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Objectives and Skills

Objectives

The programme aims to qualify students in the assessment and management of all types of risk, ranging from those inherent to the economic agents to those borne by organizations or companies, regardless of their economic sector or organizational structure.

The specialised and multi-disciplinary nature of the actuary within the area of finance and insurance demands skills that are essentially based on statistical, mathematical and financial knowledge, but that also require a good understanding of accountancy, economics and the law.

Skills

Skills are taken to be the interrelated and interdependent body of knowledge, proficiency, attitudes and values obtained by the holder of a Master’s Degree in Actuarial and Financial Sciences on completing their studies. These skills may be divided up into the following generic and special skills:

Generic/bridging skills

  • Ability to apply acquired knowledge and solve problems in new or unfamiliar surroundings within broader (or multi-disciplinary) contexts related to the area of study.
  • Capacity to incorporate knowledge and form an opinion on the basis of information that, while incomplete or limited, includes considerations concerning social and ethical responsibilities that come within the graduate’s sphere of knowledge and opinions, from a generic perspective.
  • Ability to clearly and unambiguously communicate conclusions (and describe the reasoning and basis for the same) to both specialist and non-specialist audiences, together with the capacity to write up reports such as technical notes, expert assessments, etc., that may be accepted as technical documents.
  • Possession of learning skills to permit ongoing study, largely in the form of self-taught or autonomous learning.
  • Capacity to construct actuarial models suited to the business economic environment through the use of up-to-date computer technology and programmes.
  • Ability to perform integral risk management and gain sufficient knowledge to respond to current risks and those that may appear as a result of the changing economic, financial and social environment, with a view to directing and managing all types of finance and insurance companies.
  • Ability to take part in a business conversation and read actuarial literature in at least two of the official languages of the European Union.
  • Awareness of the Actuary’s code of conduct and the most relevant rules of professional practice.

Specific skills

Specific skills are primarily established in the Core Syllabus Actuarial. This is a document prepared by the Groupe Consultatif Actuariel Europeen (GCAE) with the aim of establishing a body of knowledge and skills common to all European actuaries. By virtue of the level of acceptance among the professional associations in Europe, including those of Spain, this constitutes the main guidelines with respect to the specific skills required of the potential actuary.

  • A solid grounding in mathematical and statistical techniques to support the understanding of other subjects and the preparation of risk models employed in actuarial practice.
  • A broad knowledge of the legislative, regulating and supervisory framework of national and European financial and insurance institutions, companies and markets.
  • Ability to interpret the accounts and financial statements of insurance companies and financial institutions in general.
  • Awareness and ability to appraise the different public and private instruments employed in pensions.
  • Capacity to take decisions related to economically computable risks
  • Understanding and capacity to develop mathematical and statistical techniques which are of particular relevance to actuarial work in survival, accident, rating, forecast and solvency models.
  • Broad knowledge of stochastic processes and capacity to employ these in financial and actuarial models.
  • Solid grounding in Financial Mathematics and ability to use this to assess operations, financial assets and derivatives.
  • Capacity to apply criteria and principles of actuarial control and planning to ensure the correct working, at all times, of risk transfer and coverage operations offered by insurance, finance or any other type of company.
  • Solid grounding in the making of financial decisions: resource allocation under uncertainty, structure and operation of the financial markets, asset pricing and portfolio selection.
  • Capacity to understand, develop and apply risk assessment models (standard and advanced) related to capital requirements demanded of finance and insurance companies (Basil III and Solvency II).
  • Ability to manage risk as a ongoing process under constant development and to do so in an integrated manner in accordance with the strategic objectives of the company, in order to maximise the long-term sustainable value of each of its activities and to meet the interests of all parties involved.
 
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