Over the last 20 years, I’ve presented the results of various actuarial analyses to client Boards hundreds of times. Sometimes I get asked great questions, but mostly, I don’t.
I understand why, though. The actuarial presentation is rarely the sole focus of a Board meeting, and the Board is usually moving quickly through a busy agenda with financial results, governance issues, new initiatives, marketing, etc.
I also understand that some Board members are less comfortable than others with the numbers and financial-centric presentations. The actuarial concepts and terminology can be overwhelming, and some Board members are bound to feel uncomfortable asking questions for fear of showing a lack of understanding. It is certainly not their fault – Board education on actuarial topics is not easy to find, and often Board members will be limited to one or two opportunities annually to have any actuarial discussion.
To encourage actuarial discussion at the Board level and highlight the value that the actuary can provide, I came up with a list of questions for Boards to ask their actuary.