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The Future of the Pensions Actuary

19 September 2017

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At our head office in Manchester, Helen Kinloch manages the highly successful Pensions Actuarial and Investment Solutions desk. Despite recent flux in the UK pensions landscape, Helen has seen the demand for skilled actuarial professionals increase exponentially. As a trusted recruitment partner to actuarial divisions across the pensions market, we spoke to Helen about her views on the sector’s recent activity – and how this is impacting our clients and candidates.

What trends are you seeing in your sector?

Whilst pensions consultants continue down the traditional Scheme Actuary route, we are seeing some actuaries move into more niche, specialised areas of pensions, such as insurance transactions and risk transfer. This is a result of changes in market activity and pensions legislation over the last couple of years; today’s market is now so diverse, it is almost impossible to become an expert in every area. We anticipate that this shift will deliver more opportunities for pensions actuaries and, in tandem with this, people will choose paths suited to both their personal interests and technical skill sets.

How is this affecting hiring patterns/attitudes?

Given 2017 activity in the bulk annuity market, some providers have been in the position to hire part-qualified pensions actuaries with excellent knowledge of the DB pension landscape. These roles are infrequent, and there is healthy competition for such appointments, since both pensions actuaries and candidates from life insurance backgrounds are keen to move into this commercial space.

Additionally, consultancies have been seeking to grow their specialist risk transfer, longevity and de-risking teams, creating more opportunities for pensions actuaries to develop outside of the traditional DB consultancy role.

Why should candidates look to OJ to shape their career in this domain?

Oliver James Associates is the largest actuarial search firm globally, with 15 years’ experience across the pensions, investment and insurance space. We consider careers in context, discussing your ambitions relative to current opportunities, trends and competition – all the way from Part-Qualified Actuary to Scheme Actuary/Director roles. In addition, we offer the most comprehensive list of actuarial opportunities in the marketplace, thanks to our time-honoured partnerships with numerous highly esteemed actuarial employers.

Why should businesses partner with Oliver James to recruit in the pensions actuarial market?

Oliver James Associates draws on discipline-specific experience to outline the niche differences between actuarial roles within this space. In a candidate-short market, we have long-term relationships with a diverse talent pool, tracking elite professionals throughout their careers. With the “war for talent” ever-spreading across this sector – and no longer being a London-centric issue – we have carefully mapped the market from Glasgow to the South Coast, ensuring we can facilitate all candidate requirements.

We are also committed to staying abreast of the latest market intelligence, regularly attending conferences to keep up to date with the cutting-edge industry trends. Finally, we provide comprehensive salary benchmarking and remuneration guidance, which enables us to support both immediate and prospective hiring strategies.

For further details on our current actuarial roles – or if you are seeking to hire pensions actuaries in your team – please contact Helen Kinloch on Helen.Kinloch@ojassociates.com or 02038619173.