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ARC Webinar Series 2021

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Exploring the most significant challenges in actuarial science 

The Actuarial Research Centre (ARC) has developed a programme of webinars, recorded lectures and podcasts to showcase the results from their cutting-edge research programmes, addressing some significant challenges in actuarial science. The series will consist of five separate webinars, covering all of the ARC's main research programmes:

On this page you will find information on upcoming events and recordings of previous events available to you to watch on-demand.

Next Event: Details coming soon. Follow us on LinkedIn to be the first to hear about our next event!

Modelling cancer risk: regional and socioeconomic disparities

30 September 2021

Cancer incidence and mortality vary by region and socioeconomic status. Modelling the structure development and trends of cancer risk is important for insurance purposes and can impact pricing and reserving in related health insurance fields such as critical illness insurance and care provision.

In this work we investigate cancer rates over the period 2001-2018 to quantify differences among regions and deprivation groups in England, using data from the Office for National Statistics. Under a comprehensive Bayesian model, which accounts for uncertainties in the data, we provide a detailed assessment of regional and socioeconomic disparities in cancer morbidity and mortality risk. The analysis shows considerable inequalities in some of the most prevalent types of cancer, as well as all-cancer rates, with respect to socioeconomic status by region. It also reveals that the gap among deprivation groups with the highest and lowest cancer rates has widened over time for certain types of cancer. Our research has also found that delays in the average age of cancer diagnosis can result in a significant increase in cancer mortality, that also exhibits regional variation. This can be particularly relevant to diagnosis delays under the current Covid-19 pandemic.

The work discussed in this webinar is part of the Modelling, Measurement and Management of Longevity and Morbidity Risk programme.

Speakers:  Professor George Streftaris and Dr Ayşe Arık

Chair: Jamie Funnell

Further information

Modelling Neighbourhood Mortality Using the Random Forest

August 2021

This webinar introduces and explains the random forest algorithm in simple language and with interpretable example.  We then explain how the algorithm was applied to produce an estimate of relative mortality risk in small neighbourhood areas, using socio-economic metrics as predictive variables.  The published Longevity Index for England (LIFE) is also based on the random forest algorithm discussed in the webinar; Introducing the New Longevity Index for England (LIFE) App presented by Andrew Cairns and Torsten Kleinow.

Speakers:  Jie Wen

Further information

Introducing the New Longevity Index for England (LIFE) App

23 June 2021

This webinar explores how the new index has revealed previously uncaptured mortality inequalities by using predictive variables at a high degree of granularity. Globally renowned leader in actuarial science Professor Andrew Cairns and his co-investigator Torsten Kleinow demonstrate the uses of new LIFE index such as the causes of high or low mortality and regional differences in mortality.

Speakers:  Professor Andrew Cairns, Dr. Torsten Kleinow

Chair: Jamie Funnell

Further information

Use of Primary Health Care Records Data in Actuarial Research

9 March 2021 

This webinar reviewed the work of the UEA/Aviva research team over the last four years on a major research programme funded by the IFoA’s Actuarial Research Centre (Use of Big Health and Actuarial Data for Understanding Longevity and Morbidity Risks). The research concentrated on the longevity of people with major long term medical conditions such as diabetes, transient ischaemic attack, stroke and heart attack, and assessed the effects of key treatments such as statins, blood pressure drugs and hormone replacement therapy. Analyses were based on electronic primary health care records of 3.4M patients born before 1960, extracted from The Health Improvement (THIN) data-base. Professor Elena Kulinskaya and her team will describe the approaches used, lessons learned, and their main results, including development of their innovative MyLongevity app to calculate life expectancy.

Speakers: Prof. Elena Kulinskaya (University of East Anglia, School of Computing Sciences), Padma Chutoo (PhD Student, University of East Anglia, School of Computing Sciences) Nurunnahar Akter  (PhD Student, University of East Anglia, School of Computing Sciences) and Njabulo Ncube  (Postgraduate Researcher, University of East Anglia, School of Computing Sciences),  Ilyas Bakbergenuly (Post Doctorate Researcher, University of East Anglia, School of Computing Sciences)

Panel: Prof Nicholas Steel (University of East Anglia, Norwich Medical School) and by Mr Nigel Wright (Life & Health Data Science- Actuary, Aviva)

Chair : Erik Vynckier (Non-Executive Director, Foresters Friendly Society)

Further information

  • Find out more about the presenters
  • View the slides from the webinar 
  • View the recording on the Virtual Learning Enviroment (VLE)  and claim CPD
  • Find out more on ARC's research programme Use of Big Health and Actuarial Data for Understanding Longevity and Morbidity Risks.


Understanding Biases in Trustee Decision Making

21 January 2021 

This webinar explores the evidence that “behavioural” factors, such as human psychology, company culture, corporate politics and conflicts of interest, cause institutional investors to deviate from optimal behaviour. Professor Peter Ayton (Leeds University Business School) presents his findings from the first extensive research programme conducted into the decision making processes of pension fund trustees.

Speakers: Professor Peter Ayton, Professor Iain Clacher, Colin Strong and Dr Leonardo Weiss-Cohen

Panel: Sejal Haria (Chair),  Ashu Bhargava, Marcus Hurd and Lynda Whitney 

Further information

  • A recording of the webinar is available on YouTube and is also available for members on the IFoA's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
  • A copy of the report on the programmes findings mentioned in the webinar, is available here.  
  • Find out more on ARC's Behavioural Aspects of Institutional Investment Decision-Making programme. 


Contact Details

If you are interested in partnering or accessing the ARC’s research for your community, please contact the ARC mailbox below.

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Events calendar

  • The Growth Mindset for Actuaries

    13 October 2021 - 8 December 2021

    Fully booked.

    This practical course is aimed at actuaries at any stage of their career who want to develop their own growth mindset and apply it to their work setting and personal or professional lifelong learning. The content of the course builds on the lecture given by Dr Helen Wright on Growth Mindset as part of the President’s 2021 Lecture series, and will be delivered over a period of 2 months, from mid-October to early December.

  • Spaces available

    The importance of biodiversity for finance, business and policy is being increasingly recognised. While many studies highlight the overall economic impact that biodiversity loss could have, it is much more difficult to quantify and understand the particular impact that is may have on individual businesses or communities. The management and measurement of these risks is a field where actuaries are well placed to contribute.

  • Spaces available

    The climate crisis and the degradation of our planet will affect societies everywhere. How we address these threats will require solutions that transcend borders. As a global profession, the actuarial community is well-placed to consider and propose effective risk management solutions to help manage the climate crisis.

  • GIRO 2021 Webinar Series

    8 November 2021 - 19 November 2021
    Spaces available

    Join leading experts to discuss key issues, emerging ideas and new research across the general insurance sector.

  • Spaces available

    This is a free webinar with an expert panel providing their views on the ongoing IFoA consultation for proposals regarding changes to the regulatory framework on climate change and sustainability.

    The regulatory consultation sets out, for feedback some proposed approaches that the IFoA are considering in relation to charter commitments under the UK’s Green Finance Education Charter (GFEC) and the regulatory framework, including the Actuaries’ Code.

  • Life 2021 Webinar Series

    22 November 2021 - 26 November 2021
    Spaces available

    Join leading experts to discuss key issues, emerging ideas, and new research across the Life insurance sector.

  • Spaces available

    The role of actuaries within the health sector varies considerably from one country to another, due to differences in the local evolution of health systems and the funding models for health services. 

  • Spaces available

    Content will be aimed at all actuaries looking to understand the issues surrounding mental health in insurance and in particular those looking to ensure products and processes widen access for, and are most useful to, those experiencing periods of poor mental health.

  • The Many Faces of Bias

    2 December 2021

    Spaces available

    This webinar looks at the many types of biases, both conscious and unconscious and the impacts they can have in the workplace.  Raising our own awareness and understanding of the issues can help us avoid the pitfalls of unconscious bias in particular.  We’ve all heard the phrase ‘office banter’ but are we sure that’s how those on the receiving end perceive it and is it ok to go along with it?