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

Research Team Biographies

Professor Jens Perch Nielsen

Professor Jens Perch Nielsen, joint principal investigator for this programme and Professor of Actuarial Science at Cass Business School, London, with a PhD in statistics from UC-Berkeley. He is a fully qualified actuary from Copenhagen, an associate member of the IFoA and has twenty years of experience in the insurance and pension industry. The invention of Time Pension, when he was research director in the global insurer RSA, was a game breaker in the Danish market. He served six year as consultant and entrepreneur before joining Cass as a full professor in 2012. He is the co-author of more than 100 scientific papers in reviewed journals of actuarial science, economics, econometrics, operational research and statistics and also has co-authored a book on quantitative operational risk modelling. Professor Nielsen has co-written published academic papers with all academic members of the project. He will be the primary supervisor for the Cass Business School-located doctoral students and postdoctoral researcher. He will meet regularly with the industrial partner, Jens Lind (Danika Pension) to discuss the research results obtained to date and get their input and feedback.

Dr Catherine Donnelly

Dr Catherine Donnelly, joint principal investigator for this programme and Associate Professor, Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics, School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Heriot-Watt University. Dr Donnelly is a qualified actuary and has worked for four years in the pensions industry. She has a PhD in mathematical finance from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Her research interests lie in pensions, life insurance and stochastic control theory, and she has been published widely in these areas. She has published several papers with Professor Nielsen and Professor Guillen, and has a close working relationship with both of them. Dr Donnelly is the principal investigator at Heriot-Watt University. She will be the primary supervisor for the Heriot-Watt-located doctoral student and postdoctoral researchers.

Professor Montserrat Guillen Professor Montserrat Guillen, Director of the Riskcenter, the research group on Risk in Insurance and Finance, Institute of Applied Economics, University of Barcelona, Spain. Since April 2001, Professor Guillen has been Chair Professor of the Department of Econometrics at the University of Barcelona. Her research focuses on actuarial statistics, economics and quantitative risk management. She was President of the European Group of Risk and Insurance Economists, the Geneva Association, in 2011. She has served on industry boards as well as scientific groups, international programs and steering committees and she has also conducted R&D joint programmes with many companies. For example, she helped Professor Nielsen to invent Time Pension at the beginning of this millenium. Professor Guillen is expected to co-author at least ten of the fundamental papers of this programme. She is a popular invited conference speaker and will be a key player in the programme, when distributing our academic knowledge.
Dr Ana M.Perez Dr Ana M. Perez, Associate Professor of Actuarial Statistics at the University of Barcelona and a member of the research group Riskcenter. Her research interests are related to actuarial statistics, survival analysis and marketing in insurance. Dr Perez-Marin will take the computational lead of at least six papers of this project. She will provide one-to-one computational teaching to many of the doctoral students involved in the project.
Professor Stefan Sperlich Professor Stefan Sperlich, Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He has published over 60 papers since 1994, in addition to six books. His research is on the analysis of econometric models,empirical economics, non- and semi-parametric methods and computational statistics. He has led many research projects, as well as several consulting projects for the Spanish government. Professor Sperlich will work with Dr Scholz on generating the outputs for Workstream 4. Professor Sperlich has the responsibility for producing the outputs.
Dr Michael Scholz Dr Michael Scholz, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics, University of Graz, Austria. His research interests are in economics and statistics, including semiparametric methods. Dr Scholz will work with Professor Sperlich on generating the outputs for Workstream 4. He will take the computational lead on these papers providing one-to-one teaching to the doctoral students involved.
Dr Munir Hiabu Dr Munir Hiabu, is a postdoctoral researcher on this research programme. Before joining the team, Munir studied Mathematics at Heidelberg University and obtained a PhD in Actuarial Science from Cass Business School.
Dr Thomas Bernhardt Dr Thomas Bernhardt, is a postdoctoral research on this research programme. Before joining the team he earned his PhD in mathematics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and moved to the UK from Berlin, Germany. He is passionate about mathematics and society, so joining a project to optimise future pension plans was a natural fit.
Dr Rami Chehab Dr Rami Chehab, is a postdoctoral researcher on this programme. Before joining the team, Dr Chehab received his PhD in Econometrics from the University of Exeter in 2017. He also holds an MSc Economics and Econometrics from the University of Exeter and a BE in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics and Economics from the American University of Beirut.  Dr Chehab's research interest include the development of robust econometric and statistical inference methods using bootstrap algorithms with financial time-series: heavy-tails and dependent time series. These characteristics of financial time-series are a well-observed phenomenon, especially in our contemporary world. His research interest also includes modelling long-run asset returns for assessing risk and return for long-term investors such as pension plan participants. 
Photo of Peter Vodicka Peter Vodicka, is a PhD student working on this programme. Before joining the team Peter graduated from Comenius University in Bratislava where he studied Applied Mathematics and Modelling, before studying for his masters at Charles University in Prague. He is interested in subjects such as stochastic calculus, survival analysis, counting processes, portfolio risk management and optimal control.

 

 

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Events calendar

  • Pensions Conference 2021

    Online webinar series
    16 June 2021 - 22 June 2021
    Spaces available

    Welcome to the programme for our 2nd Virtual Pensions Conference. This year's conference features 11 webinars offering members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the pension industry. There will also be opportunity to ask questions and contribute to the discussion.

  • Spaces available

    Mathematical Futures: The Actuary in a World Transformed – Sir Adrian Smith will outline how advances in data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence in the world of big data will transform the nature of many industries, including financial services. The broader environment within which mathematics is applied will change rapidly, often led by innovative yet disruptive forces outside. These changes will undoubtedly have an impact on the work of actuaries - and the profession will need to adapt quickly to thrive.

     

  • Spaces available

    This session will explore 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 will demonstrate the uses of new LIFE index such as the causes of high or low mortality and regional differences in mortality.

  • Spaces available

    Given our commitment to the safety of our members and employees, and as the easing of restrictions in respect of COVID-19 cannot be guaranteed at this point in time, we have decided to hold our AGM virtually again this year.

    The Business of the AGM

  • Spaces available

    Join newly inaugurated IFoA President Dr. Louise Pryor as she explores what we need to do to keep abreast of the changing world – and how we can seize the resulting opportunities – in her Presidential Address, ‘A Learning Society’

  • Spaces available

    The world is changing. The fourth industrial revolution, globalisation and the COVID-19 pandemic are up-ending traditional social and business norms around the world; changes that were once predictable and steady are now faster and more profound.

  • Spaces available

    This is a free webinar on the consultation on changes to the Practising Certificates (PC) Scheme.

    The proposals come from a recent review of the PC Scheme which was the first substantive look at the IFoA’s approach to the requirements and process for PCs since 2010. It responds directly to feedback received on how the current scheme works especially that received from members and PC Holders.

  • Spaces available

    We have entered the global age which is invalidating most of the assumptions upon which our success up till now has depended. For example, in the global planetary society there can be no externalities. Although there is increasing clamour for new ways of thinking, sadly, our attempts to invent such new ways remain trapped in the same historical set of assumptions. The result is that we are faced with three tragedies.

  • Spaces available

    The paper “Asset liability modelling in the quantum era” shall be presented by its authors, Tim Berry and James Sharpe, and chaired by Andrew Smith, Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at University College Dublin.

  • Spaces available

    Today’s breakneck pace of technological change has an immense impact on leaders—and as a result, on their organizations’ capacity to transform. All too often, executives remain stuck in outdated mindsets and modes of operating, even when they recognize the need to reinvent themselves. Leadership expert Herminia Ibarra upends traditional, introspective advice and says act first—in order to change your way of thinking. Following her presentation, Herminia Ibarra will be joined by Louise Pryor, incoming IFoA President and Hash Piperdy, Managing Director at Epitome Global, for a panel discussion around the themes of the session. The panel will be chaired by Tan Suee Chieh.

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA’s Actuarial Review Team will publish its second thematic review in June 2021. The review is looking at the involvement of actuaries in the pricing of UK home and motor insurance, during a period of significant developments in the sector from both regulation and innovation.

  • Spaces available

    As part of the Behavioural Science Series, David Rooke will explore the leadership capacities and capabilities that may enable actuaries to successfully navigate the challenges of our times. He will discuss how actuaries can apply these principles to ensure the profession succeeds, flourishes, and plays a positive societal role in our global community.

    Following his presentation, David Rooke will be joined by Stephen Mann, CEO at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and Anusha Thavarajah, Allianz’s Regional Chief Executive Officer, Life and Health for Asia Pacific for a panel discussion around the themes of the session The panel will be chaired by Tan Suee Chieh.

  • Asia Conference 2021 webinar series

    Online webinar series
    26 July 2021 - 30 July 2021
    Spaces available

    We have made it through 2020 but the COVID-19 crisis continues to have a significant impact on individuals, societies, businesses and the wider economy across the globe. Navigating the world post COVID-19 in an uncertain and highly unstable time brings along many uncertainties, challenges and exciting opportunities. Hence the theme of this year’s IFoA Asia Conference Webinar Series is “Risk. Adapt. Thrive.”

  • Spaces available

    Risk Management Webinar ProgrammeInternal audit is often the Cinderella of the audit world. It’s a regulatory requirement for insurance companies to have an internal audit function, so why not make it as useful as possible?  This session will look at how to link an internal audit plan to the risk register, and how that helps audit committees and boards to spot problems and fix them.