I believe that a strong holistic risk management framework should be the foundation of all actuarial and financial work.
In my previous role as a consulting actuary in Canada, I worked on a number of multi-employer pension and group health plans. They presented a unique challenge due to their different legislative requirements, funding limitations and desire to meet long term obligations to its members with a high degree of certainty. In order to achieve these goals, it is important for them to establish a strong ALM framework to limit interest rate exposure, actively manage mortality and credit risks to enhance return and have a strong governance structure to deal with the changing regulatory environment.
Through my experience, I learned the importance for a financial practitioner to be able to clearly understand and explain the risk inherent in different product designs and to help stakeholders set and operate within their risk appetite. In particular, know where one is taking risk, which risk(s) should drive return (risk to take on) and which risk(s) should be mitigated (risk outside of the appetite). These types of discussion help our stakeholders limit surprises, generate sustainable returns and enhance governance.
I chose to study for the CERA qualification because I believe that a strong holistic risk management framework should be the foundation of all actuarial and financial work. The CERA designation provides the education I needed to develop my skillset in quantitative and qualitative risk assessment. These skills helped me make a successful transition from my previous role as a consultant, to my current role in the insurance industry. In my current risk management role with Manulife’s regional office in Hong Kong, I work with business units across Asia on the implementation of a model risk framework. The experiences I had and skillset I learned from my CERA studies helped me implement different initiatives to foster a risk culture within our team and among business units.