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Financial decisions rely on risk. Actuaries must analyse, interpret and report on risk to investors and companies. To do this they must have a detailed breakdown of all costs, income and outgoings that a company has to make a fair and correct profile.
Actuaries use their knowledge of economics and business together with an understanding of probability, to evaluate the likelihood of an event that could affect finances. Actuaries need to understand how businesses operate, what they want to achieve and be aware of any legislation that does or will affect their clients or the company they work for.
One of the hardest tasks an actuary will face will be explaining their processes and thoughts to other accountants and investors. They will need to justify every decision to concrete it and ensure their advice is heard and often taken.
The work that an Actuary has to do can be diverse, ranging from highly technical roles developing complex financial products in investment banks or pensions and insurance companies to consultancy roles for those seeking a client-facing career.
Actuaries are involved in almost all fields of finance principally consultancy (acquisitions, mergers, finance of capital), investment (research, pricing, mitigation, portfolios), insurance (analysis, explanation, policy creation) and pensions (placing values on commitments). Typically, actuaries tend to start off working in insurance and pensions firms, before being able to get an opportunity in investment banking.
Typical duties will include analysing statistical data, determining probability and assessing risks, presenting reports,working with IT professionals to develop data systems, and communicating with clients and carrying out relationship management.