Where do actuaries work

According to "Our Members: At a Glance 2016" , 54% of IFoA members are in the UK, 9% in the rest of Europe and 37% in the rest of the world.

Of these fully qualified members:

The predominant areas of business that actuaries work in, in China and South-East Asia are general and life insurance. However if you want to work internationally, we cover all the practice areas.

General insurance is an ever growing area for actuaries, within insurance companies and consultancies, as well as reinsurance and broking operations

General insurance includes:

  • personal insurance, such as home and motor insurance
  • insurance cover for large commercial risks
  • terrorism insurance
  • catastrophe insurance against natural disasters such as flooding
  • cover for industrial diseases like asbestosis.

Actuaries are also highly sought after in the life insurance industry where they are involved at all stages of product development, pricing and risk assessment

With recent legislation leading to more private healthcare provision, insurance companies are extending their range of products to include medical insurance, critical illness and disability insurance.

Actuarial consultancies are the biggest employers of actuaries in the UK

Consultancies will offer a range of services to their clients, such as:

  • pensions
  • enterprise risk management
  • merger and acquisition (M and A) advice
  • corporate recovery
  • financing capital projects.

Insurance and consultancy - what is the difference?

Working in an insurance company environment means that there is usually only one client; your employer. A variety of work is available but you may find that you have to work in one area for a period of about one year before moving on to the next challenge, taking the experience you have gained with you.

The day-to-day work within consultancy firms tends to be more varied, as you are likely to work simultaneously for a number of different clients solving different types of problems. This can become particularly challenging if you have a number of projects running in parallel and you need to meet and manage each of your clients’ expectations and deadlines.  However, it can also offer an excellent opportunity to work with a variety of people and see the running of an organisation other than your own. You may also find yourself working on just part of a project rather than seeing it all the way through from start to finish.

Actuaries have been involved in the field of investment management for decades

Actuaries are involved in buying and selling assets, investment analysis and portfolio management. Although generally regarded as the province of the investment banker, actuaries can add value in this area. An actuary’s basic skills in forecasting and assessing risks are ideal for estimating whether a capital project (e.g. for a new hospital or a transport infrastructure project) is financially viable. Employers might include government departments, management consultancies, or property companies.

Actuaries are becoming increasingly involved in banking

Some leading insurance companies now have their own established banking operations, with actuaries filling many of the senior executive positions relating to finance and risk. The leading retail banks are also increasingly employing actuaries, as they recognise that the longer term approaches advocated by actuaries can add value to their businesses. As the insurance and banking markets continue to converge, we can expect to see the demand for actuaries within banking fields continue to grow.

Contact Details

Careers Department


7th Floor Holborn Gate - 326-330 High Holborn - London - WC1V 7PP - U.K

+44 (0) 20 7632 2137

IFoA Beijing Office


14/F - China World Office 1 - 1 Jianwai Avenue - Beijing - China - 100004

+86 (10) 6535 0248

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