This month, we have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Bakhodir Shamsuddinov Rakhimovich from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Dr. Rakhimovich holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Lomonosov Moscow State University, and participated in an actuarial diploma course from 1994 through 1996. He is the head of the department of mathematics at the Tashkent Branch of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, and is the Chairman of the Uzbekistan Actuarial Society.
ACTEX Learning (AL): How many practicing actuaries do you have?
Dr. Bakhodir Shamsuddinov Rakhimovich (BSR): Approximately 10.
AL: What is the word for actuary in your local language?
BSR: Aktuariy (Actuariy).
AL: When was actuarial science first introduced?
BSR: In the year 2000.
AL: What is your favorite part about being an actuary?
BSR: I am professional mathematician, specializing in probability theory and mathematical statistics. I was always interested in the practical application of my mathematical skills. I found this possibility in the insurance and the pension system. The actuarial courses organized by Institute of Actuaries of Great Britain and Lomonosov Moscow State University gave me the possibility to carry out my plans. I would like to express my thanks to the organizers and tutors of those courses, especially Chris Daykin and Professor Evgeniy Chepurin.
AL: Can you share an interesting anecdote from your career?
BSR: In my article about actuarial mathematics and its application in practice, the phrase "actuarial mathematics" was corrected by the proof-reader to be "actual mathematics".
AL: What are some of the highlights of the history of the actuarial profession?
BSR: There has been a growth process of actuarial activity, the actuarial profession and actuarial education in Uzbekistan. The key moment was the creation of the initial legislative basis of actuarial activity in Uzbekistan. The main legal acts regulating actuarial activity in Uzbekistan were:
- The law "On insurance activity" (Provisions № 5, № 9.4 and № 9.5, 2009);
- "Regulations on the procedure for rendering of actuarial services" (Order of The Ministry of Finance of The Republic of Uzbekistan from April 7, 2009 of No. 42)
- "Regulations on certification of Qualified Actuary" (Order of The Ministry of Finance of The Republic of Uzbekistan from 09.06.2007 of № 82).
AL: What are some of the main challenges and projects for your association over the next 5-10 years?
BSR: The main challenges and projects for our association over the next 5-10 years are:
- To become an associate member of IAA;
- To organize short-term actuarial courses for university teachers and specialists within insurance companies;
- To cooperate with national universities in the creation of actuarial science majors and minors.
- To develop recommendations for the State Insurance Supervisory Board (SISB) on changes to the insurance policy and regulatory framework, taking into account international practice and the standards of IAIS, IFRS and IAA; and
- To promote the role of actuaries in the insurance market and social security system.
AL: What developments on the horizon could affect future opportunities in your country?
BSR: The Uzbekistan economy is growing dynamically. Over the last 15 years, GDP has been growing at an annual rate exceeding 8%. As of January 1, 2016, the population of Uzbekistan was approximately 31 million people. There is a huge potential for the development of the national insurance market, including life insurance.
The insurance market of Uzbekistan has been expanding rapidly since 2000, but is still at an early stage of development. The insurance penetration in 2014 is equal to 0.4% of GDP. New products emerge and old ones evolve. This concerns not only the insurance market, but also social security system programs, state pension plan designs and savings products. In particular, we need to analyze current and future population trends in order to understand the potential needs of evolving populations and create programs and products that serve to protect people when they are most vulnerable: the elderly, the sick and disabled and those suffering the loss of a family member or unemployment.
AL: Who are the main employers of actuaries?
BSR: Insurance companies.
AL: What qualifications do you find most important for upcoming actuaries?
AL: Do the schools in your country have actuarial majors, minors, concentrations or do students study on their own or overseas?
BSR: Some universities of Uzbekistan offer actuarial science minors.
AL: What is the credentialing procedure like for an actuary in your country?
BSR: In line with the article 6-1 of the Law "On insurance activity", insurance companies are obliged to hire an actuarial organization at least once a year for rendering actuarial services. Actuarial services include calculation of the mathematical possibility of occurrence of the insured event and determining frequency and severity of damage, etc. In line with this regulation, the actuary can offer services in two forms – actuarial research and actuarial support.
AL: Do employers support the cost and time of exam preparation?
BSR: Yes, they do.
AL: What is the reputation of actuaries in your country?
BSR: I think it is still early to speak about reputation of actuaries. The actuarial profession is still very young.