Actuary Today 2022

The Actuary Today 2022 was organised by the UTAR Actuarial Science Society from 17 to 19 July 2022 at UTAR Sungai Long Campus. The event was sponsored by Sun Life Malaysia Assurance Berhad and AmMetLife Insurance Berhad. The main aim of this biannual event was to increase the participants’ awareness and knowledge about the world of actuaries.  

The event kicked off with an opening ceremony, graced by UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) Dean Assoc Prof Ts Dr Yap Wun She, Sun Life Malaysia Assurance Berhad Financial and Valuation Reporting Head and Chief Appointed Actuary Lim Chin Har, Sun Life Malaysia Assurance Berhad Chief Product Office Patrick Chow, Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and Society of Actuaries (SOA) Greater Asia Committee Member Raymond Lai, Asia Pacific of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) Regional General Manager Mark Chau, MSIG Insurance (Malaysia) Bhd Chief Risk Officer and Actuarial Society of Malaysia President Kelvin Hii, Actuary Today Advisor and LKC FES lecturer Tan Zong Ming, and UTAR Actuarial Science Society Chairperson Chiew Kai Shin.

While delivering a speech, Dr Yap said, “It is great to finally hold a physical event after two years. Actuary Today is an event that will bring exposure to and act as a platform to provide an understanding of the evolution of Actuarial Science to the participants. The objectives of this event are to convey the correct information and understanding of Actuarial Science to the public, enhance the knowledge of the public and students about prospects and diversifications of Actuarial Science, and provide a platform for high school and foundation students to understand Actuarial Science.” Lim then presented her own speech, showing her admiration for the event. “We at Sun Life Malaysia feel honoured to sponsor and provide resources to achieve this event’s meaningful objective of promoting the actuarial profession in Malaysia. Our company believes that people are a company’s greatest asset, and we treat talent development and human capital development as major business strategies. Thus, I feel that this event fits quite well with our company’s purpose and values,” said Lim.

From left: Dr Yap and Lim delivering their speeches

Next, a recorded speech by Nelson Yu, an Appointed Actuary at AmMetLife Insurance Berhad, was played for the attendees. He said, “I relish such events like the Actuary Today 2022 as it helps the participants to gain real-world skills, experiences and shared knowledge. AmMetLife shares the same views and we have the aim of shaping and supporting future actuaries. Actuaries have a bright future, and the opportunity starts here with this wonderful event.” Raymond Lai also delivered a speech, saying, “It is our greatest honour to sponsor the Actuary Today 2022 and foster the development and growth of actuaries in Malaysia. SOA is a worldwide organisation which promotes actuaries as leading professionals for managing risks, committing to the success of actuarial research and education by offering educational pathways and programmes with counterparts and local stakeholders.

Raymond Lai presenting his speech

Mark Chau also gave a speech to the participants, urging them to fully utilise this event to figure out their future. “IFoA is currently the United Kingdom’s only chartered professional body of actuaries. We are aimed at educating and developing actuaries, as well as certifying them through our qualifying exams. We are proud to be invited to sponsor this beneficial event. To all the participants here, I advise you to soak in the three activities for the next few days to fully understand the actuary profession. Seize the chance to speak to the various companies and speakers, and I hope it plays a part in creating aspirations for your future,” said Mark Chau.

Mark Chau speaking to the participants

The penultimate speech of the opening ceremony came from Kelvin Hii, who talked about the actuary profession, saying, “Malaysia is a strong producer of actuarial talent, but many Malaysians migrate overseas after studying Actuarial Science. Universities also play an important role in the actuary ecosystem, as varsity events like this create awareness and equip prospective actuaries for their future.” Finally, there was also a speech from Chiew, who explained the objectives of Actuary Today. “For those unaware, Actuary Today is a large-scale biannual event. The objectives are to increase the public’s understanding of Actuarial Science by providing relevant insights into the actuarial industry, enhance the exploration of the public and students about the future prospects of Actuarial Science, and equip future actuaries with necessary skills via relevant workshops.”

Kelvin Hii delivering his speech

Chiew giving her speech

The ceremony then ended with a souvenir presentation to Lim, Raymond Lai, Mark Chau and Kelvin Hii, followed by a wonderful performance by the UTAR Wushu Club.

Second from left: Raymond Lai, Dr Yap, Lim, Patrick Chow, Mark Chau and Kelvin Hii

A wonderful performance by UTAR Wushu Club

The three main activities that took place throughout the event were the Actuarial Exposition, Actuarial Challenge and Actuarial Conference. The Actuarial Exposition was a career fair, held in UTAR Multipurpose Hall for students to visit for free to have a deeper understanding of Actuarial Science. In the exposition, a multitude of booths and showcases by various actuarial professional bodies such as IFoA and SOA were put on display to educate the students about actuarial pathways, professions and job opportunities.

From left: Kelvin Hii, Raymond Lai, Dr Yap, Lim, Patrick Chow and Chiew

The students visiting the booths

Meanwhile, the Actuarial Conference was a three-day physical event which consisted of seven talks, two workshops, a forum, and game sections. The main aim of the Actuarial Conference was to provide an opportunity for students to understand the application of actuarial science knowledge in the working world. On the first day, after the ice-breaking and station game sessions were conducted, another three talks took place throughout the rest of the day. The three talks included “What is actuarial science talk” by Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) lecturer Dr Wong Voon Hee, “Risk management talk” by Senior Manager of Actuarial & Analytics of Liberty Insurance Berhad Chin Hon Weng and Assistant Manager of Enterprise Risk Management & Compliance Assurance of Liberty Insurance Berhad Wong Kai Shern, and “Becoming an actuary fellow talk” by Kelvin Hii.

Two workshops were held on the second day of the event. They were the “VBA & Excel” workshop conducted by LKC FES lecturer Dr Yeo Heng Giap Ivan and the “Intro to R” workshop by LKC FES lecturer Dr Yong Chin Khian. On the other hand, the “Mystery of probability talk” by LKC FES lecturer Ng Jing Wen, “Mock interview talk” by Ernst & Young Consulting Sdn Bhd Employer Branding and Campus Engagement Lead Eliana Anuar, and “Insurance vs banking talk” by Maybank Senior Risk Specialist Adam Johari, were also held. The final talk took place on the last day of the Actuarial Conference. The title of the talk was “Shopee career talk” and it was conducted by various speakers including, ShopeePay and ShopeeFood Head of Marketing Cheok Tuan Ee, Shopee Malaysia Data Associate of the Business Intelligence & Automation Team Jack Khor Kai Jie, and Shopee Malaysia People Team (Employer Branding) Member Norfitrah binti Norizan. Moreover, a forum titled “Possibilities for AS students” was conducted by Co-founder and Director of Alston Yong, AXA Affin General Insurance Berhad Head of Actuarial Ong Shze Yeong, and Frontend Developer for Kong Eu Zern. The forum was moderated by Allianz General Insurance Company Actuarial Analyst Deric Lee Ming Han.

Participants enjoying the activities during Actuarial Conference

The final highlight of the event was the Actuarial Challenge, a case study competition which saw the participation of teams from various universities. The challenge was held over two days; the teams were required to solve challenging characters of a professional actuary on the first day and present the solution in a 20-minute presentation on the second day. The presentations were evaluated and judged by three judges from Sun Life Malaysia, namely Senior Manager of Pricing Agnes Kwan, Manager of Product and Pricing Pang Ai Wee and Senior Manager of Actuarial Valuation Cheah Chern Hong.

The consolation prize winner won a cash prize of RM1,000 and certificates while the first runner-up winner took home RM2,500 cash prize and certificates. The Champion walked away with a total cash prize of RM3,500, including certificates for each team member.

The winners of the challenge were announced and awarded on the second day of the event.  The award-giving ceremony started with a speech from Tan, who thanked Sun Life Malaysia Assurance Berhad for sponsoring and becoming part of the judging team. He also thanked the participants for taking part in the challenge. A speech from Agnes Kwan representing the judges came next; she thanked the organising committee and the participants, whilst stating that the winner will get an internship placement at Sun Rise Assurance Malaysia.

The consolation prize went to the UTAR team Okay-Lo, whereas the UTAR group named The Aces achieved first runner-up. Meanwhile, team 4G1B was crowned champion of the entire Actuarial Challenge.

The Actuarial Challenge went off without a hitch

The Actuary Today event ended with a closing ceremony. It saw the attendance of UTAR LKC FES Deputy Dean Assoc Prof Ts Dr Lee Kim Yee, representative and SOA Greater Asia Committee Member Vincent Kwo Shih Kang, AmMetLife Insurance Head of Marketing Lian Wai Bee, LKC FES Head of Department of Mathematical and Actuarial Sciences Dr Wong Voon Hee, Tan, and Chiew.

In his speech, Dr Lee mentioned, “Over the last three days, our students and staff have organised the Actuarial Challenge, Actuarial Exposition and Actuarial Conference, all of which received good response and participation. Thus, I would like to thank the sponsors and participants for taking the time to be here. I would also like to applaud the chairperson, advisor and the rest of the organising committee for such good coordination and teamwork in creating this event. An event of this dimension cannot happen overnight, and it requires meticulous planning months in advance, and the committee have done an excellent job.”

Dr Lee giving his speech

Vincent Kwo said, “My utmost gratitude to UTAR for inviting us to participate. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with UTAR. I sincerely hope that all of you enjoyed the talks, forums, challenges and booths, whilst obtaining good resources and information about the actuarial world.” A pre-recorded speech video by Chief Risk Officer of Sun Life Malaysia Jay Zhong was shown next. “We at Sun Rise Malaysia always appreciate the opportunity to partner with institutions of higher education to create future actuaries. Congratulations to all the winners of the Actuarial Challenge, as well as the rest of the participants. The case study challenge from the Actuarial Challenge is a case of some of the ‘on-the-job’ obstacles that we face as actuaries, and I hope that taking part in it helped you understand how to deal with these actuarial problems in the future,” said Jay Zhong.  

Vincent Kwo thanking UTAR for inviting him

Lian said, “Throughout the three days of this event, I believe that all of you have learned a lot about the industry, and I hope that it will provide some clarity to your career planning path. A lot of the exhibitors and speakers here are from an actuarial background; they have built a successful career in the actuarial profession; thus, I know that all of you will succeed in this profession too.” Tan and Chiew then gave their own speeches, with both of them expressing their thanks to the committee members, sponsors and participants.

Lian delivering her speech

Tan showing his appreciation to the attendees

After the speeches were delivered, souvenirs and tokens of appreciation were handed out to Vincent Kwo and Lian. Then another prize-giving ceremony was held for the winners of the Actuarial Challenge. Certificates were also given out to the heads of the organising committee. The closing ceremony reached its climax with its last activity, the lucky draw. There was a total of 12 consolation prizes—three individual Sunway Lagoon Admission tickets, four individual Lost World of Tambun tickets and five individual Sunway Lagoon Barbeque By The Beach tickets. Meanwhile, the third-place winner received four Sunway Lagoon Barbeque By The Beach tickets, and the second-place winner received four Lost World of Tambun tickets. Lastly, the first prize was four Sunway Lagoon tickets. The closing ceremony concluded with a group photo session, and overall, Actuary Today 2022 was a huge success.

 Vincent Kwo and Lian receiving their tokens of appreciation

Actuarial Challenge winners with their prizes

Lucky draw winners receiving their prizes

Second row, seventh from left: Tan, Vincent Kwo, Dr Lee and Lian

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