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Dr. MICHAEL SZE

Firm: Sze Associates Ltd.  
E-mail Address: msze@szeassociates.com 

Dr. Sze is a retired partner of Hewitt Associates, where he was an actuarial manager and lead consultant on pension modeling projects. In his thirty plus years of experience as a pension and insurance consultant, he has guided private companies through critical events such as buy/sell, merger/spin-off, termination, union negotiation. He has taught actuarial science to pension regulators of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, and other professional groups in Canada. He has taught actuaries to perform asset/liability modeling for many years, including courses organized by the Society of Actuaries in Asia. He is currently the President and Owner of Sze Associates, Ltd., a financial and insurance benefits consulting company in Canada.

Dr. Sze is a well-respected teacher of insurance and pension, renowned for his exceptional ability to communicate complicated concepts in simple terms. He is a frequent speaker at professional actuarial and pension conferences.

Since his retirement from Hewitt Associates, Dr. Sze has been active in the actuarial profession on the international scene. He helped the Directorate of Pension of Indonesia formulate a plan to implement risk-based supervision for pension plans in Indonesia. From 2004 to 2005, he assisted the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of China, to formula the supervisory structure and regulations for Enterprise Annuity in China. He also conducted actuarial training programs in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Egypt, India and Serbia.

The highlight of Dr. Szes international work was helping to establish the actuarial profession in Kazakhstan. He went to Kazakhstan in 1999 and delivered a seminar to the National Bank staff and other professionals on the functions of actuaries, and their pivotal importance for insurance, pension and social security. Subsequent to the seminar, a Kazakhstan workgroup was setup, which recommended establishing the actuarial profession in Kazakhstan. It was written into the Insurance Law which stated that from 2001 all insurance reports must be signed by a Qualified Actuary. In 2000, Dr. Sze helped the National Bank formulate regulations governing the qualification standards of actuaries in Kazakhstan. To become a Qualified Actuary in Kazakhstan, a candidate must pass six actuarial examinations, two at the basic level, four at the advanced level. With financial support of the USAID a series of courses were provided from 2000 to 2008. Examinations up to international standards were given at the end of each course. Initially, these courses were taught by international professors, with the assistance of Kazakhstan tutors. Later on, the training was taken over by Kazakhstan actuaries. To-date, there are about 100 actuaries who have passed the Basic Examinations, including 25 actuaries who have passed all six Qualification Examinations. Actuaries are highly regarded in Kazakhstan, and occupy key positions in many different industries, including insurance, pension fund, social security, banking, investment, and construction. The actuaries in Kazakhstan organized the Actuarial Society of Kazakhstan (ASK), which is now responsible for training new actuaries, administering the Qualification Examinations, providing continued education activities, and spearheading much of the research activities in Kazakhstan. It is expected that the ASK may soon be admitted as a full member of the International Actuarial Association.

The success of the Kazakhstan actuarial profession owes much to the dedication and hard work of the Kazakhstan actuarial professionals. The actuarial professional training in other countries, such as Bulgaria, Serbia, and Azerbaijan, reflects the Kazakhstan model.