President’s Message DAVE SANDBERG
THE MIDPOINT OF SUMMER in the United States is July 4, when we celebrate our country’s Declaration
of Independence. While the declaration affirms every citizen’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, those rights don’t come without responsibility. The right of Americans to pursue their individual choices
is enforced and sustained by a power that belongs to and flows from the country’s citizens. In managing our
profession, actuaries similarly have chosen to base the value and power of our professionalism on the constant vigilance and engagement of our individual members. Like the Founding Fathers, we have asserted and
established a governance structure based on the concept of self-determination.
The Academy will be engaging each of its members directly
over the summer on questions relating to Academy membership.
By the time you read this, you most likely will have completed
the Academy’s 2012 membership survey, which was designed
to gauge the value that you place on the Academy’s work in
both professionalism and public policy. And later this summer,
the Council on Professionalism, working with a distinguished
academic program in actuarial science, will be surveying mem-
bers on ethics, qualifications, conflicts of interest, and related
questions on professional conduct. The results of this survey
probably will inform an academic paper as well as a webinar
and articles in Academy publications.
I encourage you to remember that our freedom as a country and as a profession is sustained by your contributions, your
commitment, and your willingness to engage in a deliberative
governmental process that—while imperfect—grows and improves with the participation of every individual.
To maintain and sustain our rights and responsibilities as
a valued and self-determining profession, we need to focus on
setting and enforcing high standards and engaging our members
in directing the profession’s future course.
Actuaries in the United States set high bars for themselves
for conduct, practice, and qualification through the Code of
Professional Conduct, the Actuarial Standards of Practice, and
the Qualification Standards. All reflect the ongoing collaborative work of seasoned actuaries from every practice area who
volunteer their time, skill, and expertise through the Academy,
the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB), and the Actuarial Board
for Counseling and Discipline (ABCD) to provide guidance to
members of the profession and to give the public the assurance
that we act with integrity and are well-qualified to perform the
vital work we do.
We also do our best individually to see to it that these high
standards are maintained and enforced through the work of the
ABCD. To further support actuaries in their self-regulation, the
Academy’s Council on Professionalism later this summer will
publish an important discussion paper on Precept 13, helping
ensure that actuaries are confident about when to report violations of the Code of Professional Conduct. Precept 13 is at the
heart of the profession’s self-regulation, and actuaries will have
a further opportunity to engage thought leaders on this topic
during a planned September webinar hosted by the Council on
We work and live in a world in which some are given authority to oversee and set public requirements (laws) to make
sure that the rights of the public are protected. Throughout this
country’s history, its citizens have gone to war to defend those
freedoms. But I suspect we overlook the political battles that
have been just as important in maintaining and sustaining our
country’s ideal of liberty for all. In fact, we sustain the liberty to
espouse different values and aims through public debate in open
forums. We value the importance of letting every voice be heard.
8 CONTINGENCIES JUL | AUG. 12