The actuary as fallen hero: On the reform of a profession

David Collins*, Ian Dewing, Peter Russell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This article investigates reform of the actuarial profession following the establishment of the UK Financial Services Authority and as a result of the problems emerging at the Equitable Life Assurance Society. Perceptions on changes to the role of life actuaries are explored using interviews with senior actuaries and accountants. The study complements the few existing academic analyses of actuaries and yet challenges these analyses inasmuch as it locates actuarial work within a broader sociological frame. Thus, the article views the actuarial profession not as a simple collection of traits but as a dynamic socio-historical project that reflects and projects professional knowledge claims.The article concludes that the imposed reforms have rescued the actuarial profession from its failure to reform itself, at least in the short term. The main price to be paid is that regulation of the actuarial profession is firmly locked into the regulatory structures of the accountancy profession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-266
Number of pages18
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The actuary as fallen hero: On the reform of a profession'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this