Summary of SKL’s 2021 and Actuarial Opportunities for 2022

Rebranding of SKL

Following on from 2020’s year of big changes, SKL has rebranded in 2021. Away went the dark purple, orange and black, and in came a sleeker and more focused colour palette of navy, lilac and grey. Our logo also subtly morphed into a symbolic image of concentrated direction, more reflective of SKL’s focus on becoming the market leader in the search for top actuarial talent in Australia and globally.

Our global services are now even more aptly supported through our instatement of an office in Singapore and the expansion of our international team.

Expansion of SKL Team

It is with our warmest welcome that we have invited Cynthia Shen FSA to lead our Singapore office and expand our network of candidates by increasing our focus on Asia-Pacific roles and clients this year. We have also been successful in applying for our license to conduct business in Singapore which will give us the leverage to set root in Singapore and interconnect our Singapore and Australia business lines.

With Cynthia’s technical expertise and SKL’s vast connections to candidates and clients, existing and new clients looking for talent in their Asia-Pacific roles can gain access to partnerships with the right candidates from SKL’s global candidate talent pool.

Strong Growth in Actuarial Market

Despite 2021 faring only slightly better than 2020 in terms of lockdown and COVID concerns, the demand for actuarial talent continued to grow and our office held up strongly to withstand not only client demand but has flourished from our search and supply of high-calibre actuarial talent.

Strong growth in the demand for actuaries across Australia and Asia has been our biggest take from this year’s business.

Drivers of growing demand for actuaries

The request has been strong from our clients in all quarters of the year for positions that encompass Senior Actuarial Analysts and Newly Qualified Actuaries, and of actuaries with experience up to ten years and above post qualification. We believe that client demands for the sourcing of talent in the Manager, Senior Manager and even Head Of level positions is a trend that will continue in 2022 across multiple areas that are driving an almost exponential demand for the sourcing of actuarial talent for these positions across Australia.

With the major change of implementing IFRS17, its impact is felt across the financial and actuarial function of insurers leading to continuous increasing demand for actuaries with relevant experience and looking to conduct projects in this area especially on the modelling side.

Growth in data analytics and predictive analysis are also driving demand for actuaries in non-traditional actuarial roles as seen by clients requesting SKL to source the relevant actuarial professions capable of, and seeking to develop, in these areas.  Candidates with good blend of insurance knowledge (life, general or health) along with good understanding of data analytics techniques and ability to think and navigate their way through the “grey” areas are proving elusive to find and highly sought after.

Opening of the borders will prove to be a big reprieve in fixing the short term supply/demand imbalance as Australia has historically been a net importer of actuarial talent for many years. Fundamentally though we do need to look at training more high quality graduates into the actuarial profession to meet the ever growing demand for actuarial talent in Australia.

Candidate attitudes to the job market and employer demands

This year’s candidate sentiments are heavily impacted by COVID-lockdown fatigue. Job satisfaction is on a downward trend affected by the rising levels of technology fatigue and sustained drastically reduced levels of physical connection between colleagues, management and the corporation. However, there is still a preference for the hybrid working model, with most candidates preferring 2 to 3 days in the office as at-home working is now a luxury that has become a more convenient and productive norm.

Actuaries are now increasingly more aware of the volume of development opportunities and growth prospects in smaller to medium-sized organisations, especially in smaller insurers and Fintech companies. There is also more of a recognition by these candidates of the benefits and drawbacks of working in these environments and so they have become more cautious but receptive of opportunities with these clients.

Overall, actuarial opportunities and jobs across Australia and the international field are very promising and being an actuary continues to be a very rewarding career. Employers will look for actuarial candidates with growth and flexible development mindsets, a mentality that we should all continue to cultivate in the upcoming year of 2022.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the SKL Team.

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