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Actuaries President and the Director of Education Counsel SFAE students

On 15th May 2015, Strathmore University students were honoured by a visit from two influential dignitaries in their own respect; the president of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFOA), Mr. Nick Salter and the director of education, Dr. Trevor Watkins. The duo spoke on the benefits of studying actuarial science while highlighting key benefits of this course to the society.


Challenging the students to embrace diversity, Mr. Salter encouraged the students based on his one year tenure as president.  He particularly highlighted on the fact that actuaries should not limit themselves to traditional areas of practice which are; insurance and pension, but should also consider working in industries such as oil and gas, manufacturing, banking and many others where they can also apply their numeracy skills, modelling skills and their knowledge on risk. He mentioned that actuaries were a people embodying a whole skill-set in their own right. “Actuaries are people who take a sceptical view of things. Their skill-set is priceless, borrowing from diverse fields such as economics, accounting, finance, mathematics and more,” he emphasized.


While making reference to Laura Liswood’s book “The Loudest Duck”; where the squeaky wheel gets greased in America, whereas in China the loudest duck gets shot, he encouraged the students to appreciate the different cultures of the people they interact with. He also emphasized that the students should know they have an impact on the different values that people carry throughout adulthood and particularly into their working environment.


Dr. Watkins took the opportunity to inform the students on the Certified Actuarial Analyst qualification recently created, and the benefits of pursuing the professional qualification in addition to the Actuarial Science degree. The actuarial profession, he said, keeps up to speed with trends in the market. The syllabus of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries looked into what Actuaries would be needed for in the next decade or so and worked towards that. He added that profession’s examination process, was rigorous – to maximise the competence of the professionals.


The School of Finance and Applied Economics (SFAE)’s Dean, Dr. John Olukuru, remarked about the success rate of the Strathmore students pursuing the profession. A fact that the president, admitted to being impressed at. “This is a great leap for Strathmore in terms of credibility of its graduates. It is undisputable that the University has a state-of-the-art training for undergraduates in both the actuarial and the financial field. It should be the employer’s first consideration, not only in Kenya; but all around the world,” he concluded