President's Message (June 4, 2010)

Dear colleagues,

From the activity going on at the Academy, you’d never know we’re entering Washington’s traditional slow summer months. Committees are meeting, papers are being developed and the work of the Academy on public policy and professionalism matters continues to serve our profession and the public interest well. Here are just a few examples:

The Academy’s Life Products Committee Chairperson Cande Olsen testified on May 20 to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners during a public hearing on stranger originated annuities that focused on protecting consumers. These annuity products are under increasing scrutiny and Cande’s testimony, representing her committee’s consideration of the issues and challenges, is a worthwhile read for consumers and actuaries alike.

The Academy’s Medical Loss Ratio Regulation Work Group continues to provide assistance to state and federal regulators as they prepare regulations for the medical loss ratio requirements mandated in the new federal health care legislation. The work group last month responded to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services request for comments with a comprehensive 45-page letter. You can see what the media have been saying about this and other Academy activities by visiting the Academy newsroom.

The Governance Task Force and Strategic Planning Committee continue to engage in thoughtful dialogue and deliberations to ensure that the Academy is working for our members and to fulfill its mission-today and into the future. As part of our commitment to increased transparency, you can view regular updates on the webpages of both the Governance Task Force and Strategic Planning Committee.

At our May meeting, your board of directors approved undertaking an ERM analysis of the Academy. A new task force, to be chaired by Jim Rech, will prepare recommendations for the board to identify and manage risks to the Academy and the U.S. actuarial profession.

The board also heard a presentation from The Actuarial Foundation. TAF does a great job of representing the profession by educating consumers and youth. I encourage you to visit the TAF website and see the wonderful work they are doing in the name of the U.S. actuaries.

Other information from the May board of directors meeting is available in the members-only section of the website. Click here to sign in on the members-only section of the website to view the Board summary and a copy of the May agenda.

Although this is only a sampling of the activity since my last message, I hope you agree with me that the Academy is ramping up-not slowing down-for what promises to be an active, high-impact summer. Be on the lookout for the 2010 volunteer survey, coming to your e-mail inbox in the next few days and take advantage of this opportunity to maximize your Academy membership by getting involved (or expanding your involvement) with the voice of the actuarial profession in the U.S.

I hope your summer is getting off to a great start. Remember that you can always give us your feedback by emailing


Ken Hohman
American Academy of Actuaries