More on the SOA’s P/C track

With the Society of Actuaries planning to launch a casualty track, the CAS responds:

The CAS Board affirms that it is the intention of the CAS to remain independent while at the same time cooperating with other actuarial organizations to meet challenges to the profession.

There’s more at the link, noting that the CAS:

  • is “uniquely positioned to provide the most comprehensive and rigorous education in actuarial science and risk management for general insurance actuaries.”
  • has a singular focus on property/casualty insurance issues.
  • will maintain its singular focus on property/casualty insurance.

Meanwhile, the actuary blogging at Feed on my Links yawns:

These organizations already collborate on exams, so it’s not like the SOA is going to weaken the examination gates and let all the ‘rif-raff’ in. . . .

So it’s all about passing hard exams. Pedants will no doubt quibble about curriculum minutiae or “which one is harder”, but the bottom line is that nobody cares enough about this to spend the time wondering which designation to puruse. My prediction is that the SOA’s initiative will either merge with the ACAS or fizzle out.

I see a different path:

  • SOA offers a general insurance specialty track.
  • The new track gets recognized by international actuarial organizations, like the FSA. And why wouldn’t they recognize it? The mix of life/pension/health/property-casualty looks more like a European fellow than an FCAS does.
  • The SOA tries to get its track recognized for signing U.S. p/c opinions. There could be two paths:
    • It applies through the AAA’s Casualty Practice Council.
    • It seeks recognition from the CAS.
    • Either way, I think the SOA designation gets recognized. I doubt it would get turned down. If it did, the SOA can accuse either counterparty with restraint of trade. And look at the evidence it would have. The CAS recognizes, say, the FSA. And the FSA recognizes the casualty track of the SOA. What possible reason could the CAS have for not recognizing the SOA, except restraint of trade?
  • Once SOA actuaries can sign p/c opinions, the SOA is in a much stronger position to call for a merger.

Mind you, I’m not commenting on whether the SOA should do this. I just think it’s likely once the chain of events begins. And I think Wednesday’s announcement starts the chain.

The goal: merger with the SOA. The CAS rejected a recent offer, but this SOA release Wednesday reiterates that the society’s Consolidation Task Force “remains in place to continue its efforts as needed.”

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