‘FERNANDINO FIRST’
    CSF kid achieves rare feat

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    KAPAMPANGAN PRIDE. Lacson holds his certificate as Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Chartered financial analysts don’t come a dime a dozen. Not in the Philippines, not anywhere. A Fellow of the Society of Actuaries is an even rarer species. In fact, the term “actuary” is totally alien to the general public.

    Rarest are those that sport both titles CFA and FSA after their names. San Fernando-born and –bred Jonathan Elliot F. Lacson belongs to that select breed. Thereby exemplifying the “Fernandino First” policy of excellence enunciated by Mayor Edwin “EdSa” Santiago.

    In Vancouver, Canada last Friday, Lacson received his FSA certificate from Society of Actuaries President Mark J. Freedman, FSA, MAAA (member of American Academy of Actuaries). Freedman is a principal of Ernst & Young, described as “a global accounting firm with a large actuarial consulting practice.”

    The SOA succeeded in 1949 the Actuarial Society of America which was founded in 1889 and the American Institute of Actuaries established in 1909. In its website, the SOA defined an actuary as “a business professional who analyzes the financial consequences of risk” using “mathematics, statistics and financial theory to study uncertain future events, especially those of concern to insurance and pension programs.”

    “They evaluate the likelihood of those events, design creative ways to reduce the likelihood and decrease the impact of adverse events that actually do occur,” it added.

    Manulife

    Soon after his graduation from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a BS Mathematics degree in 2006, Lacson took on a series of actuarial examinations while working, first in a non-life insurance consulting firm, then with the Manulife group.

    “Six thousand hours of study, two hours per day on average, every day, non-stop for eight years… It was hell.

    Harrowing, depressing, exhausting… (But) it was all worth it,” said Lacson in a reflection over his rare feat. (See Zona Libre on page 4). In October 2012, Lacson earned his Chartered Financial Analyst title, after taking a separate series of examinations, from the CFA Institute of Charlottesville, Virginia.

    From Manulife Philippines, Lacson was seconded in 2011 to Manulife Financial in Hong Kong serving as actuarial specialist for its Regional Actuarial Services, Asia division. In February 2014, he transferred to Manulife Tokyo assuming the post of assistant project manager.

    Last June, Lacson was awarded a global Manulife “Rising Star of Excellence” in Toronto, Canada. Lacson finished his elementary education at the San Fernando Elementary School, and his secondary at the Philippine Science High School in Quezon City as a Department of Science and Technology scholar which he carried through his studies at UP.

    He is the son of Punto! editor Bong Lacson with the former Mary Dorothy B. Fuentes.

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