Materiality

When the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline (ABCD) investigates a complaint, it makes a determination whether or not a material violation of the Code of Conduct has occurred. If no material violation is found, the complaint is dismissed. If the ABCD finds that there is a material violation, the actuary who is the subject of the complaint may be … Read More

Are You a Rule Follower?

ARE YOU A RULE FOLLOWER OR A RULE BREAKER? If you assume that rules are generally reasonable, you’re probably happy to follow them. I believe that actuaries are generally rule followers (which is a good thing) but that we should think harder about the reasonableness of the rules we follow, especially in a world where others are rule breakers. We … Read More

Regulator as Resource

AS A COMPANY ACTUARY, you’ve just returned from a morning of meetings and are checking your voice mail. One message is from the actuary at the state insurance department who has an issue to discuss with you. How many of you would look forward to returning that call? I would hope that if the appropriate working relationships have been developed, … Read More

Your Comments Please: Changing the Disciplinary Process

THE TYPICAL UP TO CODE ARTICLE is one-way communication. The author develops a theme and then summarizes its main point at the end. The only effort required by the reader is, well, to read the article. We plan to take a different approach. We will describe an issue, pose a question or two, and then ask you to respond by … Read More

In Answer to Your Many Questions

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mike Toothman just completed six years of service to the profession as a member of the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline (ABCD). In October 2008 and June 2009, he was a panelist on Academy-sponsored webcasts on the Code of Professional Conduct. In October 2009, he was also a panelist on an Academy-sponsored webcast on Precept 13. At … Read More

Moving from Discipline to Guidance

FOR MOST OF HIS ACTUARIAL CAREER, Paul Fleischacker’s impression of the activities of the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline (ABCD) was simplistic—and fairly typical. “I think I was like most actuaries who think of the ABCD as primarily a disciplinary group, rather than as a group of experts who can give guidance when you have questions on compliance issues,” … Read More

The Carol of the Bells

THE HOLIDAYS WILL ARRIVE BEFORE WE KNOW IT, and I’m reminded of some professional advice I received about 25 years ago. I was chatting at a holiday party with the general counsel of an actuarial consulting firm, trying to find a common topic between an actuary and an attorney. He told me that, in his experience, almost all actuarial malpractice … Read More

Don’t Regret Having Filed a Complaint

In your work as an actuary, it’s quite possible that at some point you’ll discover an apparent unresolved material violation of the Code of Professional Conduct. Members of any of the five North American actuarial organizations that have adopted the code are required to follow it—even when they aren’t providing actuarial services. (When you read the code, you find that … Read More

Interviewing With Integrity

“What’s your personal integrity statement?” Does the question catch you off guard, or are you prepared with a solid and concise response? The actuarial community places particularly high value on ethics and integrity. While it can be a sensitive topic, it deserves candid and comprehensive discussion. Today’s workplace has been defined by Enron, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the cry for transparency. As … Read More

Student of Change

The traditional path for young actuaries entering the profession involved pursuing math or business courses in college, discovering the profession at career fairs or by word of mouth, signing on as an actuarial intern for summers and after graduation, and committing months and months to a self-imposed study schedule to prepare and pass the requisite exams. Like so many other … Read More