Prof Marx discusses in his inaugural speech the mission of the chair of
Insurance at the University of Pretoria. This chair was established in 1988.
The chair was instituted on the one hand to train actuarial students up to
a level where they would be eligible for the maximum number of exemptions
from the professional actuarial examinations.
On the other hand the chair accommodates students with above average
aptitude in Mathematics who wish to follow a business career. For these
students the BCom(Insurance) degree will serve as an excellent take-off for
a career in Insurance.
Prof Marx says the chair is not only involved with the training of students
but is also available to advise all final year students and alumni of the
University as well as the insurance public in general on insurance matters.
Observing the insurance industry, prof Marx claims that were it not for the
savings mobilised by the industry, the South African economy would have
However, he warns that exorbitant commission is paid to agents for
investments placed with life assurers and that agents often neglect their duty
to properly analyse and provide in their clients' life assurance needs. An
assurance agent earns R8 268 commission on a RI 00 000 investment while for
example a stock broker would earn R 778 investing such an amount.
He calls for it that commission on large investments with life assurers should
be revealed so that the transaction can be open to free market forces.
In his observations on employee benefits prof Marx urges that pension funds
should calculate retirement benefits not only on cash salaries but also on fringe
benefits. He also demands that actuaries should place greater emphasis on
better provision for post retirement pension increases to compensate for
He also stresses that there is insufficient provision for the increasing medical
costs and cost of care for the aged.
Employers should further consider the fairness of the rate of interest paid on
past contributions of employees leaving service, says prof Marx.