Zim woman heads UK actuaries institute

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HARARE – Zimbabwean Marjorie Ngwenya is set to make history by becoming the first non-British-based person to be appointed president of the United Kingdom’s Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA).

Currently, the chief risk officer for Old Mutual’s African business unit in South Africa, Ngwenya will take up her position as president-elect in June and eventually take up the role of president in June next year.

Of major significance is the fact that Zimbabwean-born Ngwenya is the first person not based in Britain to ever hold the position.

“It’s a real honour to be elected by my fellow council members to the presidential team. The profession is continuing to expand its reach across the globe and I am proud to be the first IFoA president-elect to be based outside the UK,” she recently said.

IFoA is a royal chartered, not-for-profit, professional body. The institute provides independent expert comment to the media on a range of actuarial-related issues, including enterprise risk management, finance and investment, general insurance, health and care, life assurance, mortality, and pensions.

The South African-based Ngwenya was previously a director at Marzars in London, the editor of The Actuary magazine for three years. She also served as a trustee of the SA Legal Resources Trust and is expected to bring a wealth of experience to her new role.

“I am looking forward to continuing the important work done by those who have held the role before me and to bringing the benefits of actuarial science to more people around the world. The actuarial profession is continuing to expand into new disciplines and I look forward to contributing to this impressive work to move the profession forward,” she said.

The latest development comes as actuarial science in southern Africa has long been a profession grossly under-transformed and predominantly represented by white professionals.

However, the demographic face of the profession is expected to change dramatically over the next decade as universities are reporting that for the first time in history, there are more black students enrolled to undergraduate actuarial programmes than white students.

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