New society a 'win-win' situation for students and employers

New society a 'win-win' situation for students and employers

Pictured at the launch of SONIA are: Jane Curtis, President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries;  Queen's student Laura McAllister; Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster; and Colin O’Hare, programme director for Actuarial Science and Risk Management, QUMS.

There is a real commitment from all involved in actuarial science in Northern Ireland to work together for the future development of the region.

That’s according to Queen’s University Management School’s Colin O’Hare who was speaking after the first event of the newly formed Society of Northern Ireland Actuaries (SONIA) which was attended by almost 150 actuaries and actuarial students.

Funded by Invest NI and hosted from Queen’s University Management School, the new society offers Northern Ireland actuaries and students training to be actuaries the opportunity to discuss and debate the latest issues in the delivery of actuarial services.

The inaugural event included a speech from Arlene Foster MLA, Minister for Enterprise Trade and Investment, who spoke of the aspirations to make Northern Ireland a centre of excellence for the delivery of financial services. Jane Curtis, President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, also spoke about the new education strategy and the issue of enhanced transfer values.

Colin O’Hare, President of SONIA and Programme Director for the Actuarial Science degree at Queen’s, said: “The opportunities for our students in terms of the networking, developing an understanding of the business issues and sharing the skills and knowledge of qualified actuaries in the region are substantial for all those who engage in the activities.

“The great turn out by our students at the first event shows that as well as being academically gifted they realise that to compete in the ever demanding world of graduate employment, it is essential to be able to offer employers more than academic excellence.

“For employers, the SONIA events should be a great opportunity to showcase research and professional presentations that will meet their CPD requirements. All in all a true win-win situation.”

Jane Curtis, President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, said: “With around 40 new actuarial students now passing through Queen’s every year, the establishment of the Society is timely. SONIA can only help further the standing of the profession in Northern Ireland as it encourages the development of a strong actuarial community focused on research and opportunities for members.”

For further information on future SONIA events, contact Colin O’Hare at

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