Must-have skills for an Actuary in Hong Kong

By Robert Half on 5 October 2022

If you’re looking for a rewarding career in finance, pursuing a role as an Actuary is a fantastic choice.

Whether you are seeking a new direction in an already established finance career, or are just starting out, there is a high demand for actuaries right now.

In fact, in Hong Kong, there has been a steep rise in the market demand for experienced professional actuaries due to the ongoing developments and changes to both local regulations and international standards within the financial sector.

This makes it an excellent time to pivot from your current role or take the first steps in this exciting career path.

In this article we explain what the must-have skills for an Actuary are and describe how you can demonstrate your suitability to the role when applying for a position.

What does the role of an Actuary involve?

As an Actuary, you’ll use your mathematical, statistical, and financial skills to evaluate future risks for organisations, in particular insurance companies, and governments agencies.

The data and analysis you provide will help inform premiums, reserves and more broadly, investment strategies. In large companies, actuaries can choose to specialise in a particular area (such as valuation or modelling), while in smaller organisations they may cover a wider scope of tasks.

To succeed as an Actuary, you need to have the right skill set and certifications.

Related: What does an Actuary in Hong Kong do?

Qualifications and certifications

To become an Actuary, you must have certain qualifications and certifications that will allow you to understand and analyse the data and financial information you gather so that you can provide the level of accuracy and insight required to inform and guide policies.

To begin, you will first need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a business or finance related field such mathematics, economics, commerce, statistics, actuarial science, or business administration.

From there you must undertake further study in an actuarial programme where you’ll gain specialised knowledge and be required to pass actuarial exams.

This high level of certification is another reason why actuaries are in demand and once qualified, receive excellent remuneration.

Technical skills

Technical acumen is another important aspect for success as an Actuary.

Compliance is a critical part of the role, so you will need an excellent understanding of the relevant local regulatory requirements in Hong Kong as well as the applicable international standards that must be adhered too.

You will need an in-depth understanding of IFRS 17, which is an international financial reporting standard that will come into effect as of 1 January 2023. The IFRS 17 will have a significant impact on the reporting processes of insurance companies so it is a must that any actuaries are aware of the reporting requirements from the start.

In addition, you will need a strong commercial acumen and advanced IT skills, to allow you to perform the day-to-day analytical and reporting aspects of the role. Advanced skills using Python, Tableau, SQL, VBA and Macro will be highly regarded.

Related: 5 of the most rewarding career paths in insurance

Soft skills

Today, every professional role requires successful candidates to possess a range of soft skill in addition to their technical abilities and qualifications.

As an Actuary, you’ll need to be an excellent communicator with stakeholders at all levels, from the external parties who you gather data from, to the executive team who you deliver your reports to.

You’ll also need to be able to effectively manage stakeholder relationships, as well as be responsible for the timely delivery of projects. Exceptional language skills, both verbal and written are a must, across Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

Due to the variety and scope of an Actuary role, you will also need to be highly adaptable and flexible to change, particularly in the current market climate where things are evolving fast.

Uncover and develop the must-have skills for an Actuary today

If you’re keen to learn more about the qualifications, technical ability, and skills you need to succeed as an Actuary in Hong Kong and gain some insight into how you can demonstrate your suitability to the role when applying for a position, our specialised team of recruiters can help!

Talk to us about the requirements and opportunities by calling +852 3653 7300 today and take the first step in securing a rewarding role as an Actuary in the financial sector in Hong Kong today.

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