Description (EN)

What is an Actuary? 

Quoting the definition by the ‘Institut des Actuaires’ (IA): “l’actuaire est un professionnel de l’évaluation, la modélisation et de la gestion des risques dans leurs dimensions comptable, économique, assurantielle, financière et sociale.” and by the British Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA): “Actuaries are respected professionals whose innovative approach to making business successful is matched by a responsibility to the public interest. Actuaries identify solutions to financial problems. They manage assets and liabilities by analyzing past events, assessing the present risk involved and modeling what could happen in the future.”

An actuary is an expert in risk management and quantitative finance. With a strong scientific (mathematics) background, the actuary has to master not only methods and tools from economical and financial theories to develop mathematical models for measuring the uncertain evolution of the environment, in view of risk management, but also be comfortable with the legal, accounting and business aspects, part of the domain in which she/he has to operate.

An actuary, due to her/his multiple skills, can occupy many functions (analyst, researcher, consultant, data scientist, product manager, risk manager, …) in various fields of activity such as administration, (re)insurance, audit, consulting, bank and finance, teaching and research, industry and services, …

Students from the QRM (Quantitative Risk Management) & Actuarial Track get a double skill: technical and managerial. The technical training helps the actuary to understand the stochastic nature of the problems they have to solve, as well as the strategic issues behind the financial products. This training covers the following fields: probability & statistics, data science, economics & econometrics, corporate & market finance, accounting & audit, risk analysis & management. The training in management is part of the normal business school curriculum. This business school environment makes the actuarial track particularly suited to cope with the changes the actuarial profession is currently undergoing, with the advent of risk based solvency and the emphasis made on risk management within financial institutions. Combining quantitative courses in Finance and Risk Management with their management training, the ESSEC actuary is well rounded to address the strategic issues of a bank, insurance or financial institution, tasks that are more and more in demand within the industry. The international dimension developed at ESSEC is also quite an asset in a globalized world. That is why ESSEC actuaries are sought after and have fast and interesting career opportunities, worldwide.

Among actuarial studies in France, only 10 are accredited by the French Institute of Actuaries (‘Institut des Actuaires’ - IA) and the actuarial track at ESSEC is the only one hosted by a business school in France, since 1991, through an agreement between ESSEC and l’ISUP-Paris VI (Institut de Statistique de l’Université Pierre et Marie Curie – Paris VI). Candidates completing this track need to perform a 6 months internship in a company and to write an actuarial thesis, that will be defended in front of a IA-committee. If successful, they obtain the title of Actuary (member of IA), in addition to their ESSEC degree. Note that the actuarial track will be open to non-French speaking students from the academic year 2017-18.

How can you become ‘ESSEC actuary’? 

  • You are part of the ‘Grande Ecole’ program
  • You love mathematics and sciences
  • You are curious and open minded
  • You are ready to do one extra year, after having validated ESSEC courses (in part. the courses required for the actuarial track), to complete her /his training at ISUP in actuarial sciences and to perform 6 months internship in a company (in France or abroad; this internship can be considered as part of the professional experiment required at ESSEC), writing an actuarial thesis of the topics developed during this internship.

Is the actuarial track compatible with other tracks (L3 or Master in Mathematics (probability, Statistics) at UPMC, double diploma ESSEC-ENSAE or Centrale, Master Data Science & Business Analytics, Financial track - option Financial, core track in Singapore, …)?

Yes, if all courses required for the actuarial track are validated and if you are ready to do an extra year after your schooling to complete your training at ISUP and to do the required 6 month actuarial internship.

Application process

This track is restricted to students from Grande Ecole, namely students selected to the Bachelor from the entrance exam-scientific option, and AST students coming from scientific training.

At most 10 ESSEC candidates are selected for the actuarial track (this number should increase in the coming years), the last step selection being done from the average of the grades obtained in the 3 courses: Financial Mathematics, Méthodes Statistiques/Advanced Statistics, and Financial Econometrics (note that for each course, a grade above 12/20 is required). We would advise you to validate those three courses during the 1st year of MSc. 

The application is done online on the website of the track. The student is required to submit:

- A detailed CV (providing also the grades obtained in any quantitative course)

- A motivation letter

Applying can be done at any time the year before the training at ISUP (within the limit of available places).

A document on the actuarial track is also available at the assistants office of the IDS department (N323) and on the website: .

Further information can be asked to members of the ESSEC Association of Actuaries and Analysts on Risk (E3AR).

Working Group on Risk (WG Risk) - Center of Research in Econo-finance and Actuarial science on Risk (CREAR)

It is strongly recommended to the students of the actuarial track to participate in the WG Risk. Regular meetings including fortnightly seminar by an expert of the field, take place at La Défense. It is organized by M. Kratz, with the support of the IDS department, Labex MME-DII, the group BFA (Banque Finance Assurance) of the SFdS (Société Française de Statistique), and Institute of Actuaires (IA). Since March 2012, IA considers it as part of its program PPC (Programme de Perfectionnement Professionnel Continu). For more information, visit:

[1] There are only a few courses taking place during the 2nd semester, hence it has been authorized by ISUP to take and validate those courses during the last ESSEC year