“There are very few qualified black actuaries in the wider actuarial market, and it is an even bigger challenge in the non-life insurance arena,” says of Ronald Richman, chief actuary at Old Mutual Insure, who says it is no secret that a critical shortage of black actuarial professionals in South Africa persists, and the time has come to change it for the better.
According to the Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (INSETA), while there is a good supply of black candidates for marketing, HR, Finance, and Investments, there is a clear lack in the actuarial, reinsurance and technical underwriting categories. Data from the Association of South African Black Actuarial Professionals (ASABA), suggests that SA has 109 Black African Fellow Actuaries, compared to the 974 White Fellow Actuaries: an 800% disparity.
“Addressing this discrepancy by encouraging diverse candidates to pursue careers in the non-life industry becomes critically important as the demand for actuarial professionals continues to grow. We are already seeing a shift in more organisations relying on actuarial skill to model, predict and interpret data, to plan for a future in which increased geo-political, climate and socio-economic risks are the norm,” says Richman.
To level the playing field and to promote the non-life actuarial practice area as an attractive and rewarding career path for black candidates, Old Mutual Insure has joined hands with ASABA.
A highlight of the programme is a prize for best research conducted in the non-life insurance space, where a young professional could walk away with R20 000, and a university student could walk away with R10 000.
Another highlight will be an annual networking event which will provide an opportunity for participants to broaden their networks within the actuarial community. Old Mutual Insure and ASABA will also host several sessions and school engagements to raise awareness among students and create the desire to enter the non-life insurance market.