Consultancy is quite a common area for actuaries to work in; learn more about actuaries in consultancy and if it’s the right area for you…
Actuarial consultancies are the biggest employers of actuaries in the UK. Consulting actuaries use their knowledge of economics, law, accounting and business practice to give the best possible advice to clients.
Many offer advice to employers and trustees who run occupational pension schemes. The 1995 Pensions Act made it a statutory requirement for the trustees of a pension scheme to appoint an actuary.
What are consultancy firms?
First, let’s look into the places you can work and what you will do in consultancy. Consultancy firms offer independent expert advice and pensions provision to clients: they design and manage pensions schemes, providing actuarial and administration services.
They will advise clients on:
- Setting up a new scheme
- Assessing member contribution levels
- Valuing the fund in the event that the company’s taken over
- Financial accounting audits
- Dealing with regulation and compliance issues.
Additionally, consultancies will offer a range of services to their clients, such as:
- Enterprise risk management
- Merger and acquisition advice
- Corporate recovery
- Financing capital projects.
Actuaries in consultancy: Advising clients
For actuaries in consultancy, depending on the specific projects; advice to clients can cover a wide range of topics, including:
- Setting up a new scheme
- Assessing the level of contribution to be paid by the members
- Valuing the fund if the company is to be taken over.
Additionally, consultancies will offer a range of services to their clients, such as enterprise risk management, merger and acquisition advice, corporate recovery and financing capital projects.
The Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) provides advice to the Government via Royal Commissions, as well as giving advice to other government departments and a wide range of public sector bodies, including local authorities and the NHS.
An important part of this work concerns the occupational pensions for about four million people via the operation of the National Insurance Fund.
What would you do as a trainee consultant?
General tasks for graduates working in actuarial consultancy might include:
- Advising on the administration of pensions schemes
- Resolving business problems
- Keeping up to date with the business and financial worlds
- Undertaking actuarial valuations
- Determining the likelihood of different events and assess risks with mathematical models.
Some of the benefits of working in consultancy for graduate trainees are the greater variety of work, opportunity to travel and exposure to different industries and clients.
What is it like working in consultancy?
A lot of the work consultants will do is client based; depending on your level, your role can change with the types of clients you work with as you progress in your career. Most of the time for more junior level positions consulting with clients will probably take up to 70% of your work whereas as you become more senior you role will slightly change to work with clients for only around 40% of the time. A career in consultancy also has many benefits such as gaining the knowledge and skills for future career opportunities and also having a range of activities and duties to do in your role. Whether actuaries will be working with their clients or on internal activities, being an actuarial consultant is a varied role which offers a great deal of personal development.
To gain a deeper insight into actuarial consultancy check out these profiles of graduates working at one:
- Claire Singer, Actuarial Trainee at Hymans Robertson
- Emma Crudas, Trainee Pensions Actuary at Aon
- Kirsty Sellar, Consultant at PWC