COVID-19 Weekly Update – January 29

Dear Colleagues,

WOW! We’ve reached a hundred million cases worldwide!

For most of us, this was a normal business week. Feedback from vaccine programs worldwide and further lockdowns in response to new strains of COVID-19 have dominated the headlines. The effect on Europe has been rioting in response to further lockdowns.

Florida has a new tourism product – vaccine tourism. Many Jamaicans, and presumably the wider Caribbean, have been travelling to Florida to be vaccinated.

Weekend review:

Enhance your CPD with our 2020 Conference recorded sessions on Actuview. The other big topic:

Weekend reads:

Remember to share any articles of interest and continue to provide feedback. 

Please visit our website, Facebook page and LinkedIn page.

Stay safe and happy.

Your News Team: Shubhash, Betty, Pedro and Brian

The information on this page does not necessarily reflect the opinions, standards or policies of the CAA. Data included in graphs has been obtained from several sources the accuracy of which cannot be guaranteed by the CAA. The CAA assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of content contained in any linked site.

Weekly Update – January 26

Hello Everyone,

Last week we shared our 2020 Keynote Session with you. This week we turn your attention to two other important sessions, both of which covered extremely important topics. Our 2020 sessions, as well as some from 2018 and 2019, are available for viewing on actuview. If you have mislaid your actuview code, please contact our Secretariat.

The Presidents’ Town Hall was our opening session. Representatives from the International Actuarial Association, Society of Actuaries, Institute & Faculty of Actuaries, Canadian Institute of Actuaries, Casualty Actuarial Society, Actuarial Society of South Africa, Institute of Actuaries of India, Actuarieel Genootschap and the International Association of Black Actuaries joined our own President to discuss matters of concern to all of us. These included COVID-19, Diversity and Climate Change.

Our Plenary Session on the second morning was Chapter Six of an ongoing conversation: Diversity of Thought – Promoting Inclusion in the Actuarial Profession (no code required). At this talk the core team of Cathy Lyn, Tonya Manning and Marjorie Ngwenya were joined by senior actuaries from several countries and cultural backgrounds.

We likely all agree that we in the Caribbean are a diverse lot. We definitely have diversity and generally have equality when it comes to race, ethnicity, culture and, to a fair extent, gender but we are woefully in step with most of the world when it comes to socio-economic backgrounds. We could all do better by listening to and mentoring those from underprivileged backgrounds.

Black Lives Matter, which started in the USA several years ago, came to the forefront again in 2020 after the killing of George Floyd. But this time, with so many more suffering economically because of COVID-19 lockdowns, it took on more visibility and spread around the world, with different interpretations in different countries but with one thing in common: protesting against injustices perpetrated by the powerful upon the powerless. Statues of past “heroes” were torn down and places and entities renamed across the world. As we quite rightly rewrite history, we must be cautious not to remove certain individuals from the records altogether as “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it”.

Most of us have heard of Ada Lovelace, the nineteenth century mathematician, but how many other accomplished pre-twentieth century women have been lost to us because they were not the daughter or sister or wife of a (male) celebrity of the day? Another story goes that, ninety years ago, the Nobel Committee informed Pierre Curie that he was to receive their prestigious prize. He replied that he would be obliged to decline unless the award was also given to his wife, Marie, who had done as much, or more, on the project than he had. How many other brilliant women were ignored because their team mates were not as ethical as Pierre? How often throughout history was “the woman behind the man” in actual fact “the woman beside the man”? Meet 10 Women in Science Who Changed the World.

The CAA can be justifiably proud of our diversity. We started as the brainchild of four actuaries: two men and two women from four different Caribbean nations, speaking three different languages. Today our membership is 50% women and 50% men. We live and work in twenty countries. We are a myriad of cultures and every shade of skin colour. We are Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, agnostic.  All working together. What are the advantages of this diversity?

Here are a few more articles of interest speaking to Diversity and Equality:

Upcoming Actuarial Events:

Shares from members:

Please visit our website, Facebook page and LinkedIn page.

Stay safe and be happy,

Your News Team: Shubhash, Betty, Pedro and Brian

The views expressed above are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, standards or policies of the CAA. The CAA assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of content contained in any linked site.

Weekly News Update – 19 January

Hello Everyone,

Likely the greatest problem facing the world today is Climate Change. Some experts are even of the opinion that it was the abuse of our environment that caused the spread of COVID-19 from animals to humans.  As actuaries, this is one of our major concerns. Environmental degradation leads to a myriad of problems which we must address.

Climate Change led the programme at our Annual Conference last December:

Our Keynote Session was a Round Table Discussion led by the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados:

Achieving a Greener, Smarter, Fairer Recovery and Resilience – Moving from Talk to Action. Other participants were Ekhosuehi Iyahen – Secretary General, Insurance Development Forum; Daniel Clarke – Director, Centre for Disaster Protection; Marla Dukharan – Chief Economist, Bitt Inc.; Racquel Moses – CEO, Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator; Sam Gutterman – Past Vice Chair of the IAA Resource & Environment Working Group

Also included at our Conference were:

Remember, ALL sessions from our Conference are available at actuview!

Here are a few more actuarial articles of interest:

And a few other positives:

Upcoming Actuarial Events:

Please visit our website, Facebook page and LinkedIn page.

Stay safe and be happy,

Your News Team: Shubhash, Betty, Pedro and Brian

The views expressed above are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, standards or policies of the CAA. The CAA assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of content contained in any linked site.

CAA Weekly Update – January 13

It is unlikely that there is even one person out there who is not incredibly happy to see the last of 2020. With several vaccines being rolled out, we are all anxious to get back to normal. Let’s think about a new normal.

By the end of 2020 a microscopic virus had infected 85,000,000 people, killing almost 2,000,000 worldwide. It was almost as if the world stopped turning. Businesses closed, many forever, and countless millions fell into unemployment, homelessness and near starvation. Untold numbers suffered depression and other mental illness. Social media was awash with fake news and conspiracy theories; some even spread by egomaniacal or clueless world leaders to further their own agendas. Wildfires in the US and Australia burned at unprecedented levels and even Siberia burned. We saw that inherent racism was still thriving; the mindsets of many hadn’t changed much since the 1950s. in many areas we became so overwhelmed with negativity that we failed to see the positive. And there was some, more than we might have realised.

Because of lockdowns many public agencies and others finally updated their online facilities. Think how much time (and stress) we now save by paying taxes, etc. online rather than in line.

Families reconnected instead of just passing each other at the front door. Children learned more about their parents and parents about their children, all while gaining a new respect for teachers. In our solitude, many of us picked up the phone, or otherwise reached out, to family and friends and had real conversations. A big change from just liking their posts on social media. Some of us even rediscovered old hobbies or found new ones, something time had not allowed for years.

We learned to appreciate, not just medical personnel, but some of those so often ignored. Cleaners, supermarket staff, delivery drivers. In 2020 delivery drivers and riders became indispensable; they all braved, out of necessity, what the rest of us hid from.

Those of us who managed to stay safe avoided, not just COVID, but flu, colds, all those other viruses that plague us every year.

Here’s a list of The virus-free scientific breakthroughs of 2020, chosen by scientists from the UK Guardian’s Science section.

We saw pictures of clean air in Mumbai and clean canals in Venice and our minds turned to Climate Change and cleaning our environment, a serious concern of most of us.

The philanthropic-minded gave even more than usual and some who had never given a cent in their lives were feeding hospital workers and the homeless. A kind-hearted friend of the author, who has always fed the homeless, decided one day to prepare a dozen meals and take for the staff of a COVID designated hospital. Within a month others joined her and soon COVID carers at two of Kingston’s public hospitals were getting gourmet lunches every day.

And let’s not forget, close to us, the overwhelming success of our first Virtual Annual Conference which had 650 attendees from virtually everywhere (except Antarctica)! Here’s a session that may inspire you to become one of those Actuaries Giving Back.

And to put us into an even more positive mind frame, what better than to start 2021 with a look at Australia’s amazing fireworks?

Actuarial News

The views expressed above are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, standards or policies of the CAA. The CAA assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of content contained in any linked site.

COVID-19 Update – January 8

Dear Colleagues,

All the best for 2021 and onward!

This is our first COVID-19 update for 2021. Since the last update we have seen increases in the average daily number of cases, the approval of several vaccines and the identification of new strains of COVID-19. Many countries have initiated further restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. In countries with the vaccine, front line workers and those at high risk are being administered the vaccine. While vaccines may start arriving in the Caribbean in Q2 these will most likely only be adequate for high-risk groups and the rest of us will have to wait much longer.

Most countries walk a fine line between saving lives and saving the economy. Bloomberg publishes an informative chart, updated monthly, which attempts to show which countries have most successfully balanced both. New Zealand, fresh from battling a volcano and a monstrous hate crime, then battled COVID with better success than most. Bloomberg’s chart shows only major countries. Would anyone like to try a similar analysis for the Caribbean?

We can all learn from past mistakes. This article from the New Yorker tries to analyse what the USA did wrong in the early days of the pandemic.  

As with most, if not all, organisations, our 2020 Annual Conference was virtual. We encourage you to access our conference presentations on Actuview. All members have been provided access codes. Each week, we will recommend viewing of one session which was presented live and one which was pre-recorded. We start with IFRS-17 Implementation Challenges for the Caribbean and Mental Health in a Time of COVID-19. Most sessions qualify for cpd credits.

Feedback is welcomed.  We encourage continuing conversation and will provide the necessary fora for discussions i.e., between presenters and interested parties.

Please visit our website, Facebook page and LinkedIn page.

Thank you. Stay safe and happy.

Your Communication Committee:

Shubhash Gosine, Betty Black, Pedro Medford and Brian Blake

The information on this page does not necessarily reflect the opinions, standards or policies of the CAA. Data included in graphs has been obtained from several sources the accuracy of which cannot be guaranteed by the CAA. The CAA assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of content contained in any linked site.

COVID-19 Update – December 18

Season Greetings to our Members, Colleagues and Friends.

This is our last update for 2020. We will resume posting on the 5th of January 2021 with the next COVID-19 update on the 8th of January. We look forward to continuing our meaningful rapport in 2021.

We encourage you to access our conference presentations on actuview. Please send us your comments, especially on the pre-recorded sessions.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Our festive season is going to be very different than what we are accustomed too. We will still enjoy time with our loved ones though this year some get-togethers will be by Zoom.

Please visit our website, Facebook page and LinkedIn page.

Thank you. Stay safe and happy.

Shubhash Gosine, Betty Black, Pedro Medford, Brian Blake and other contributors in 2020.

The information on this page does not necessarily reflect the opinions, standards or policies of the CAA. Data included in graphs has been obtained from several sources the accuracy of which cannot be guaranteed by the CAA. The CAA assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of content contained in any linked site.

News Update – December 8

Hello Everyone,

We hope you all attended our highly successful conference last week! Keep watching our website and our actuview page for additional material coming this week.

We’ve all been focused on Conference and may have missed a very important milestone for one of our long-serving members. Here’s a feature from Jamaica’s Gleaner newspaper of last Monday.

Congratulations to Astor Duggan, his team, and all those who preceded them, who shaped Duggan Consulting Ltd. into the highly respected firm it is today.

Best Regards,

Shubhash & Betty

COVID-19 Update – November 20

Dear Colleagues,

Please note our Covid-19 Update is on Friday. Tuesday is allocated for CAA and other Actuarial News.

Weekend reading:

Keep sending comments and feedback. They are greatly appreciated.

Please visit our website, Facebook page and LinkedIn page.

Thank you.

Shubhash Gosine

The information on this page does not necessarily reflect the opinions, standards or policies of the CAA. Data included in graphs has been obtained from several sources the accuracy of which cannot be guaranteed by the CAA. The CAA assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of content contained in any linked site.

Actuarial Updates – November 17

Actuarial News & Articles:

Virtual Meetings and Webinars:

Registration Now Open!

Exciting Programme with speakers from virtually everywhere!

Please visit our website, Facebook page and LinkedIn page.

Best Regards,

Shubhash & Betty

The information on this page does not necessarily reflect the opinions, standards or policies of the CAA. Data included in graphs has been obtained from several sources the accuracy of which cannot be guaranteed by the CAA. The CAA assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of content contained in any linked site.

News Update – November 10

Hi Everyone:

Cyber Risk is a major threat to actuaries and their employers/clients, particularly in the COVID work from home era.

Cyber Security Links:

*The CAA does not suggest you purchase products/webinars mentioned on these sites but both contain good general advice.

Virtual Meetings and Events:

CAA 30th Annual Conference Registration Open

Please visit our website, Facebook page and LinkedIn page.

Best Regards,

Shubhash & Betty

The information on this page does not necessarily reflect the opinions, standards or policies of the CAA. Data included in graphs has been obtained from several sources the accuracy of which cannot be guaranteed by the CAA. The CAA assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of content contained in any linked site.