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 - Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Ian Duncan - University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Stephen Richards - Longevitas Ltd.
  • Liang Chen - University College Cork

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 Assistant 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, 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 a lecturer in the Department of Statistics, the School of Mathematical Science at University College Cork, Ireland. 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

    This webinar is intended to raise awareness of the shifting landscape of climate liability risk and what it means for actuaries, including how it impacts on their professional and legal duties. Presentations will cover the legal risks around climate change for investment consultants and actuaries advising DB pension schemes as well as consideration of climate risk for insurers.

  • Spaces available

    Climate change risks are likely to become material for many risk management and investment decisions. This will require to incorporate explicitly climate change in the tools used for risk management and investment decisions. At present existing climate change tools are often too crude for decision making.

  • Current Issues in Life Assurance (CILA) Webinar series

    Webinar Series
    15 July 2020 - 3 August 2020

    Spaces available

    CILA is one of the pre-eminent events in the annual 'Life' calendar. Due to COVID-19 we are running the programme as a series of webinars covering topics aimed at practicing life actuaries from life offices, consulting firms and other employers of actuaries and those who work in or advise on, the life assurance market in the UK and Europe.

  • Spaces available

    Current Issues in Life Assurance

    For annuity writers, a key challenge is the need to fund capital-consumptive new business strain (NBS) as a consequence of writing the business intended to fund future distributions.

    Reinsurance, investment strategy and capital provision all have roles to play. Here, we:

  • Spaces available

    Current Issues in Life Assurance

    Mortality in 2020 is now dominated by one thing, although – in our future-focused world – the pandemic is just one of many mortality considerations.  In this session, three well-regarded mortality/longevity specialists provide an overview of:

  • Spaces available

    Because of Covid-19, forecasters predict a severe recession in 2020, followed by a V or U-shaped recovery. This impacts both individuals and companies. However, compared to previous recessions, the impact on banks of higher credit losses should be mitigated to some extent by government actions. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    This session will provide an overview of the Population Health Management Working Party's research including defining impactability and impactability modelling, discussing some examples of specific modelling approaches, considering the practical challenges across the NHS as well as wider public perception and ethical issues.

  • Spaces available

    Many actuaries consider career opportunities in the Finance and Investment practice area after having started off in more traditional actuarial roles such as valuations, capital management or pricing. This session is aimed at helping actuaries to better understand roles in Finance and Investment and how they can fine tune their skills to pursue such careers.

  • Mortality and Longevity Webinar Series 2020

    Webinar Series
    22 July 2020 - 10 August 2020

    Spaces available

    Due to COVID-19, we are running this programme via a series of webinars commencing 22nd July.

    This webinar series will provide topical and practical updates and discussion on the latest thinking and innovations in mortality and longevity, and is designed to be very accessible to a broad range of experience.

     

  • Spaces available

    Predictive risk assessment and risk stratification models based on postcode-level consumer classification are widely used for life insurance underwriting. However, these are socio-economic models not directly related to health information. Similar to precision medicine, precision life insurance should aim to tailor policy pricing/reserving to the individual health characteristics of each client.

  • Spaces available

    As insurers look towards their internal model calibration process for 2020 final year financials and statutory returns, actuaries need to deal with the complexity of adequately modelling their business in 2020 and beyond. This discussion will look at what poor model selection and calibration could look like – using inappropriate historical data; using incorrect 2020 mortality data; inappropriate stochastic model recalibration (or lack thereof). What about being prudent vs setting a best estimate? How do you allow for tail risks during a tail risk event?  This is the fourth webinar in the Extreme Mortality Events series presented by Chair of the Life Board of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Colin Dutkiewicz. 

  • Spaces available

    This webinar has been re-scheduled from its original date of the 1st July. Although ESG has many buyers across the asset allocation community, from pension funds to sovereign wealth funds, it still hasn’t found its place within the core asset management strategy desks where the money is actually invested. The problem as well as the opportunity is Fixed Income. Plenty of strategies exist for incorporating ESG within Equities, from screening, integration to a combination. ESG has picked up relatively quickly within Equities with rating,indices created using ESG factors. This talk will discuss how we price a quantifiable ESG credit risk premium and make it alpha worthy in a strategy. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    With the rising prevalence of dementia, how can we manage this risk effectively and can insurance do more? Matt Singleton, Ageing Lead at Swiss Re, will cover these topics and demonstrate how insurance could help people address their concerns.

  • Spaces available

    Current Issues in Life Assurance

    This talk will look at a range of such techniques (e.g. mass lapse risk transfer, contract boundaries, risk margin relief, non-standard longevity risk transfer) that have been applied or considered by UK and EU insurers, and the pros and cons of each.

     

  • Spaces available

    Current Issues in Life Assurance.

    The International Association of Insurance Supervisors announced on 14 November 2019 the adoption of v2.0 of the global Insurance Capital Standard (ICS) which will undergo confidential reporting for 5 years starting from 2020. This session will include specific experiences from Legal and General (L&G) as well as global industry perspectives from EY.

  • Spaces available

    Current Issues in Life Assurance

    This session will cover the PRA supervisory statement on financial impacts related to climate change, industry insights into PRA climate risk business plans, examples climate risk strategy setting out key workstreams and activity steps for successful execution, an overview of a climate risk strategy execution timeline and the future.     

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. Using new and unique research and data from the UK, US, Sweden and China, this presentation investigates how consumers use the internet through their insurance journey and analyzes the role culture and generation plays in their online behaviour. We use this research to show the online landscape for insurance sales in the UK and suggest ways to shape new products and effectively engage with the consumer who is buying them.

  • Spaces available

    Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Gen Re Life/Health Research and Development, Dr John O'Brien, will discuss the impacts of Gene Modification for life/health insurance. 

  • Spaces available

    As an industry, it has been important to be able to look to the future to identify the next quantifiable risk. In this session, I will explore some of the less tangible, but none-the-less concerning risks to future health, such as the health risks associated with exposure to pesticides, ingestion of plastic in the food chain, and the hazards of indoor air pollution through exposure to volatile organic compounds.

  • Spaces available

    The working party will help the industry to update and enhance how potential risk from diabetes and excess mortality is considered, including the need to understand the underwriting implications as treatments improve, and potentially to develop new products that are tailored to those with diabetes.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. Modelling the structure and trends of cancer morbidity risk is important for pricing and reserving in related health insurance fields such as critical illness insurance and care provision. We model the dynamics of cancer incidence over time in different regions in England, using 1981-2016 ONS data. The modelling allows estimation of cancer rates at various age, year, gender and region levels, following a Bayesian setting to account for statistical uncertainty. Our analysis indicates significant regional variation in cancer incidence rates. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. In this talk we will outline the steps Aviva took in pulling together our first large-scale disclosures on the exposure of our business to climate change published in March 2019; in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. After touching on why insurers have such an important role in climate change, we'll cover a brief “how-to” guide for those who have not yet embarked on thinking about these topics before giving a case study of how the learnings from a TCFD disclosure exercise can be applied to investment portfolios.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. 

    The insurance industry currently underwrites customers with diabetes based on a range of factors, medical expertise and various medical studies. The work undertaken by the Diabetes Working Party would help the industry to approach this using current research findings to update and enhance how potential risk from diabetes is considered. This includes the need to understand the underwriting implications as treatments improve, and potentially to develop new products that are tailored to those with diabetes. This webinar will present our latest findings in the management of this important chronic condition which will include research in collaboration with the ARC.