The Presidential Address gives a broad overview of the development of the actuarial profession's role in its principle areas of activity. Actuaries play important roles in life insurance and pensions, but there are some major new challenges facing the profession in these areas. General insurance has been slow to develop, but is now likely to be the fastest growing part of the profession with a steadily expanding role. Finance and investment also offer major fields where actuaries could be more influential. With continuing growth expected in the number of qualified actuaries, it will also be important to move into wider fields. The new President challenges the profession to give proper priority to the public interest and to ensure that actuaries are worthy of the trust which is placed in them.