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 - Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Ian Duncan - University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Stephen Richards - Longevitas Ltd.
  • Liang Chen - Actuary, Standard Life China

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 Associate 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, the 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 an actuary at Standard Life China 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

  • Spaces available

    The purpose of this research paper is to explore enterprise risk management lessons which can be learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic in preparation for potential future pandemics as well as other “gray rhino” or “black swan” events. This paper is not intended to be an all-encompassing solution to the issues presented by Covid-19; rather, the content has been provided to help drive discussions regarding how risk management processes may need to evolve in line with the dynamic nature of the underlying risks that they sometimes need to capture.

  • Spaces available

    This session is for new candidates and existing candidates where we will be discussing the practical steps you need to take leading up your exam and on the day. We will be discussing how to testing the online exam platform, downloading and uploading your paper and key information from the Exam Handbook.

    The exam webinar is for candidates, new to IFoA exams and returning candidates, sitting in the September 2022 exam session.

  • Spaces available

    The role of Non-Executive Directors has become increasingly challenging and critical over the past few years.

    Big picture thinking, Governance knowledge, Independent mindset, Ambassador potential and Energy and commitment: these are the essential skills sought in a successful NED, according to the Chartered Governance Institute (UK & Ireland).

    In parallel, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria are increasingly key and used by investors to measure the sustainability and ethical impact of investing in an organisation.

  • Spaces available

    This webinar will cover:

    • Some background on the risks of misselling in an ESG context, including the DWS case

    • Achieving positive impact is a strong antidote to the risks of greenwashing or ESG misselling, however this risks having a tension with fiduciary responsibilities

    • This tension can be resolved with a concept called Universal Ownership

    • Under Universal ownership, investors have an appetite to make a loss in order to achieve positive impact, and yet still have no compromise on their fiduciary responsibilities

  • Spaces available

    In the UK, the idea of collective defined contribution (CDC) pension schemes is gaining more attention with the launch of the Royal Mail CDC scheme, the first of its kind in the UK. Our recent research on CDC plans investigates the sources of the putative benefits of CDC schemes: the smoothing of pensions for members.  Using an attribution analysis to burrow into the scheme design, the reason for the smoothing of members' pensions is explained and understood.

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA's Infrastructure Working Party, led by Chris Lewin, will present its new introductory guide to infrastructure investment, which will be published on the IFoA web-site prior to the webinar.   Those readers whose institutions have already taken the plunge into infrastructure will know that it is a highly complex and diverse field of activity.   This guide does not explore all the matters which investors take into account, but it does discuss many of the more important points, including the risks and past returns, benchmarking, and ESG and SDG considerations.    Attendees will be invi

  • Social Care Agenda

    11 October 2022

    Spaces available

    Social care reform has long been on the to-do list for successive governments over the last two decades. In February, the government’s proposed reforms to adult social care [including cap on care costs] was published. Against this backdrop of funding promise and rising National Insurance taxation, in this session we will debate the resilience of these new proposals, the impact of future demand for care services and what role for the insurance industry and the important role it has played in long-term care funding in other countries where public-private partnership works.

  • Spaces available

    Health contributes to happiness at the personal, family, community and societal level.  Health, importantly underpins all our economic security. This talk will explore the drivers of our health, the measurement of health and the steps we can take to improve health – most of which lie outside the NHS.

  • GIRO Conference 2022

    ACC Liverpool  
    21 November 2022 - 23 November 2022
    Spaces available

    We are delighted to announce the return of GIRO as an in-person conference, giving you an opportunity to connect with actuaries in your practice area. Join leading experts to discuss key issues, emerging ideas, and new research across the General Insurance sector.

  • Life Conference 2022

    ACC Liverpool Kings Dock Liverpool Waterfront Liverpool Merseyside L3 4FP
    23 November 2022 - 25 November 2022
    Spaces available

    Life Conference returns as an in-person conference in 2022, giving you an opportunity to connect with your peers and fellow actuaries in your sector, in person. You will also hear leading experts discuss key issues, emerging ideas, and new research across the Life insurance sector.

  • Spaces available

    Mortality and morbidity risk varies by variables such as age, sex and smoking. In traditional actuarial experience analysis, these variables, and certain combinations thereof can be explored. However, with the wealth of data now available it is becoming increasingly challenging to identify the key drivers of experience and account for the interaction between different variables. A univariate approach often compares apples and pears, for example males are more likely to smoke and have larger policies than females. Likewise, variable interactions are missed unless specifically included.