7 days / 7 volunteer stories: Edwin Sheaf

7 days / 7 volunteer stories: Edwin Sheaf We’re celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2024 with a new story to mark each day. In our second interview, Edwin Sheaf talks about being on Council.

How did you get into volunteering with the IFoA?

I thought I would find it interesting to sit on Council and to see the Institute [and Faculty of Actuaries] from a different perspective. But also felt that it would be nice to do something different from my day job and to give something back to the profession.

I stood for Council but was not elected the first time. So, I started looking for other volunteering opportunities and joined the DC Advisory Committee. Then I stood for Council a year later and was elected.

Tell me a little bit about some of the people that you've worked with as a volunteer.

It's working with other volunteers, but increasingly, for example Regulatory Board, a number are lay members, so you meet people from outside the profession. Also, I've got to know a number of members of the Institute Executive quite well and really enjoyed working with them and getting to know them.

That must be quite nice to branch out a bit both in terms of what you're doing but also in terms of meeting people from different areas.

Yes. Before I joined council, I would see the names of the Institute Executive in The Actuary perhaps, or newsletters, and they wouldn't mean very much. So, the chance to meet and work with some of them has been really good.

Do you have any favourite stories from volunteering?

One of the things I really used to enjoy doing when I was on the Council was to see new qualifiers ceremonies. I was talking to a new qualifier to the Institute [and Faculty of Actuaries] and she was there with her dad. I was saying congratulations and how did you get into being an actuary. She said actually my dad’s an actuary. I said to him well that's quite impressive that your daughter’s an actuary, and he said I’ve actually got three daughters and they are all actuaries.

You do hear about how that’s a common thing, where someone knows an actuary and that’s how they got into it. But for all three daughters, that quite impressive. You mentioned new qualifiers- do you have any advice for students or recent qualifiers looking to volunteer?

I would say just do it because you will get an awful lot out of it. But also, you have to be willing to commit some time to it. You need to find a way to manage your time that you can genuinely devote some effort to the volunteering. Because the more you put into it, the more you're going to get out of it.

Edwin is a Senior Director at Willis Towers Watson, where he has worked for almost 30 years. He divides his time between advising the trustees of pension schemes, having held a scheme actuary certificate for 22 years, and advising the companies that sponsor such schemes. Edwin is a current member of the IFoA’s Practising Certificates Committee. He has twice been elected to IFoA Council. He is also a former member of Management Board, Nominations Committee, the Diversity Steering Group, and the DC Advisory Group, as well as several working parties dealing with actuarial regulation and education.

Read more volunteer stories

From the lesser-known benefits to the impact you can have as a volunteer, delve into more stories in the series. We are publishing each day of Volunteers’ Week 2024.

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