Actuary Today 2018

Actuary Today 2018 was organised by the UTAR Actuarial Science Society from 7 to 10 June 2018 at Sungai Long Campus. It aimed to provide practical experience of real actuaries working life to actuarial undergraduates, besides conveying correct information, knowledge and understanding about actuarial science to the public. The event contained 3 major components which were Actuarial Exposition, Actuarial Challenge and Actuarial Conference.

The sponsors for the event were MSIG Insurance (Malaysia) Bhd, Society of Actuaries, Casualty Actuarial Society, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Life Insurance Association of Malaysia, Actuarial Society of Malaysia, Institute of Actuaries Australia, Lorry 365, HERMO and Sunway Lagoon.


UTAR Sungai Long Chinese Orchestra performing at the opening ceremony

Present at the opening ceremony were  UTAR Vice President for Internationalisation and Academic Development Prof Ir Dr Ewe Hong Tat, President of Actuarial Society Malaysia Gary Hoo, President Elect of Actuarial Society of Malaysia Sophia Ch’ng, President of Actuarial Society Hong Kong Simon Lam, Vice President of Actuarial MSIG Insurance (Malaysia) Bhd Kelvin Hii, Chief Operating Officer of MSIG Insurance (Malaysia) Bhd Jennifer Hsu, Appointed Actuary of Labuan Reinsurance Limited Chong Wan Leng, Dean of UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science Prof Ir Dr Goi Bok Min and Chairperson of Actuary Today Lim Chin Hui.

The event saw participation from various schools and universities, namely SEGi University and Colleges, HELP University, Heriot-Watt University, SM Sains Rembau, SMJK Chong Hwa, SMJK Katholik, SMK Menjalara, SMK St. Andrew, SMK Taman Desa, SMK Taman Ehsan, Sunway College, UCSI University, UTAR, Asia Pacific University (APU), Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and University of Malaya (UM).


Gary Hoo giving his remarkable speech

In his opening remarks, Hoo advised, “We might come from a poor or simple family, we might not have the opportunity to study overseas, but we can achieve what we want to achieve through hard work. If you throw your heart over the bar, your body will eventually follow.” He encouraged the students to work hard towards their dreams despite their hardships because hard work pays off.


Prof Ewe giving his speech

Prof Ewe introduced the history of Actuarial Science programme to the audience and said, “Bachelor of Science (Hons) Actuarial Science programme was launched in the year 2006. The subjects offered have been approved by the Society of Actuaries for Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) credit.” He also highlighted that UTAR was the first university in Malaysia to gain full exemption from the Society of Actuaries and also the only university in Malaysia to acquire commercial Actuarial software Prophet.


Jennifer Hsu giving her speech

“It will be a lifelong learning process once you step into the actuarial industry because we need to understand the risk owner in order to calculate the risk for clients. For example, we need to learn about the types of diseases if we are in the medical industry, breeds of dogs if we are in the pet industry and robotics if we are in the robotics industries. We can provide clients a precise risk calculation result only by understanding the types of risks,” Jennifer Hsu explained. She also advised students to learn new skills such as presentation skills and communication skills as these skills are greatly sought after.


Lim expressing his gratitude at the opening ceremony

Lim expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the guest, sponsors, VIPs, advisors and event committees for their support in organising the Actuary Today 2018. He also mentioned that the main mission of Actuary Today 2018 was to enhance the knowledge of the public and actuarial science students about the future prospects and diversifications of actuarial science in accordance with their slogan, “Visualize the Unforeseen” which illustrates the fact that one’s knowledge and understanding towards the field of actuarial science can be broadened, when given the chance.


VIPs launching the Actuary Today 2018


Introduction to Excel workshop

The event also saw talks, seminars and workshops, aimed to enhance the participant’s knowledge of Actuarial Science as well as to increase the interactions between participants. A briefing session titled “Overview of Actuarial Science” was conducted for high school and pre-university students by UTAR lecturer Chew Chun Yong. It was followed by another session on “Overview on Reinsurance: The Insurance for Insurers” by Sophia Ch’ng for the undergraduates. A workshop on “Introduction to Excel” was conducted by UTAR lecturers Kuang Kee Seng, Dennis Ng Wen Wei and Chin Ching Herny for the undergraduates. It was followed by another workshop on “Introduction to Excel or VBA” by Actuarial Executive of MSIG Audrey Loh, Actuarial Modelling and Project Senior Executive of Hong Leong MSIG Takaful Dennis Tan, Pricing Actuary of SCOR Reinsurance Asia-Pac Alston Yong, Actuarial Associate of NMG Consulting Raymond Hii and Data Scientist of Quandatics (M) Sdn Bhd Low Cheng Kuan. In addition to that, a talk titled “The Eighth Wonder of the World: Compound Interest and a Glimpse into Actuarial Mathematics” was conducted by UTAR lecturer Tan Chon Sern.


Dr Yung at the talk

The event continued with a talk given by the Platinum Sponsor, Society of Actuaries Asia-Pacific Lead Dr Yung Wai Ling. Dr Yung briefly introduced the three main developments in the Society of Actuaries which were education, research and professional development. She also mentioned that the Society of Actuaries organises seminars, talks, meetings and e-learning from time to time in order to provide actuaries a platform to gain more experience from other regions.


Ong at the seminar

A seminar titled “Life versus General Insurance” by Appointed Actuary of AXA Affin General Insurance Bhd Ong Shze Yong was held on 9 June 2018.

On the following day, talks titled “Discovering the Mysteries of Probability for high school and Pre-universities” and “Valuation, the estimation of future liabilities and assets” was held for the undergraduates by Head of UTAR Master of Mathematics Programme Dr Wong Voon Hee and Advisory of Ernst and Young Eugene Ling Mei Hong respectively.

Another talk saw Jennifer Hsu sharing the experience of working in the general insurance path. She listed the key functions of insurance which were underwriting, claims, finance, sales or distribution channels, compliance, risk management, legal, operations, customer, product development, brand corporate communications, IT Digital and e-commerce, human resource, training and actuary or training. She also advised that being good in mathematics does not make one unique in the insurance industry, however communication skills do because insurance is a service industry.

The Risk Seminar was organised as a game in order to be more entertaining and interactive to the participants. The invited speaker was Nicholas Actuarial Solutions Associate George Kau.


Jacky Cheng giving his motivational talk

Also present at the event was Founder and CEO of Genius Minds International Sdn Bhd Jacky Cheng to inspire the students on the path to success. At his talk, Jacky Cheng emphasised on the importance of personal development skills. “Good grades will only get you the ticket to interview, your communication skills, however, determines your success at the interview,” said Jacky. He pointed out that communication skills are crucial in today’s society in order to be outstanding in the crowd. “Change your mindset, believe in yourself, be the person you want to be, do what you want to do, you will have what you deserved,” Jacky Cheng inspired the students.


The lucky draw winners

The event was followed by Town Hall Meeting with the invited guests, namely IDEAS and Innovation Director of Nicholas Actuarial Solutions Sdn Bhd Raymond Lai, Chief Strategy Officer of Aviva Vietnam Life Insurance Company Limited Alvin Soh Phak Ming, General Actuarial and Pricing Manager of Great Eastern General Insurance Lim Jin Fan and moderator Tan.


Alvin Soh sharing his experience at the meeting

The meeting provided a platform for the experts to share their expertise and knowledge of actuarial science to the students. During the discussion on how to prepare for external papers efficiently while coping with exams or work, the three guests advised the students to first set a goal and then work towards it. “Please resist entertainments and temptations from peers. Do not memorise formulas because the computer will do it better and faster than you. If you cannot understand a chapter, try to apply an interesting story to it. And the tips to understand the chapter is to teach your peers because you reinforce what you have learnt earlier,” Alvin Soh advised.


Raymond Lai encouraging students at the meeting

When asked about the opportunities in the actuarial field, Raymond Lai encouraged students to not limit themselves to local career, but instead seek opportunities in overseas where actuarial science knowledge can be applied to.


Lim at the meeting

Lim expressed his opinion on the impact of Industrial Revolution 4.0 to the actuarial field, “Artificial Intelligence would be a threat if we do not change. Bear in mind that, no matter how well you do in mathematics, the computer will always do it faster, better and more accurate than you do. This is why we must understand the formulas instead of memorising it. Because at the end of the day, computer will only do the calculations for you, convincing clients and making decisions lie in your hand. A computer cannot do things creatively, it is us who needs to innovate and think differently.”


The winners of Actuarial Challenge

The Champion of Actuarial Challenge was University of Malaya. They took home RM3,500 cash prize and certificates. The first runner-up, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, took home RM2,500 cash prize and certificates, while the second runner-up, UTAR, walked away with RM1,500 cash prize and certificates.

At the closing ceremony, Simon Lam said that he was moved and touched by the objectives and motives of Actuary Today 2018. “I hope that Actuary Today 2018 will not only nurture actuary today but also build futures of actuary tomorrow,” said Lam.


Group photo of organising committees


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