Monday, 20 August 2012

Society of Actuaries in Ireland Newsletter - ORSA, Solvency II and Cocktails

Always a riveting read, the Irish Society of Actuaries fired out their newsletter for August, which as ever is a treasure trove for any diet-mathematicians like me who need to have things spelled out for them on all matters actuarial.

Of particular note was their report from the ORSA Working Party (p7), which covers a presentation and paper delivered earlier in the year - to show what a fantastic bunch the SAI are, you can access both the full working party paper (all 52 pages of it) and the presentation slides on their website. I picked out the following from the newsletter (I'll read the working party paper in more detail separately);
  • "Compilation of the ORSA Document is quite a significant undertaking" - emphasising the difficulty in selling ORSA in purely process terms
  • "ORSA is a risk management exercise, not a compliance exercise" - I would prefer to sell it as both, as it is unfair to undersell the compliance angle, particularly to smaller firms who may not have gone to the nth degree on projecting capital adequacy before.
  • "ORSA needs to be readable..." - again, almost impossible not to talk about it as a report, rather than the report being the output of a process
  • "ORSA would be of great interest to the Board" - I would hope that the Board would be queueing up next to the printer to get their hands on ORSA reporting output!
  • Projecting the business planning period "...likely to be 3-5 years into the future" - interesting to see what the general consensus is on this (I feel this will fit most insurers, but if you are shooting for longer, would love to hear how you're doing it!)
  • Some discussion over how prescriptive the Central Bank of Ireland may be on the ORSA documentation front (bearing in mind how liberal the FSA have been on this matter) - seems to suggest that a similar approach will be taken i.e. justify what you have.
There are a couple of nice pieces towards the back on unintended consequences of Solvency II and Basel III (on cost of capital and funding patterns), as well as some nice real world examples of why one should be wary of actuaries who manage to change internal model parameters in a way that magically reduces capital requirements each year!

The less said about the actuarial cocktail making class on the back page (complete with bottle of Kia-ora in centre shot) the better I suspect...

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