Statement from Spence & Partners

by Brian Spence   •  
Blog
A hearing of the Institute of Actuaries Tribunal Panel held on 4 August 2009 found that Mr. Ian Conlon was guilty of Misconduct under the Institute’s Disciplinary Scheme. The Panel determined to impose the following sanction on Mr. Conlon:
  • Suspension from Membership for a period of 6 months,
  • A fine of £1,000; and
  • A requirement to attend a professionalism course within 12 months.
In late October 2008 Spence & Partners learned that Mr. Conlon, then a director of the company, had been acting as a Scheme Actuary to a number of our UK pension schemes clients without ever having held a current Scheme Actuary practising certificate. This was a clear breach of a requirement of a Practice Standard (Guidance Note 29) issued by the Actuarial Profession. Mr. Conlon had told his fellow directors and colleagues at Spence & Partners that he had a Scheme Actuary practising certificate when he had not. In an earlier Media Release dated 20 November 2008 Spence & Partners explained the immediate action it took on discovering that Mr. Conlon had perpetrated this serious professional breach and misrepresented his status to us. Mr. Conlon ceased to be employed by Spence & Partners in a senior capacity and relinquished a small shareholding he owned. A Scheme Actuary practising certificate is not merely an administrative requirement; its possession is a means of protecting the public in general and pension schemes, and their members, in particular. Its possession ensures that an actuary who works in this highly responsible field is openly acknowledged as professionally competent to do so. Spence & Partners fully supports the Institute of Actuaries in the action it has taken. Spence & Partners regrets that both itself and its clients have been let down by Mr. Conlon, a hitherto trusted colleague and long-standing member of the Actuarial Profession. With the benefit of hindsight Spence & Partners should have had in place a checking mechanism to ensure that all Scheme Actuaries it employs held the necessary practicing certificate. This has now been put in place. The Actuarial Profession has for some time made public which of its members have practising certificates and provides this information to the Pensions Regulator. Spence & Partners is grateful to the Pensions Regulator for having identified this breach by Mr. Conlon. Spence & Partners has provided full assistance to the Institute of Actuaries in pursuing the case against Mr. Conlon under the terms of the Institute’s Disciplinary Scheme. As a result of his experience and knowledge, Mr. Conlon was well equipped to act as a Scheme Actuary and has never given any explanation to Spence & Partners for having said he had a Scheme Actuary practising certificate when he had not. It is clear, however, that there was no logical reason for Mr. Conlon to act as he did and, given that all costs associated with obtaining and maintaining a certificate would have been met by his employer, there was no element whatsoever of personal gain involved. Mr. Conlon’s work was subject to checking by other actuarial staff and all reports he signed were subject to peer review by a fully qualified actuary in accordance with the requirements of the Actuarial Profession. No client suffered any detriment as a result of Mr. Conlon not holding a Scheme Actuary Practising Certificate. For further information please contact Brian Spence on 07802 403013, email: brian_spence@spenceandpartners.co.uk or Ian Campbell on 07787 430440, email: ian_campbell@spenceandpartners.co.uk Issued on behalf of Spence & Partners by Blueprint Media Date: August 2009 ENDS

Further reading

Closure of SVSPS Pension Scheme – more silver lining than cloud

Blog
by David Davison   •  

Illiquidity alert

Blog
by Brendan McLean   •  

Preparing for future growth

Blog
by Susan McFarlane   •  

More Insights?