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Research and Thought Leadership Board

The advancement of actuarial science through research is one of the core strategic objectives of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA).

The pursuit of research is a feature that distinguishes the IFoA from simply being a professional or membership body to a Learned Society that is able to meet the key research challenges facing the actuarial profession.  Reporting to the IFoA’s Council, the Research and Thought Leadership Board (RTLB) was put in place to ensure that the IFoA’s research coverage is appropriate, is of an adequate quality and is disseminated.  Its remit also includes identifying future research themes, which it then seeks to address through the IFoA's Actuarial Research Centre or through the Practice Boards' volunteer working parties.

The RTLB is led by Lay Chair Erik Vynckier and consists of IFoA members and Executive staff supporting the delivery of the IFoA’s research agenda.  The RTLB shapes and delivers the IFoA research programme and associated activities.

Current RTLB Membership:

  • Erik Vynckier – Chair
  • Cynthia Yuan - Council Representative
  • Graeme Charters
  • Sarah Mathieson
  • Alexandra Miles
  • Ron Richman
  • Craig Turnbull
  • Simon Warsop

With support from:

  • Elizabeth Ibbotson-Wight - RTLB Secretary


RTLB Publications Sub-Committee

The RTLB is supported by the RTLB Publications Sub-Committee.  This sub-group of the RTLB aims to provide strategic direction and oversight of all IFoA research publications, and ensure appropriate delivery through the relevant volunteers, editorial teams and Executive staff.

Current membership is:

  • Erik Vynckier - RTLB Chair
  • Tom Bishop – IFoA Library and Publications Manager
  • Joanne Davis - IFoA Head of Communities
  • Trevor Couper - British Actuarial Journal Co-Editor
  • Angus Macdonald - Annals of Actuarial Science Editor
  • Sarah Mathieson - Head of Research and Knowledge
  • Cathy Robertson - British Actuarial Journal Editor

With support from:

  • Kenneth Bogle - RTLB Publications Sub-Committee Secretary

The Research and Thought Leadership Board Publications Sub-Committee operates within terms of reference.

Related documents

Contact Details

If you have any questions or wish to discuss any aspect of our funding for member-led research please contact the Research and Knowledge Team:

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Start date
E.g., 26/10/2020
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Events calendar

  • GIRO 2020 Virtual Conference

    Available to watch globally in November.
    02-13 November 2020
    Spaces available


    This year's GIRO has been re-designed as a virtual conference to offer members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the general insurance field via online webinars. All sessions will be recorded and made available to purchase and re-watch post-event on the IFoA's GI Online Learning Resource area

  • Spaces available

    The webinar will discuss the challenges and opportunities schemes face in evaluating end game options, choosing a target state and understanding the impact this strategic decision could have on member outcomes long after the “end state” is reached. Adolfo, Kevin and Rhian bring over 60 years of experience in the industry and a variety of perspectives as scheme actuary, covenant adviser, trustee, de-risking adviser and insurer.

  • Spaces available

    Retail banking is going through a period of substantial change as it moves into the digital age. Banks have large amounts of data about their customers and about their risks. Open data application programming interface (APIs) and data science are enabling banks to use their data to offer innovative and sometimes personalised services. Data science is also adding value in risk areas such as fraud detection and cyber security. At the same time, the move to online banking is making it easier for firms including fintechs to enter banking without having to establish branch networks.

  • Spaces available

    Cash-flow driven investing is a game-changer for DB pension funds navigating their end-game. Suitable for sponsors who want to reduce risks on their balance sheets. And for trustees, it shifts the focus to providing greater certainty of returns, managing funding level volatility and ensuring they have enough income to pay cash-flow requirements.

  • Spaces available

    Patrick Kennedy, Partner at Gateley Legal and Founding Director of Entrust (a leading professional pensions trustee company), will be delivering an update on the latest legal developments during the course of 2020. With both a pensions legal perspective and over 25 years of trustee service, Patrick will seek to highlight how the letter of the law has continued to evolve against the backdrop of a difficult and challenging year

  • Spaces available

    The talk will provide an understanding of the priorities and relationships between deficit reduction contributions, in the context of wider scheme funding, and different types of value outflow from the employer based on the working party’s recently published report. 

  • Spaces available

    Covid-19 has required an urgent and cross-practice initiative to facilitate the extensive impact this pandemic has across all industries. IFoA members have been keen to contribute in a different way, so we developed the IFoA Covid-19 Action Taskforce [ICAT] to coordinate our effort, with a more efficient governance.

    We have over 500 volunteers and countless topics which we have amalgamated into 93 workstreams.