The internationalization of the actuary – by drs. Simon Cureton AAG CERA
With social media like Instagram, Facebook, Google and WhatsApp internationalization is increasing at a very fast pace. The world seems smaller than ever and there seems to be less and less boundaries to communicate to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
In line with these developments actuaries are increasingly working in an international fashion. In recent years we have had more and more actuaries working in the Netherlands coming from all over the globe, like from Eastern Europe, China, South Africa, the US and Canada. I myself have been fortunate to come to Holland from the UK at a young age too. And in my over 27 year career I have been fortunate to have worked with actuaries with different nationalities, backgrounds and cultures. Combining our different ways of solving problems is mutually reinforcing.
In my view, more than ever, the Royal Dutch Actuarial Association (Koninklijk Actuarieel Genootschap) has great opportunities to reap the benefits of the rapid internationalization that is taking place. To be able to make use of each other's knowledge and skills, but also to be able to make use of each other’s backgrounds and cultures. And also, to be able to learn from each other’s different ways of thinking, working and communicating. I realize myself for instance that a "direct" Dutch approach does not always work.
Internationalization of our profession can also be seen in our magazine De Actuaris: more and more articles are written in English and more and more articles are about sharing of international experiences. Furthermore our insurers are also becoming increasingly international. Some recent examples are Eli Global, Athora and LifeTri. Also, Dutch pension funds are starting to internationalize, like moving to Belgium.
This internationalization seems to be seen as a threat to some but to me this development leads to many opportunities. By thinking in opportunities instead of threats, like the Dutch entrepreneurial way of thinking is made of, and which has been very successful, we may find ways to help policy holders in the best way possible.
We have to be prepared for the future. Whether it is about international constructions and possibilities, different cultures, legislation, calculation methods: as an actuarial profession, we need to be ready.
I therefore invite everyone to join me to look positively at the fascinating internationalized world that we are working in. Moreover, to look positively at an even more internationalized future world that lies ahead of us. Be aware that joining the increasingly international world means progress. There are only opportunities for us as actuarial professionals!
The author has written this blog in a personal capacity.