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by Vault Consulting Editors | March 31, 2009

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Consulting firms are a fast-growing employer for actuaries. Whether solely dedicated to actuarial work or broader financial consultants, these firms are finding more roles for actuaries as corporate America outsources just about everything except for core operations.

Thus, as noted previously, many companies have turned to consultants to help run benefits programs and pensions. That's the bread-and-butter work for most consulting firms focused on actuarial work, and it's similar to the benefits and pension management work you can expect working in-house at a pension fund, an insurance company or a nonfinancial corporation.

Yet major consultants, such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte & Touche, are finding uses for actuaries elsewhere. These consultants often work as corporate auditors, and must sign off on a company's books before it files results with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Of course, actuaries play a large role in auditing insurance companies, but they can also help in examining the finances of almost any company, especially if the company's business involves finance and investment. Consultants are also called upon to help companies study potential changes to insurers and benefit programs. They may be asked to analyze a company's investment mix to help maximize cash on hand while minimizing risk.

While still uncommon, many broad-based financial consultants are using actuaries to help clients with major business decisions. A company may wish to expand its product line, and employ a consulting firm to study the new ideas and report on their potential. Actuaries can study the company's current cost structure, its current products and the demographics of its customers and that of its competitors to see how well the new product might do, and how much benefit the company might derive from it.

Some of the most creative actuarial work is happening in the consulting field, and as actuaries continue to filter into the broader business world, consultants will be at the vanguard of that move.

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Filed Under: Consulting

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