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IFoA Asia Conference 2017

11-12 May 2017

About this event

Book your place today and take advantage of the early bird fee before 31 March!

The IFoA Asia Conference is now in its third year and has a proven track record of attracting high-level decision makers and top industry practitioners from all backgrounds including direct insurers, thought leaders and investment stakeholders from around the world. The conference aims to explore the future of insurance and financial systems through a well rounded balance of plenary sessions, interactive workshops and networking opportunities.

View the various ticket prices below

Ticket price options GBP£ USD
IFoA and ASHK member early bird fee 475.00 594.00
IFoA member fee (after March) 685.00 856.00
Non IFoA member  685.00 856.00
Academic 420.00 525.00

The value and benefits of becoming an official Conference Partner
You will have the opportunity to connect with your key target audience and the actuaries of the future. Supporting the IFoA Asia Conference 2017 is a reputable way of raising your company profile within the actuarial market and crafting enhanced awareness of your brand. Join Sunshine Insurance Group, JTL, Milliman, RGA, Standard Life Investments, Sunshine Insurance Group, CAS and Oliver James in Hong Kong for what is set to be our biggest Asia Conference yet. View the financial partnership proposal here.

Registration Thu, 11/05/2017 - 08:00 - 09:00 Registration
Plenary session Thu, 11/05/2017 - 09:00 - 09:15 Welcome
Plenary session Thu, 11/05/2017 - 09:15 - 10:15 Plenary 1

Speaker: Dr Moses Cheng 

Refreshments Thu, 11/05/2017 - 10:15 - 10:45 Morning Refreshments
Workshop Thu, 11/05/2017 - 10:45 - 11:35 Workshop Sessions A

A1: The Future of Motor Insurance. What Lies Beyond the Horizon?

The changing landscape of motor insurance continues to present challenges and opportunities, in particular trends in digital distribution, social media, telematics, driverless car technology and the potential future role of motor manufacturers, retailers, internet companies and other players are making motor insurance as exciting as ever. In this presentation we will cover the main current trends and developments around the motor industry and discuss how this may disrupt the whole motor insurance market, affect insurance companies, customers and distribution. We will also be discussing some of the challenges and critical success factors from emerging technology in Insurance, in Asia and worldwide.

Speaker: Rob Malattia, Willis Towers Watson  

A2: Evolving Investment Strategies to Optimise Risk-Based Capital

This session will discuss the key insurance investment trends across Asia, based on our insights gained from working across the region. Case studies of capital-efficient investment strategies implemented by Asian insurers including:

  •  Investment manager “alpha”, through investment in risk-based, outcome-focused, funds
  • Private market “illiquidity premium”

We will set out how insurers assess the return, risk and capital implications of new investment strategies, and share our practical experience of implementing these strategies for Asian insurers.

Speaker: Iain Forrester, Standard Life Investments (UK) and Dongyue Zhang, Standard Life Investments (Hong Kong)

A3: Pillar II of C-ROSS and its Applications 

This presentaion will be in three parts.

  • The  regulatory framework of pillar II of China Risk Oriented Solvency System (C-ROSS)
  • Details of regulatory requirements under Pillar II of C-ROSS
  • Case studies of Chinese insurance companies under the pillar II system, industry response and developments so far.

I will particular talk about SARMRA, which is the most important regulatory tool adpoted by the CIRC under C-ROSS Pillar II. Through SARMRA, we established a system which connects risk management and capital together. In 2016, CIRC has finished evaluating SARMRA the first time and I hope we can provide its system design and useful practical data to the international insurance industry as a whole.

Speaker: Jing Guo, China Insurance Regulatory Commission

A4: How is the Japan Life Insurance Industry Responding to Negative Interest Rates?

The presentation will cover the impact of negative interest rates on the Japan life insurance industry, and comment on the actuarial issues created by this outcome. The impact has been felt in policyholder behaviour, in product strategy, product pricing, in investment strategy, in preparations for an economic-based solvency standard and even in the practical ability of models to accomodate negative rates. It has also highlighted how a central bank's policy can conflict with the objectives of financial regulators.The experience of Japan can prove useful to other countries whose rates are also trending lower, and potentially towards such extremes.Some parallels will be drawn with European and other Asian countries.

Speaker: Des Thomas, MetLife Insurance K.K.

A5: A proxy model for capital allocation in business planning

The topic is to introduce a proxy model of implementing Bayesian model and Optimisation technique to help insurance companies to optimise capital allocation in the business planning process.

We present a proxy model for all type of liability products cash flow. The new business sales and investment return assumptions are controlled by the 4 hidden states of the economy, i.e. recession, boom, and the two transition periods. We want to find out the optimal sale volume target for each product line in order to maximise the “defined total profit” within N years, subject to the capital constraint. As the full distribution of the profit and loss (P&L) information will be available,  the senior management can see both upside potential and downside risk of the P&L. The parameters of the process need to be calibrated to the company specific features and incorporate management input and to be revised when new data become available.

Speakers: Yizhou He, Aviva Plc and Feifei Zhang, KPMG


Workshop Thu, 11/05/2017 - 11:40 - 12:30 Workshop Sessions B

B1: Challenges and Opportunities in the Asian Retirement Space

The presenters will highlight the current landscape of retirement income in Asia, any potential unmet needs, and subsequent opportunities for private providers. The presentation will include a discussion of potential product offerings, with examples from other countries, and the key competencies that may need to be developed to play in this space.

Speakers: Paul Sinnott and Wade Matterson, Milliman

B2: Pricing, Reserving & Capital Management with 'Big Data' - Fact or Fallacy?

The session will provide hands-on, practical advice of how to utilise 'Big Data' for Asia-based GI actuaries working in Pricing, Reserving and Capital areas. By way of example and by case study, I will discuss pieces of 'Big Data' that have helped me in each of Pricing, Reserving and Capital, but also where 'Big Data' has hindered and mislead me.

  • Pricing: examples of using 'Big Data' to improve risk selection
  • Reserving: how to use 'Big Data' to implement leading indicators to help manage and communicate reserve risk
  • Capital: using 'Big Data' to improve your understanding of the distribution's tail-end

Some of these examples are innovative; others will be older GI topics that are refreshed and reinvigorated with 'Big Data': using Big Data is not necessarily as challenging or as complex as you might think! The session will focus on areas most relevant to Hong Kong and Asia, plus offer a current UK perspective on this topic.

Speakers: Martin Noble and Jacob Craigie, Zurich Insurance

B3: How Technology and Robo-advice is Changing Consumer Behaviour and Disrupting Long-established Models: a Case Study

The way consumers interact with financial services is changing rapidly, threatening some long-established business models. A new generation of disruptive technology is combining the latest technological advances with insights from behavioural economics. One such development is “robo-advice”, making financial assistance more readily available to those who won’t or can’t use an adviser. Hear how one such development is harnessing sophisticated stochastic modelling and data in a manner that’s transforming the savings behaviour of consumers.

Speaker: John Taylor, Hymans Robertson 

B4: Panel Discussion: What motivates our career decisions?

the Pannel will discuss how actuaries could

  • shape their career,
  • build resilience from industry challenges, and
  • take steps to proactively own their career.

Speakers: Yanum Venkatrathnam, RGAre, Ka Man Wong, ‎AXA, John Chen, Swiss Re China, Mark Saunders, AIA Group

B5: Green Bond: Investing in Climate Change Solutions 

The effects of climate change and the risks associated with a greater than 2 degrees rise are significant. An average loss of USD 4.2 trillion to the total global stock of manageable assets is estimated for the end of the century as a result of climate change. Investors have recognised these risks and costs to their investment, therefore they are making actions to address climate changes.
‘Labelled’ green bonds are bonds with proceeds earmarked for green projects and designated accordingly, is an effective discovery tool for investors to screen green investment opportunities with climate change benefits and environmental benefits.

Speaker: Sean Kidney, Climate Bonds Initiative


Refreshments Thu, 11/05/2017 - 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
Workshop Thu, 11/05/2017 - 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch Workshop: The Actuarial Research Centre

Speaker: Shaun Wang, Nanyang University Singapore, ARC Associate Director

Plenary session Thu, 11/05/2017 - 13:40 - 14:40 Plenary 2 - A View of Fintech and Blockchain

The integration of technology in the insurance company's value proposition is turning out to be one of the main evolutionary trends in the sector, and the digitisation is emerging to be one of the top priorities for sector participants.
Blockchain, a distributed ledger system has the potential to be the underlying infrastructure for financial services in this digital age.

With its distributed ledger architecture, consensus protocol and smart contracts features, we see potential applications of Blockchain to improve operation, risk management and compliance efficiency throughout the life cycles of insurance products, either on a standalone basis or in conjunction with the development of other emerging technologies.

Blockchain with its unique feature of data immutability, might be able to prevent insurance fraud; in connection with Robo advisor, may effectively change the distribution channel; in conjunction with the development of smart tracking devices, may re-shape the current products pricing structure to be a more dynamic and customized insurance policy pricing mechanism based on performance data tracking.

Speaker: Jennifer Yi Qin, Deloitte Asia Pacific

Workshop Thu, 11/05/2017 - 14:45 - 15:45 Workshop Sessions C

Business Ecosystems and the Digital Dynamic

A business ecosystem strategy is especially important in today’s insurance industry environment. Insurers must work with reinsurers, health professionals, tech companies, service providers, and even other insurers to innovate and move their companies into a digital ecosystem. In Asia, where new product development is the key driver of business growth, multi-discipline partnerships are essential. Insurance is going digital, and the transformation of a paper-based industry into a stream of electronic data is happening most rapidly. Life and health insurers who have lagged behind other financial-services sectors in digital innovation are now catching up. They are applying descriptive, predictive, and optimization models and working with new partners in an evolving digital ecosystem to deliver the next generation of insurance products.

Speaker: Georgio Mosis, RGAx

C2: Understanding Cyber Risk Mitigation, Quantification and Importance of Data Integrity and Provenance

This session will present a paper about the understanding and mitigation of cyber risk prior to any risk transfer. It looks beyond just data breach to critical infrastructure and global supply chain. Encompassing a host of sub topics around risk management, origins of cyber risk management in Estonia , cyber insurance, provenance of big data and healthcare. Case studies will be provided. There will be emphasis on cyber insurance pricing and how the mitigation presented can affect the combined ratio of an insurer from the aspect of the reduction of claims fraud, reduction of data breach, litigation and other expenses plus increasing EP (Earned premium) by creation of new products and operational efficiency of processes. Concluding with some preductions on the future ad will introduce a new data integrity standard.

Speaker: David Piesse, Guardtime

C3: IFRS 17 is here - so What are our Strategic Opportunities?

IFRS 17 is the biggest ever change to accounting for insurers. While many actuaries are grappling with the modelling and accounting implications, we turn to the strategic implications. Those insurers that can capitalise on new opportunities in product development, asset-liability management, and even M&A opportunities that will arise in the light of this far-reaching standard, stand to gain from the significant investment and the new insights generated from reporting the numbers. Presenting with an investment analyst, we will illustrate the investor view, and also the strategic view of the new Standard from the perspective of life insurers.

Speakers: Speakers TBC, PwC 

C4: Life Product in Low Interest Rate Environment

There is a general consensus that the current low interest rate environment constitutes the main risk for insurance industry. This is mainly due to two generic characteristics of insurers’ business models: (i) the large amount of fixed-term investments that insurers have on their balance sheet; and (ii) the strong influence of long-term interest rates on the discount rate of insurance liabilities.
Moreover, the life insurance business is often characterised by the presence of products embedding financial guarantees, i.e. instruments granting a minimum rate of return to policyholders. In times of low interest rates, this business model might represent a threat to the profitability and the solvency of life insurance companies, especially in countries where products with relatively high guaranteed returns sold in the past still represent a prominent share of the total portfolio.

Speaker: Jamie Zuo, China Taiping Life Insurance (Hong Kong) Company Limited

C5: A Positive Approach to a World of Negative Rates


Refreshments Thu, 11/05/2017 - 15:45 - 16:15 Afternoon Refreshments
Plenary session Thu, 11/05/2017 - 16:15 - 17:00 Plenary 3 - Regulation of Insurance when there is Asymmetric Information

Speaker: Professor Sir James Mirrlees 

Networking Thu, 11/05/2017 - 17:00 - 19:00 Conference Networking Drinks Reception

Thank you to CAS our sponsors

Drinks and canapes will be served on the pool side terrace. 

Plenary session Fri, 12/05/2017 - 09:00 - 10:00 Plenary 4 - A View on Climate Change

Speaker: Yves Guerard 

Refreshments Fri, 12/05/2017 - 10:00 - 10:30 Morning Refreshments
Workshop Fri, 12/05/2017 - 10:30 - 11:20 Workshop Sessions D

D1: The Practical Issues of Why a More Comprehensive Risk Solvency Regime does not Suit Developing Markets

This session will mainly focus around around the practical issues of implementing a comprehensive risk solvency regime in less developed market and if that necessary. the speakers will share typical examples on both Pillar I (quantative) and Pillar II (qualitative) of C-ROSS trail implementation during their time with the CIRC and share my discussions with India and African markets on changing the solvency regime to be risk-driven and discuss why it maybe difficult and not apprpriate to go for a full-blown SII in a oner.

Speakers: Yi Yang, KPMG and Tao Liu, CIRC 

D2: More Than Just a Big Idea: How Big Data and Deep Learning is Helping Japanese Insurers to Protect Homeowners from Natural Catastrophe Risk

The high natural catastrophe risk in Japan has driven the speaker's team in Aon Benfield to explore how big data can improve both underwriting and premium rating for homeowners, plus risk assessment in the country. The speaker will unveil their building exposure database for Japan that contains data for 65 million buildings. This includes critical characteristics such as roof type and condition; residential or commercial which are key differentiators in assessing post typhoon losses, the largest natural catastrophe risk in Japan. By combining specific big data sets, catastrophe modelling and deep learning, the session highlights how insurers, rating agencies and regulators can drill down to improve understanding of risk at the policy holder level. Actuaries and analysts will be able to glean a ‘behind the scenes’ insight into how this ultra-high definition risk assessment will shape their work on reinsurance buying and pricing plus wider risk mitigation strategies.

Speaker: Oriol Gaspa Rebull, Aon Benfield Japan

D3: New Insights into Customer Behaviour and Value

Traditional techniques for measuring policyholder behaviour, and more generally demographics across a portfolio of life insurance contracts, no matter how sophisticated, have generally historically been based on extrapolation of data in a linear manner. Now, new modelling techniques borrowed from supply-chain management are enabling actuaries to give greater insight than ever of how customer behaviour might develop over time in a range of scenarios. These techniques combine the traditional 'experience analysis' view of policyholder behaviour with data from other sources, to enable a richer view to be obtained. But where the technique differs from other big data techniques is in the application of new software which looks at the policyholder view in a way that actuaries have not typically done before, and enables rapid insights to be obtained. We will illustrate the new technique, and also suggest a number of applications of the new technique to traditional actuarial work.

Speakers: TBC, PwC 

D4: Can Actuaries Stay Relevant? – Real-Life Investment Case Studies

The global insurance industry faces significant economic, regulatory and technological headwinds. Traditional business models may require re-designing if insurers are to add value for their clients. This situation presents the global actuarial profession with challenges if it is to remain relevant.

  • We discuss how actuarial ideas are being applied in the insurance investment arena, to design and implement innovative asset solutions and to enhance insurance asset manager capability.
  • Real-life case studies are provided including: risk managed funds, absolute return investing, private market assets and insurer client support.

Speaker: Dr Bruce Porteous, Standard Life Investments

D5: What is New and How Does It Impact Us? The Impact of Recent Changes in Lifestyle and Medical Advancement on Product Design and Underwriting

With the prevalence of smart devices, it is inevitable that life and health insurers will need to keep up with the technology to stay competitive. Product marketing via social media (e.g. Facebook, Linked In) is not uncommon anymore. Some insurers have also started to incorporate wearable technology into the Wellness programs.Changes in lifestyle as seen from the prevalence of e-cigaretes are also no longer insignificant and some insurers have started to adapt their underwriting questions to capture this. In addition, medical advancement in the area of self-diagnosis also highlights a potential issue for life and health insurers, who could be anti-selected by the consumers. Amidst of these changes, how could life and health insurers stay ahead of the game?

Speaker: Kay Shong, General Reinsurance AG


Workshop Fri, 12/05/2017 - 11:25 - 12:15 Workshop Sessions E
E1: Motor Insurance in China (This session is still to be confirmed)

E2: China’s Supply-side Reform and the Application of Actuarial Science on the Insurance Industry

Instead of working solely on boosting the demand, China has turned its focus towards the Supply Side Policies. The advancement of quality and efficiency of the Supply side management stimulates the sustainable and solid economic growth.
This session will look at 

  • How Chinese insurance industry implement the Supply-side Policies
  • Actuaries actively involved in the reforms
  • The application and impact of actuarial science on China’s Supply-side Reform in the insurance industry

Speaker: Chubin Xu, Sunshine Insurance Group

E3: Overseas Investment by Insurers-Western Experiences and Challenges for Asia

Investment in overseas markets by the first generation multinational insurance companies, such as Phoenix in UK and the Equitable in USA, will be discussed. The experiences of modern top insurance corporations, especially those in UK and USA, will also be analyzed in depth, including insurance sector statistics as well as case studies of New York Life, Metlife, and Prudential plc. We will look into various topics, such as asset allocation, market cycle of risky tools, portfolio diversification, and financial conditions.
This paper will try to answer the following questions:

  • What motivated western insurers into overseas investing?
  • Why some succeeded while others failed?
  • What did they do in low interest environment or hyperinflation period?
  • How did they deal with asset bubbles?

After a summary of the experiences of and lessons from British and American insurance companies, we will review the overseas operation of Asian insurers. Last but not least, we will put forward some suggestions on how to meet the challenges facing Asian insurers, with a focus on China. 

Speaker: Professor Gaolin Xu, University of International Business and Economics

E4: Agricultural Insurance in Asia: A Growing Market

This session will explore the rapidly growing agricultural insurance market in Asia. An introduction will include an overview of Agricultural Insurance in Asia and a comparison to the established United States market. Which will include a discussion of the public/private relationship of insurers, an overview of the different types of policies and crops, and the basics of ratemaking. This will follow with a more detailed discussion of actuarial rating methodologies and the obstacles that are faced, such as lack of data and catastrophes. We will end with future expectations and questions from the audience.

Speaker: Carl Ashenbrenner, Casualty Actuarial Society - Agriculture Insurance in Asia Working Party

E5: To Be Confirmed 


Refreshments Fri, 12/05/2017 - 12:15 - 13:15 Lunch
Plenary session Fri, 12/05/2017 - 13:25 - 14:25 Plenary 5 - Professional Skills for Experienced Members

Speakers: Colin Wilson, President, IFoA and Derek Cribb, CEO IFoA

Plenary session Fri, 12/05/2017 - 14:30 - 15:45 Plenary 6 - Panel Discussion: the Future of the Profession in Asia
Plenary session Fri, 12/05/2017 - 15:45 - 16:00 Conference Close
Refreshments Fri, 12/05/2017 - 16:00 - 17:00 Afternoon Refreshments

You will be able to access the papers once event registration has opened.