Question Time

In a recent interview, James Gutterman, who joined the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline (ABCD) in 2010, discussed his first-year impressions. As an actuary who has worked both as a regulator and on the corporate side, you bring a particularly ecumenical point of view to the ABCD. How do you think this helps you in your work on the … Read More

Non-actuarial Services under the Code

THERE ARE NUMEROUS ACTUARIAL STANDARDS OF PRACTICE (ASOPs) containing what seems to be excruciating detail governing the performance of actuarial services under the Code of Professional Conduct. So much detail, in fact, that actuaries not only need to review the particu­lar governing ASOP when beginning a new type of assignment but also several times a year need to revisit the … Read More

Comments on Changing the Disciplinary Process

AT THE END OF OUR ARTICLE detailing proposals under consider­ation by the Council of U.S. Presidents (CUSP) to reform the disciplinary process (“Your Comments, Please: Changing the Disciplinary Process,” May/June 2010 Contingencies), Roger Hayne and I invited readers to respond. A dozen Contingencies readers took us up on our offer, send­ing thoughtful, often detailed replies. You were asked to consider … Read More


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