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Research Team

This research consortium is made up of academics and industry experts from across the globe

Principal Investigator

  • Professor Andrew Cairns - Heriot-Watt University

Co-investigators

  • Torsten Kleinow - Heriot-Watt University
  • Angus Macdonald - Heriot-Watt University
  • George Streftaris - Heriot-Watt University
  • Erengul Dodd - Southampton University
  • David Blake - Cass Business School, City University London
  • Kevin Dowd - Retired Professor of Economics and Independent Consultant
  • Michel Vellekoop - Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Amsterdam 
  • Malene Kallestrup-Lamb - Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Ian Duncan - University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Stephen Richards - Longevitas Ltd.
  • Liang Chen - University College Cork

Research Team Biographies

Andrew Cairns is Professor of Financial Mathematics at Heriot-Watt University. His research broadly concerns quantitative risk management of pension plans and life insurers including model and parameter risk. He has published extensively on asset strategies for pension plans, interest rate modelling and modelling and management of longevity risk, and many of his papers rank amongst the most highly cited in actuarial science. He is passionate about deriving industry impact from his research, and has a strong track record of impact as evidenced in Heriot-Watt’s 2013 Research Excellence Framework (REF) submission.

Torsten Kleinow is associate professor in the Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics at Heriot-Watt University. His main research interests are stochastic mortality models and the valuation and management of long term saving products with embedded options. He has published a number of papers on With-Profits contracts and collective pension schemes including the risk management of annuities when interest rates and mortality rates are stochastic. He also developed a multi-population mortality model. He has supervised PhD students working on economic modelling, risk management and risk capital allocation as well as mortality modelling.

Angus Macdonald graduated in Mathematics from Glasgow University, subsequently qualifying as a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries in 1984. In 1989 he moved to Heriot-Watt University, obtaining a PhD in 1995 and being appointed Professor in 2000. He served on Faculty Council from 1998 to 2007. In 1999 he set up the Genetics and Insurance Research Centre, which has since produced most of the actuarial research on this subject, including two papers that won the David Garrick Halmstad prize in 2005. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2006 and was awarded the Finlaison Medal by the actuarial profession in 2011. He has been actively involved with the UK Continuous Mortality Investigation from 1999 to 2015.

George Streftaris is Associate Professor in Statistics at Heriot-Watt University. His research focusses on Bayesian modelling and inference across the interface of statistics, actuarial science, epidemiology and life sciences. He has a strong interdisciplinary research record, reflected in his publications and involvement in cross-sectional projects concerning stochastic modelling in the areas of critical illness insurance, epidemiological resilience to disease outbreaks and flood risk. He has supervised a number of PhD students in these areas, and also in topics related to heart disease modelling, stochastic mortality and Bayesian model assessment.

Erengul (Ozkok) Dodd is a Lecturer in Actuarial Mathematics at the University of Southampton. Her research focusses on the application of statistical modelling, inference and prediction under model uncertainty to insurance claim and population mortality data. She has a number of publications on stochastic modelling and pricing of critical illness insurance and has recently worked with the Office for National Statistics to produce the latest official decennial life table, ELT17, and project the future mortality improvement rates in the UK.

David Blake is Professor of Pension Economics and Director of the Pensions Institute at Cass Business School, City University London. In 2011, he won the Robert I. Mehr award from the American Risk and Insurance Association for his seminal paper on mortality risk transfers. The paper is credited with developing a new global capital market in mortality risk transfers between pension funds, life assurers and capital market investors, leading to the world’s first pension buy-out in 2006 and the world’s first pension buy-in and first longevity swap in 2007. In 2013, he was selected as one of “The Professors: The Ten Most Influential Academics in Institutional Investing by aiCIO”. He organises the annual International Longevity Risk and Capital Market Solutions Conferences, a key component in the impact generation chain. He has published in leading international journals, such as Journal of Finance, Review of Finance (formerly European Finance Review), Journal of Econometrics, Economic Journal, Journal of Risk and Insurance and North American Actuarial Journal.

Kevin Dowd is Professor of Economics and Finance at Durham University Business School (part time) and Emeritus Professor of Financial Risk Management at Nottingham University Business School, where he worked at the Centre for Risk and Insurance Studies. He has written widely in the fields of financial and monetary economics, political economy, financial regulation, financial risk management, pensions and more recently, mortality modelling. His books include Competition and Finance: A New Interpretation of Financial and Monetary Economics (Macmillan, 1996), Beyond Value at Risk: The New Science of Risk Management (Wiley, 1998) and Measuring Market Risk (2nd ed, Wiley, 2005). He also has an affiliation with the Institute of Economic Affairs. He is also one of the co-authors of the Cairns-Blake-Dowd (CBD) mortality model.

Michel Vellekoop is full professor in the Actuarial Sciences and Mathematical Finance group at the University of Amsterdam. His academic work in actuarial science focuses on longevity and interest rate risk and asset pricing in incomplete markets. He has published in all the top actuarial journals and as a member of the Dutch Committee on Mortality Research, he is responsible for the official mortality projections of the Dutch Actuarial Society (KAG). Michel was the project leader for two large Research Themes funded by Netspar, the Network for Studies on Pensions, Ageing and Retirement: Reconciling Short Term Risks and Long Term Goals for Retirement Provisions (2009-2012) and Risk Management for Funded Pension Systems (2013-2016).

Malene Kallestrup-Lamb is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and Business Economics at Aarhus University. She is an active researcher in the fields of time series econometrics and micro econometrics, with particular emphasis on mortality, longevity, economics of ageing, retirement and health economics. In providing useful insight in explaining and identifying longevity trends she has contributed with new types of mortality data that allows both pension funds and governments the ability to account for characteristics such as marital status, education, financial indicators, social class, and region in the estimation and forecast of mortality.

Ian Duncan is Adjunct Professor of Actuarial Statistics at the University of California Santa Barbara. From 2010 to 2014 he served as Vice President, Clinical Outcomes, Analytics and Reporting at the Walgreens Company.  He founded Solucia Consulting (now SCIO Health Analytics), a provider of analytical and consulting services to the healthcare financing industry in 1998.  He is a post-graduate research student at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries, the Institute of Actuaries (London), and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.  He is active in public policy and healthcare reform, and served on the board of directors of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector Authority from 2007-2014. He was also a member of the board of the Society of Actuaries (2012-5).

Stephen Richards is managing director of Longevitas Ltd. He qualified as a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries in 1994 and holds a PhD from Heriot-Watt University. For a number of years he served on several CMI working parties relating to longevity and mortality. He has published a number of papers on the practical application of statistics to business and regulatory problems involving longevity risk.

Liang Chen is a lecturer in the Department of Statistics, the School of Mathematical Science at University College Cork, Ireland. His research interest is in modelling the longevity risk of small heterogeneous populations; critical illness and long-term care.

 

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Events calendar

  • Data Science: Opportunities for Actuaries

    The IFoA's first virtual event   
    26 February 2019 - 28 February 2019

    Spaces available

    The IFoA are launching their first virtual conference on the topic of Data Science, that is free to attend. This is an exciting and forward thinking move to reach members all over the world and to share knowledge and discuss developments and techniques within data science.

  • Leicester Actuarial Science Society presents the 5th Annual Worshipful Company of Actuaries Lecture

    The University of Leicester, Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre 3 (see map and directions)
    27 February 2019

    Spaces available

    IFoA President-Elect, John Taylor will discuss his work on 'robo advice' and the implications of technology for the future of the profession, but also his thoughts about the immediate priorities for the actuarial profession based on his first year with the Presidential Team. 

    The Worshipful Company of Actuaries will also be explaining their work and presenting two prizes: one each to the best performing 2nd year and 3rd year BSc Mathematics and Actuarial Science student at the University during the session.

  • ARC: ERM Results Launch Event

    Staple inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    28 February 2019

    Fully booked.

     

    This event is now full. We do operate a waiting system for this event should there become availability, which you can register for here and be added to the waitlist. We will email everyone on the waiting list nearer the time to confirm whether there is availability for them to attend.

     

  • Actuaries Rock event – What happened at GIRO?

    Gibraltar Financial Services Commission P O Box 940 Suite 3, Ground Floor Atlantic Suites Europort Avenue GX11 - 1AA Gibraltar
    28 February 2019

    Spaces available

    This event is run by Actuaries Rock, the regional society for actuaries in Gibraltar. To register please email:  kmorgan@gfsc.gi 

  • SIAS Event: Challenges and Opportunities for Actuaries Working in Data Science

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    4 March 2019

    Spaces available

    This talk will present examples of the use of data science in the General Insurance and Health and Care practice areas. It will highlight some of the opportunities and challenges for actuaries in using the latest data science techniques in these fields.

    1. Lisa Balboa will present on using predictive analytics to improve health care forecasting.
    2. Alexander Hanks will present a practical example of training a neural network to fit curves to general insurance claims data.
  • Highlights of the Life Conference 2018 - London

    Ect Venues, 200 Aldersgate, St. Pauls, London EC1A 4HD
    5 March 2019

    Spaces available

    IFoA event AllThis event will cover the highlights from the Life Conference 2018 held in Liverpool. The Conference Committee has reviewed session feedback and has put together a high-quality technical programme featuring the best sessions from the Life Conference 2018.  Book now to ensure your place.

  • Life and F&I One Day Workshop

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    11 March 2019

    Spaces available

    IFoA Event Logo AllThis cross-practice event for Life actuaries and those in finance and investments roles offers high-quality CPD with a series of thought-provoking presentations covering economics and financial markets, responsible investment, CMA review outcome, FCA requirements, asset analytics, and much more.

  • Spring Lecture 2019, Edinburgh - Sir John Curtice

    Royal College of Physicians, 9 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JQ
    13 March 2019

    Fully booked.

    In conjunction with the Scottish BoardEdinburgh is now full. However, you can still register here to view the event live online, allowing those who cannot attend in person to stream the lecture to their computer, laptop, tablet, and phones wherever they are in the world. 
    We do operate a waiting system for each of the Edinburgh and London venues should there be availability, which you can register for here and be added to the waitlist. We will email everyone on the waiting list nearer the time to confirm whether there is availability for them to attend.
  • Spring Lecture 2019, Live stream at Staple Inn - Professor Sir John Curtice

    Staple Inn, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    13 March 2019

    Fully booked.

     
    In conjunction with the Scottish BoardFollowing the popularity of this year’s Spring Lecture, delivered by Professor Sir John Curtice, an additional venue has been sourced for Members to attend a London Livestream event at the Lloyd's building. Please register here. Alternatively, you can still register here  to view the event live online, allowing those who cannot attend in person to stream the lecture to their computer, laptop, tablet, and phones wherever they are in the world. 
     
  • Sessional Meeting: Investment risk for long term investors - risk measurement approaches

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    18 March 2019

    Spaces available

    The term ‘investment risk’ is often used loosely, and frequently confused with the notion of short term price volatility, particularly for equity instruments. For the long term investor, however, what is most apposite is the ability to meet future real cash flows as they become due.

  • KSS event – Index Based Longevity Hedging

    Royal London St Andrew House, 1 Thistle St, Edinburgh EH2 1DG
    18 March 2019

    Spaces available

    This KSS talk on Index Based Longevity Hedging  -  The Dutch Experience and implications for the UK market will cover the structure of deals to date in the Dutch market; the challenges in determining the Solvency 2 capital treatment for such deals and the work done by the Longevity Risk Transfer Working Party of the Dutch Insurance Association; a proposal for a method for quantification of Basis Risk based on a recent paper “Basis Risk in Index Based Longevity Hedges: A Guide for Longevity Hedgers” by Cairns & El Boukfaoui, and implications for the future, both in terms

  • Highlights of the Life Conference 2018 - Edinburgh

    Apex Grassmarket Hotel, 31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HS
    19 March 2019

    Spaces available

    This event will cover the highlights from the Life Conference 2018 held in Liverpool. The Conference Committee has reviewed session feedback and has put together a high-quality technical programme featuring the best sessions from the Life Conference 2018.  Book now to ensure your place.

  • KSS event - FinTech and The Actuarial Profession

    Barnett Waddingham 163 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 2JJ
    20 March 2019

    Spaces available

    This KSS talk from FinTech Scotland's CEO will explore the mission to create an integrated Fintech ecosystem through provision of funding, support, infrastructure and talent that recognises and responds to the needs of all stakeholders - and the overarching aim for Scotland to be one of the top 5 Fintech global leaders by 2020.

  • IFoA’s Diversity Advisory Group: The Power of Deep Listening

    Aviva, The Agora, Level 2B, St Helens, 1 Undershaft,  London EC3P 3DQ
    21 March 2019

    Spaces available

    8th March is International Women’s Day. The IFoA’s Diversity Advisory Group will be facilitating a session later in March as part of this celebration. Subject to availability. All members are welcomed. Please contact Susan Hunter Jones (susan.hunterjones@aviva.com) to register for the session.

  • Professional Skills Training - Edinburgh (26 March 19)

    IFoA (Edinburgh), Level 2, Exchange Crescent 7 Conference Square Edinburgh EH3 8RA
    26 March 2019

    Spaces available

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2018/2019.  This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Ogden Discount Rates Round Table

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    9 April 2019

    Spaces available

    Amid significant UK political uncertainty, the bodily injury settlement framework has continued to make progress. At the time of the Ogden discount rate change of early 2017 and throughout that year, Staple Inn was host to a set of events to discuss the changes and the subsequent MOJ review. This provided an important forum for debate, supporting your own thinking while helping inform the IFoA of the wide range of views on the subject.

  • Professional Skills Training - London (16 April 19)

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    16 April 2019

    Fully booked.

    Please register here to join the wait list

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2018/2019.  This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • TIGI 2019 (Technical Issues in General Insurance)

    Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Place, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4LE
    25-26 April 2019
    Spaces available

    This General Insurance CPD offering has been changed from former years of individual one day seminars to include individual sessions for IFRS 17, Pricing, Capital Modelling and Reserving over a two-day event  packaged as Technical Issues in General Insurance, providing attendees with a varied program . The event is suitable for anyone who works, or are interested, in these areas.

  • Professional Skills Training - Edinburgh (30 April 19)

    IFoA (Edinburgh), Level 2, Exchange Crescent 7 Conference Square Edinburgh EH3 8RA
    30 April 2019

    Spaces available

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2018/2019.  This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • IFoA Asia Conference 2019, Chengdu

    Crowne Plaza Chengdu Panda Garden, Poly Park 198, No. 1980 ShuLong Avenue,Xindu District, Chengdu
    09-10 May 2019
    Spaces available

    IfoA Logo for eventsOffering a diverse selection of plenary sessions and cross-practice workshops, the annual Asia Conference is the perfect opportunity to discover and discuss current and developing actuarial topics in Asia, whilst providing excellent opportunity to grow your network of contacts.

  • CILA 2019

    30 Euston Square, London NW1 2FB
    14 May 2019

    Spaces available

    CILA is one of the pre-eminent events in the annual Life calendar. It is aimed at practicing life actuaries from life offices, consulting firms and other employers of actuaries. It will also be of interest to all those who work in or advise on, the life assurance market in the UK and Europe.

  • KSS event – Bulk Annuity Market Update

    Willis Towers Watson 2 Lochrin Square, 96 Fountainbridge, Edinburgh EH3 9QA
    15 May 2019

    Spaces available

    This KSS talk will give a bulk annuity market update over 2018 and for 2019 and beyond.  The presenters will also consider bulk annuity options as part of pension scheme de-risking strategies, and how pension schemes can best prepare when requesting a quote in order to achieve a favourable outcome. To book please email Dawn.Neil@willistowerswatson.com.

  • KSS event – Bulk Annuity Market Update

    Willis Towers Watson 2 West Regent Street Glasgow G2 1RW
    16 May 2019

    Spaces available

    This KSS talk will give a bulk annuity market update over 2018 and for 2019 and beyond. The presenters will also consider bulk annuity options as part of pension scheme de-risking strategies, and how pension schemes can best prepare when requesting a quote in order to achieve a favourable outcome. To book a place please email Dawn.Neil@willistowerswatson.com

  • Risk and Investment one day Conference 2019

    Amba Hotel, Charing Cross, Strand, London WC2N 5HX
    20-21 May 2019
    Spaces available

    This year's Risk and Investment Conference will be taking place at Amba Hotel, Charing Cross, London.

    To book your place click here.

     

  • Sessional Research Event - Saving for Retirement: Rules of Thumb

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    20 May 2019

    Spaces available

    How much does the average person need to save over a full working life to provide a decent retirement income? We call this the Lifetime Pension Contribution (LPC) and have attempted to quantify it.

  • Professional Skills Training - London (12 June 19)

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    12 June 2019

    Spaces available

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2018/2019.  This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • NED Event: Behavioural Finance and Boards

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    18 June 2019

    Spaces available

    Substantial work has been undertaken in the field of behavioural finance to explore the psychological factors affecting investment decisions made by individuals.  In contrast, “behavioural” factors (such as politics or human psychology) affecting decisions and actions made by institutional investors, such as insurers or pension schemes, are less understood.

  • Pensions Conference 2019

    Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre, 2 Lower Castle Street, Old Market, Bristol, BS1 3AD
    18-19 June 2019
    Spaces available

    This year's Pensions Conference will be taking place at the Bristol Marriott City Centre.

  • Current Issues in General Insurance (CIGI) 2019

    Inmarsat, 99 City Road, London, EC1Y 1BJ
    19 June 2019

    Spaces available

    CIGI will provide an excellent and diverse line-up of speakers, each providing their insight and knowledge on a range of topics.  The programme will be broad in nature, so will be of most value to those with some experience in the industry. 

  • Professional Skills Training - London (25 June 19)

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    25 June 2019

    Spaces available

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2018/2019. This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.