Monthly Archives: September 2009

Dust Storms across Australian East Coast


Yesterday both Brisbane and Sydney were affected by a dust storm that swept across the Eastern coast of Australia (over 1000km of coastline affected).

Caused by gale force winds from the west, blowing the dust from drought stricken Northern Territory over a large part of the east coast, it measured at seven times that of a “severe” dust storm.

The Australian Insurance Council are looking at setting up a task force as the cost/economic impact of the storm is likely to run into the 10’s of millions of dollars.

It was an ugly day, it looked like Armageddon!!

That said, if you love dust then register for actuarial jobs in Australia or download our Top Tips for Australia.

Sydney in Spring (post meltdown)

Having our regional office in Brisbane gives me the much loved excuse to travel, and more often than not, Sydney is the destination.

It’s now Spring in Australia with the new financial year well underway, many of my clients are in budget mode. It never ceases to amaze me how many will still find the time to catch up for at least a coffee for the overview of the market. On this occasion I could only afford 4 days out of the office, but when averaging 8 – 9 meetings a day, your caffeine levels can go through the roof.

With Australia’s unemployment rate remaining steady at 5.8%, and positive sounds from the Asian and US economies, there is definitely positive sentiment in the air about the improving global economy. This seems to have many of our clients thawing out their recruitment freezes from September 08, and bringing a mixture of new and replacement roles to the table. Given Australia dodged the global trend of “mass redundancies” in the actuarial space, there is definitely more heat placed on the demand for the actuarial skill set.

With many wage freeze policies put in place at the end of 2009, there is also heat coming from the talent pool. Many young actuaries are beginning to look actively again at external opportunities to progress their careers as they are finding that staff turnover + recruitment freeze = increased workload, without increased salary compensation. And if this Spring time visit to Sydney has taught me one thing, it’s that the job market in Australia this summer may be very hot.

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The Beer Gardens

gk afir

Magical Munich

The journey from Munich Airport to the LIFE / AFIR conference was further than I had expected but was a journey through a magical green landscape and I now understand where childhood fairy-tales come from.

The conference itself is excellent and for the first time ever I have understood how Swiss pensions work – a great tribute to the presenter of that session.

In the evening, the social event was a visit to a beer garden. I was very trepiditious and even managed to miss the coach that had been arranged so I ended up walking. Again it was like a scene out of ‘The Student Prince’ (the operetta).

Very worthwhile!  Very well organised!

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Worlds Within Worlds

Unusually for Travel GAAPS this journey was a short taxi ride within London to Covent Garden, but Oh – what another world!

Amidst street performers and musicians I had a fruitful meeting and we now have a vacancy for an American startup.

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Actuarial Hikes

trek photo

At Travel GAAPS we are always in search of actuaries in extreme locations. I spent the bank holiday weekend hiking in the Peak District.

Somewhat surprisingly, I did not come across the head offices of any major insurance companies whilst trekking along the Pennine Way.

It seems that actuarial vacancies are concentrated in financial centres such as London, Paris and New York, rather than on mountain-tops populated primarily by sheep.

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