Owning Precept 13

WHAT IS IT ABOUT the requirements of Precept 13 that makes many actuaries uncomfortable? One of 14 precepts in the Code of Profes­sional Conduct, Precept 13 requires an actuary to take action if he or she has knowledge of a potential violation of the code by another cre­dentialed actuary. Much like the Transportation Security Administration ads, this is the “if … Read More

A Show of Hands

A PERSON CLOSE TO OUR PROFESSION recently told me that when a roomful of actuaries was asked if they could quote Precept 1 of the Code of Professional Conduct, not a single hand was raised. Now, I am guessing that anyone who reads Contingencies on a regular basis knows that Precept 1 says, “An Actuary shall act honestly, with integrity … Read More

When Harry Met Sally

HARRY WAS PLEASED when he got an offer to join a consulting practice in Small Town, USA. On his first day, he arrived with five large boxes full of actuarial books and reference materials in the trunk of his car. Since the boxes were heavy, Harry decided he would carry one box into the office every morning during his first … Read More

New Kid on the Block

IN MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE, I’ve had the good fortune to be guided by intelligent and compassionate mentors. They all had one trait in com­mon that I truly admired: their commitment to give back to the profes­sion. Last year, I was asked if I would serve on the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline (ABCD). I wasn’t sure what that assignment … Read More

Phone a Friend

THE POPULAR TV GAME SHOW “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” initially hosted by Regis Philbin, awards cash prizes for correctly an­swering a series of multiple-choice questions of increasing (or, in some cases, random) difficulty. In the show’s original format, any contestant who made it to the “Hot Seat” had to correctly answer 15 consecutive questions. Contestants were given a … Read More

How to Evade the Code

YOU MIGHT BE SHOCKED TO DISCOVER how easy it is to evade the Code of Professional Conduct. All an actuary has to do is produce quality work that satisfies the Code, the actuarial standards of practice (ASOPs), and the Qualification Standards. Of course, most would describe that as complying with the Code, not evad­ing it. But a small number of … Read More

There’s an App for That

WE ALL HAVE HAD MOMENTS in which we wished we knew how to do something or make something work. In the not-too-distant past, we possibly would have gone to a bookstore or hardware store for how-to instructions. Now we get on our computers or whip out the smart phone to look up an appropriate application. The actuarial world has changed … Read More

Moral Turpitude

THE CURRENT CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT was re­leased to the members of the five U.S.-based actuarial organizations on Jan. 1, 2001. In the covering memorandum, the Joint Committee on the Code of Conduct referenced comments received during the exposure process. One such comment was on the term “moral turpitude.” As stated in the memorandum: “One commenter on Precept 1 suggested … Read More

New Year’s Resolution

ACCORDING TO THE WEBSITE PROACTIVE CHANGE, about 45 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions every year. And by the end of January, 36 percent of us have already failed to keep those resolu­tions. I have a friend who, wishing to avoid the disgrace of yet again failing to achieve the goals she set for herself in those heady last … Read More

Modeling to Code

IN MARCH, I PARTICIPATED ON A PANEL on professionalism in predictive modeling at the Casualty Actuarial Society’s (CAS) Ratemak­ing and Product Management Seminar. Since working with predictive modeling has not been an area of focus for me in my professional career, I accepted the invitation thinking it would be a good learning experience. With two other actuaries on the pan­el … Read More