Risk Management Task Force

Risk Management Task Force (RMTF) – Case Study Of Volunteer Activism

At its peak, the RMTF had 10 active Working Groups each with 5-10 participating volunteers and over 200 total people on the email lists.

According to several of the primary participants, the success was due to:
1. A very Hot topic
2. Large number of dedicated volunteer leaders
3. High amount of SOA staff support
4. Flexibility of structure – allowed quick decision making – no lengthy approval process up and down a chain of command – groups made own decisions
5. No Experience Necessary approach to recruiting volunteers – offered a chance to learn about new topic & meet others working in the field.
6. Offered collegial experience for those working in this new field
7. Was career development opportunity for some. (Numerous volunteers are now CRO’s or members of risk management staffs.)
8. Offered recognition of pioneers and audience for their work.
9. Substantial products produced by Working Groups – they were not just chat groups.

On the other hand:
1. Working Groups were overly ambitious. Not everything planned got done.
2. The open architecture meant that some did not feel that they had made serious commitments and sometimes let other volunteers down.

Here is the chronology of the RMTF:

Stage 1 – Charge
a) SOA Board Committee identified risk management as a new area for potential development.
b) Committee charged an individual to form a task force to: (1) hold a continuing ed seminar on risk management. (2) develop one or more risk management projects.

Stage 2 – Planning
a) Task Force formed with about 12 volunteers
b) Held monthly calls for 3 – 4 months discussing possible projects
c) No consensus emerged on choices for projects. Had a list of 30 possible projects
d) With advice from SOA staff decided to attempt multiple projects & let success or failure to attract volunteers cull the selections.
e) selected from list of 30 projects based on where individual TF members agreed to be Chair or co-chair of a working group. Needed 2 members of TF to commit to form a group.
f) 7 projects were selected and teams developed initial paragraphs describing vision of task.

Stage 3 – Recruitment
a) at this stage SOA appointed new staff actuary whose support was instrumental to most of the following steps.
b) sent blast email call for volunteers to entire SOA membership (16,000) with descriptions of 7 projects. Offered to allow participants and uninvolved observers. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY.
c) received avout 70 initial responses – many people volunteered for multiple committee. Had at least 10 for each of 7 groups – so they all went forward.
d) SOA staff established email lists to communicate with each group.

Stage 4 – Formation
a) RMTF working with SOA staff developed a list of possible types of projects
b) Each Working Group convened and affirmed or revised group charge & selected initial tasks, deliverables & timeframes.
c) RMTF member acted as convener. 6 months of discussions prior to start provided them with a clear vision and words to express to group. But they were also aware that they depended on volunteer support to accomplish so were generally open to input and modifications to mission & task definitiolns.

Stage 5 – Work
a) over next 1 -2 years WGs produced a number of things:
– reading lists
– White Papers / Specialty Guides
– Research Projects
– Glossaries
– Study Groups
– Polls/Surveys
– SOA Staff Projects
b) Staff Support – Staff Actuary was full time support for first 6 months to year. Staff participated in many of the WG calls. Provided affirmation, link to other SOA resources, continuity, and communication between groups. Expense of this staff support was borne by SOA.
c) Investment Section provided funding for out-of-pocket expenses

Stage 6 – Evolution
a) 3 additional working groups formed by popular demand. Topics not covered by initial groups. RMTF leadership & staff actuary helped with formation – then groups acted independently
b) Some WGs finished their projects and disbanded.
c) Some WGs finished their projects and started new ones.

<<At its peak, the RMTF had 10 active Working Groups each with 5-10 participating volunteers and over 200 total people on the email lists>>

RMTF Risk Management Seminars
Seminars were developed and evolved over the years.
1. 2001 – Spring – first semiar – 1.5 days. Covered intro and advanced topics. 4 speakers. Had over 100 attendees. Chicago
2. 2001 – Fall – held separate beginning & advanced seminars Orlando
3. 2002 – held beginning & advanced seminars right after CAS Risk & Capital Management seminar. DC
4. 2003 – ERM Symposium Joint with CAS. Chicago
5. 2004 – ERM Symposium with SOA, CAS, GA St. & PRMIA Chicago
6. 2005, 2006, 2007 ERM Symposium with SOA, CAS & PRMIA Chicago Has grown to about 600 annual attendence.

RMTF Transformation
a) Success of RMTF & popularity of topic & vision of SOA board led to formation of Risk management section. (Section is an official SOA membership driven special interest group)
b) CAS joined as co-sponsors. Joint risk management section became the largest joint SOA CAS activity. Unique in North America
c) CIA joined as third co-sponsor
d) major activities
• Newsletter – 30+ pages 3x per year, mostly original materials. Non-juried.
• ERM Symposium
• Research Projects
• SOA meeting sessions – plan topics & recruit speakers
• Continuing Education activities
• Working Groups – including 2 of the original 7 groups
• local meetings
• International Network – making connections & working together with other actuaries around the world working with risk management.

One Comment on “Risk Management Task Force”

  1. riskviews Says:

    Web pages from this still exist. Try


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