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Inside story: IFoA volunteer, Sukie Harrar

Published on: 23 May 2023

Inside story


Sukie Harrar, general insurance independent consulting actuary, actuarial function holder for several clients and practising certificate holder. 

Where are you based? 
In the UK, Europe and Bermuda.

What volunteer role(s) do you do for the IFoA? 
I’m an actuary member of the Regulatory Appointments Committee (RAC).

How long have you been volunteering? 
I’m now in my third year and have already renewed my role for another three years. 

What’s involved in your role(s)? 
A broad range of activity, including appointing members of the disciplinary process and the Regulatory Board. I am involved in reviewing candidate CVs conducting interviews and where appropriate making a recommendation to appoint. 

What motivates you to volunteer for the IFoA?
After many years as an actuary, I reflected on everything the IFoA does and needs to do as a recognised professional body in the public interest. I believe in the discipline and governance that it has over its members’ conduct and wanted to be part of the process to maintain and deliver the high standards it upholds. 

What have you/do you hope to achieve in your volunteer role? 
Since the mid-1990s my actuarial network had become limited to general insurance; volunteering has allowed me to reconnect with life and pensions. This wider lens is important, as we are all part of the same body. 

What new skills or knowledge do you think you have developed? 
I have developed a more robust understanding of how the profession is governed.

Do you think volunteering has helped you in your day job? 
Yes – knowing about the governance framework has positively impacted the way we deliver advice to clients, specifically by improving our communication using more focused messaging. I have also brushed up on my interviewing techniques, which I hadn’t done for a few years.

Have there been any memorable moments? 
There have been many memorable moments, and I value the shared learning that comes from working and collaborating with committee volunteers who have a diverse range of lay and actuarial expertise.

How do you balance your day job and your volunteer role? 
This was a concern before volunteering, but it can be managed effectively with support from the IFoA judicial secretariat. Committee members work in a collegiate manner to fit around the ebbs and flows of the day job.  
How do you relax away from the office? 
Golf, tennis, country walks and travel – and I have a passion for Indian classical music. 

What would you say to others considering a volunteer role? 
Dive in headfirst. The hardest part of volunteering is making the application; the rest can be tailored to work around your other commitments.

Who is your role model – in life or in business? 
Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. “He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God.”

What was your earliest dream job? 
I was always going to be an actuary, from the age of 16.

What words best describe you? 
Adaptable, authentic, constructive and compassionate.

Do you prefer a staycation or holiday abroad? 
Overseas, for sure.

If you were locked in a famous building for one night...which would it be and why? 
The Golden Temple in Amritsar – architectural excellence, spiritual sublimity and welcoming to all.

What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career to date? 
The ability to use my actuarial skills seamlessly in broad application.  

The IFoA is currently looking for new members to join the Regulatory Appointments Committee. If you have a background in professional disciplinary or enforcement systems, please take a look at the job advertisement and consider applying.