Northern Ireland Actuaries – The Next Generation

Rebecca Lavender

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On Monday 27th June Spence & Partners and it’s sister company independent trustee Dalriada Trustees had the pleasure of sponsoring an event held by Queen’s University Management School to celebrate the first graduates from the Actuarial Science and Risk Management degree programme.

Spence & Partner’s is now embarking on its third year of sponsoring placement students from the programme and has an objective of being viewed as the actuarial employer of choice in Northern Ireland.

Our 2011 actuarial student intake attracted a large number of high quality applicants.  It is a credit to the quality of the Queen’s programme that all four places were filled by graduates from the new Actuarial Science and Risk Management graduates.

Many of the graduates attended with their parents to listen to Trevor Watkins, Head of Education at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, talk about the path to becoming an actuary, and to network with local employers who had attended.

In the historical setting of the Great Hall the evening began with a few words from the head of the management school, Professor Richard Harrison and the programme director, actuary Colin O’Hare, who both offered their congratulations to the graduates.

Colin O'Hare Programme Director

Mr O’Hare also talked about the development of the programme and its connections with the wider academic and corporate world.

Spence & Partners’ Founder Brian Spence in introducing the keynote speaker Trevor Watkins highlighted the growth in actuarial employment from only 4 people in the 1980s when he graduated from Queens to over 80 members of the profession today.  Mr Spence paid tribute to the vision of the University in establishing the degree and noted that the emergence of the first graduates was a key development in addressing the skills shortages that had hampered the development of the financial services industry in Northern Ireland.

Brian Spence, Director, Spence & Partners

Trevor Watkins is Director of Education for the UK Actuarial Profession.  Mr Watkins highlighted that for the graduates their journey had just begun as they make their way through their professional careers, while studying for their actuarial exams. He also explained the high technical, professional and ethical standards the Actuarial Profession upholds and the responsibility the graduates will have to do the same.

Celebrating the next generation of Northern Ireland Actuaries The event organisers, sponsor and speaker