Description (EN)

Responsable: Prof. Dr. Marie KratzActuaire Agrégée - IA

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 data science and 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(Institut de Statistique de Paris Sorbonne Université, Faculté des Sciences). Candidates completing this track need to perform a 6 months of 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 has been 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 sciences and mathematics
  • You are curious and open minded
  • You are ready to do 1 extra year after ESSEC (having validated the courses required for this track), with :
    • 1 semester at ISUP (and a few courses at ISUP during the last semester of Ms2 at ESSEC)
    • Then 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 a risk/actuarial thesis

Is the Risk & Actuarial Track compatible with other tracks/programs ? 

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 months actuarial internship.

  • Financial track - option Financial Market (many courses in common; often students do the 2 tracks)
  • Double diploma ESSEC-ENSAE or CentraleSupelec
  • L3 or Master in Applied Mathematics (Probability, Statistics) at Sorbonne Université, Faculty of Sciences
  • Master Data Science & Business Analytics (data science is required for the actuarial track; courses will take place both at ESSEC and ISUP)
  • ESSEC Asia Pacific campus (Singapore)


Application process


This track is restricted to students from Grande Ecole, namely students selected to the Pre-Master 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 will increase in the coming years), the last step selection being done at the end of ESSEC, to enter ISUP, from the average of the grades obtained in the 4 courses: Business Data Science, Financial Mathematics, Statistical Inference, Quantitative Risk Management (note that for each course, a grade above 12/20 is required). 

The application is done online (possible to do it at the beginning of each term); you can apply during your pre-master or master (the earlier, the better). The student is also required to submit (to the Head of the risk and actuarial track):

  •     A detailed CV (providing also the grades obtained in any quantitative course)
  •     A motivation letter

A document on the actuarial track is also available at the assistants office of the IDS department (N323) and on the website: crear.essec.edu/actuary-track.

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 risk & actuarial track to participate in the WG Risk. Regular meetings including fortnightly seminar by an expert of the field, take place at simultaneously on both campuses ESSEC La Défense and ESSEC Asia Pacific (Singapore).
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:
http://crear.essec.edu/working-group-on-risk


For any updated information

  •     On the actuarial track:  http:// essec.edu/crear-essec/actuary-track/description or http://ids department.essec.edu/teaching/actuary-track
  •     On the Working Group on Risk: http://crear.essec.edu/working-group-on-risk/ 
  •     On the Center of Research in Econo-finance and Actuarial science on Risk (CREAR) : http://crear.essec.edu
  •     On ‘Institut des Actuaires’ : http://www.institutdesactuaires.fr

[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 

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