Actuarial brain drain 

How serious is the problem?

It is no secret that we have a lot of Malaysian actuarial talents working overseas. In fact sometimes I joke that our country is the largest exporter of actuarial talents! So how serious is the actuarial brain drain problem? Until now there is no official statistics.

I attempt to answer this question by basing on some facts collected and making certain actuarial assumptions, a natural thing for an actuary to do I guess. Before I reveal the results, I invite you to take an actuarial guess of the ratio of Malaysian actuarial workforce residing in Malaysia to those residing outside Malaysia. 80:20? 50:50? Take your guess before scrolling down for the answer.

The Singapore Actuarial Society (SAS) in its recently published Annual Report 2014/2015 has a pie chart that shows its membership by country of origin. Malaysia makes up of 28% of SAS' membership. Based on SAS' total membership of 976, this translates to 273 Malaysians.

A quick check on the Actuarial Society of Malaysia (ASM)'s website shows that its membership as at 31 December 2014 stood at 708. I make an assumption that 95% of its membership are Malaysians, which translates to 673 Malaysians. Further I estimate that there are 150 to 250 Malaysians with actuarial qualifications working outside Malaysia and Singapore. We are now all set to answer the question I posed earlier.

  Malaysia Singapore Others Total
Scenario 1 673 (61.4%) 273 (24.9%) 150 (13.7%) 1,096 (100%)
Scenario 2 673 (56.3%) 273 (22.8%) 250 (20.9%) 1,196 (100%)

Based on the above, I conclude that we have a 40-45% actuarial brain drain problem. So, are you surprised with the results?


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Posted by Loo Hai Tuesday, March 17, 2015 5:30:00 PM Categories: ASM SAS
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