I’m a little slow noting this, but SOA President Bradley Smith blogged about the proposal to add a property-casualty track this week.
He asserts fairly clearly that the move is pointed at international concerns:
For us to meet the needs of our growing member and candidate base outside the U.S. and Canada, we must offer this educational option. After all, it’s our job to ensure that our education system is equipping actuaries with the skills to address the full spectrum of risk management issues.
It’s a good point. In the U.S. there aren’t many insurers with both life and p/c operations. (And one of the last – The Hartford – wants to split theirs.) But it’s a common business model in the rest of the world, as a glance through this list of the top 25 shows.
There’s some logic that an actuary in, say, Europe, might want both life and general insurance backgrounds. But despite the hubbub, I’ve seen nothing from either the CAS or the SOA that explicitly denies they are now in competition.
But Smith did post this:
Currently the SOA is the only actuarial education organization with a significant international presence that does not offer education in the full range of practice areas.
The word choice isn’t accidental. It also appears in this Q&A.
But I can think of an actuarial organization that doesn’t offer a credential for life or health practices, but according to this list does administer exams in 24 countries.