CAA Weekly News Update – 28th October

Our 2022 Annual Conference has the theme: The Evolution of the Actuary. What better person to epitomise this than our very own John Robinson BSc, MSc, FSA, MAAA, FCA?

Last Tuesday, 25th October, John became the first Black President of the Society of Actuaries, the world’s largest actuarial body with over 30,000 members in 80 countries. John took the podium to a reggae beat dressed in his usual dashiki and kente-inspired scarf. There was loud applause, especially from four tables of Caribbean Actuaries at the front of the room. As always with John, it was family first as he introduced his wife and sisters.  He shared A Story about Me that is also a Story About You: The African experience in the Americas, his upbringing and the mathematical brain he inherited from his father, Ruddy, and his Uncle Leslie, a Professor at UWI who was instrumental in establishing the Actuarial Science Programme there. John’s mother, Pansy, a historian and author, had an academic background and approach that served her well at the Ministry of Education. John’s speech can be watched on the SOA’s YouTube Channel, and photos from the ceremony appear on their LinkedIn page. Immediately after the official ceremony, Jamaican Mike McLaughlin, 2009-10 SOA President, presented John with a plaque from the Jamaican Actuaries as a token of their appreciation and admiration for his stellar achievement.

John graduated from the University of the West Indies with a BSc (Special) in Mathematics and continued his education with two master’s degrees in statistics from universities in the United States. In 1982 he joined R. Watson & Sons, Jamaica, now Duggan Consulting Limited. John and Astor Duggan have remained friends since. John was involved in creating the International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA), serving as its President from 2010-2013. He also became a very active volunteer with the Society of Actuaries, which, over 22 years, led to his being elected to lead that organisation. He has also been featured in the AAA’s Professionalism First. John served on the Committee of the IAA’s former Actuaries without Borders Section. He worked for several years as an insurance regulator with the Minnesota Department of Commerce and formed an actuarial consultancy, Robinson Associates LLC.

 John was featured in an interview with Kwesi Acquah and Nathan Pole in the SOA’s Actuaries of the Future Newsletter: Meet your President-Elect and Vice Chair, John Robinson, FSA, MAAA, FCA. Here are some highlights from that interview:

  • Our long-term strategy covers the areas of data science, artificial intelligence, changes in skill development and credentialing, strengthening member engagement, our future growth, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Our short-term strategy through 2024 encompasses the following:
  • Emphasizing Skills
  • Accelerating our International Growth
  • Spotlighting our Purpose
  • Cultivating Community

UWI’s FST Focus recognised John’s achievement when he was elected SOA Vice-Chair and President-Elect, with the words: “Among his many accolades, Mr. Robinson is a respected global thought and inclusive leader, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) champion, strategic thinker and relationship-builder”.

And, of course, John was also one of that small group of fifty which heralded the start of the Caribbean Actuarial Association.

And finally, closing words from our previous Editor:

“I met John at a few CAA conferences between 2000-2007. I then met him in Berlin at the International Congress of Actuaries in 2018. Since then, I have been in regular contact with John. During the covid-19 years, we communicated often, and he invited me to present on Covid-19 in the Caribbean at the ARC conference. I have also had discussions with him about the challenges actuaries face with the Regulations in the Caribbean and the need to strengthen our legislation. I enjoy my conversations with John. I am sure that you all support me in wishing John all the best in his year in our profession’s leadership ‘hot seat’. We are all ready, willing, and able to assist John and the SOA in the Evolution of the Actuary.”

-Shubhash Gosine, Senior Actuarial Consultant, Business Intelligence & Analytics

Thought for Today: Success, however you define it, is not achieved overnight. Luck or Fate or the Hand of G_d caused John Robinson to be born into an academic family with mathematical genius. Still, every step on the road after that was through his own dedication, determination, character and hard work over decades. And through it all, he still found time to volunteer.


Of Special Interest:

Lunch & Learn: Climate Change Emerging Risks & OpportunitiesPlease join us at 1:00 pm EST on 11th November as Jose Angel Villalobos, Senior Financial Specialist, Crisis and Disaster Risk Finance at The World Bank; and Dr. Jayaka Campbell, Climate Studies Specialist in the Department of Physics, UWI Mona; dive into an in-depth session.

The IAA’s AFIR-ERM Section is asking interested parties to participate in two surveys:

The CAA Annual Conference takes place from the 7th to the 9th of December at the Barbados Hilton.

It’s that time of year when we take a break from our regular posts to focus on our Annual Conference, but we’ll keep you updated on news about the CAA and our members.

See you there!

Your News Team: Mike, Betty, Lindsay, Octavio, Stokeley and our correspondents


Interesting Reading & Watching:

Upcoming Events:

The 2023 International Congress of Actuaries: Bridge to Tomorrow takes place next year in Sydney, Australia:

The IAA and its partner actuview are pleased to announce the 1st Young Actuaries World Cup (YAWC). YAWC welcomes all actuaries and students under the age of 35 years old to create a short video expressing their views on how the profession can be advanced in the future along the journey on the Bridge to Tomorrow. The four finalists will compete for the championship title at the International Congress of Actuaries in Sydney. To learn more about this exciting initiative, visit the YAWC webpage.


Student Zone:

Climate Corner:

  • IAA: Climate-Related Disclosures and Risk Management: Standards and Leading Practices Paper  Webinar – 3rd November
  • Sustainable Innovation Forum: An inclusive, collaborative event enabling climate action at COP27 – 9th-10th November

Not Just for Fun:

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