination revealed more similarities than differences between us. I believe this understanding has strengthened our overall relationship despite the failure of the initiative. There is still a significant level of goodwill between both organizations’ leadership teams. The CAS leadership and I are committed to capitalizing on this goodwill to work collaboratively where this is in the best interests of both organizations and the actuarial profession.

The actuarial profession is too small to conduct every initiative as separate organizations. To ignore these joint opportunities may slow progress on these initiatives or result in increased collective costs.


Many of the comments in the member survey suggested that the two organizations should have worked collectively on more projects before considering any combination. While we certainly could have done more of this, the CAS and the SOA have engaged in collaborative activities for years, at both staff and volunteer levels.

It is true that collaborations have waxed and waned over the years as relations between the two organizations have warmed or cooled. But there have been and will continue to be numerous initiatives where it is to the benefit of both organizations to work together. The actuarial profession is too small to conduct every initiative as separate organizations. To ignore these joint opportunities may slow progress on these initiatives or result in increased collective costs (dollars and staff and volunteer efforts).

Because many of our members may have only limited knowledge of our existing joint efforts, I am listing some that immediately come to mind in this column’s sidebar. I am sure I have missed some, but the lists illustrate the answer to that question of the relationship status between the CAS and the SOA: We can and do act together on many initiatives and will continue to do so in the future.

The CAS and the SOA — What We Do Together

Long-standing activities

  • Actuaries Climate Index (sponsored jointly with the American Academy of Actuaries, SOA and Canadian Institute of Actuaries)
  • Annual Enterprise Risk Management Symposium (with SOA Joint Risk Management Section)
  • North American Actuarial Council (semi-annual meetings with all actuarial bodies in Canada, U.S. and Mexico)
  • Commissioned research projects’ funding
  • Regular dialogue between SOA and CAS executive directors

Recently established efforts

  • Predictive Analytics Seminar, Toronto, February 2019 (with the CIA and SOA)
  • Actuaries in Banking Seminar, Washington, May 2019 (with SOA, CIA & Actuarial Society of South Africa)
  • Actuarial Research Conference, Purdue University, August 2019
  • Joint Diversity Committee
  • Regular dialogue between SOA and CAS presidents
  • 2018 Task Force on Dues Structure for the International Actuarial Association
  • 2019 Task Force on Governance for the IAA
  • Joint Proposal to National Association of Insurance Commissioners on annual attestation requirements
  • Dialogue with NAIC regarding their white paper on qualification criteria for P&C Appointed Actuaries
  • Dialogue with NAIC on how to gain assurance on appropriate continuing education for Appointed Actuaries
  • Responses to NAIC on automotive trends analysis
  • Registration open to CAS members for SOA’s Predictive Analytics Certificate program

In the works or under consideration

  • Joint Seminar on Workers’ Compensation (CAS) and Disability Insurance (SOA)
  • Cryptocurrency insurance research
  • SOA Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst exam as an alternate option for CAS members’ CERA qualification
  • Continuing Education compliance software
  • Joint University Engagement Committee
  • Regularly scheduled meetings between SOA and CAS staff and leadership

While the above lists may not be complete, they do illustrate that the two organizations can and do act together on many initiatives.