James Dodson's First Lecture on Insurances is a landmark original text that first set down the actuarial basis for a mutual life assurance company to operate

Dodson demonstrated how a 'Corperation for Insuring Lives' could be created and sustain a profitable business that would deliver claim payments to beneficiaries of policyholders paying level premiums for the whole of life or for limited term. Premiums payable according to age were calculated mathematically from mortality experience and projections of future claims on the overall fund were demonstrated. 

James Dodson's manuscript

The original text by Dodson, however, disappeared in the years after his death in November 1757 and our knowledge of it comes from two handwritten copies transcribed from the original for the Society for Equitable Assurances on Lives and Survivorships

The Archive holds both copies. In an appendix to his history of the Society, Equitable Assurances (1962), Maurice Ogborn explains how James Dodson's original outlines were written out for the Society's use by arrangement through Dodson's executor, William Mountaine, who also advised the Society on mathematical questions.

The lectures may have been written out by Dodson's son, also James Dodson or by John Edwards, both of whom were 'actuaries' to the Society. The 'Lecture' was the 'first investigation into the principles of operation of a life assurance business' (M E Ogborn, 1962). 'Dodson indulges in a certain amount of sensitivity testing both the mortality rates and the investment assumptions ... A proposal for the distribution of surplus is included too. [Dodson's] insight into the workings of his projected life insurance office... is remarkable.' (S. Haberman and T A Sibbett (editors), History of Actuarial Science, 1995).

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  • Asia Conference Webinar Series

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    7 September 2020 - 25 September 2020

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    There will be a prestigious line-up of international speakers discussing the insurance and financial industry’s innovation and change in Asia.  The conference will take place throughout September via an online platform. The webinars consist of plenary speaking sessions and a series of workshop sessions including Life, GI, Data Science, Sustainability, Risk Management and Investment.

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    This free 90 minute webinar is designed to support the IFoA CPD Co-ordinators, and others, involved in supporting our members to achieve their CPD requirements. 

    The programme will include an overview of the new CPD Scheme; specifically sharing with you key messages to support you implement and embrace the new CPD Scheme for our members within your organisation and regional community; how to arrange a reflective practice discussion; and an interactive reflective practice discussion learning exercise.  In addition, delegates will gain information about accessing, and making the most of the IFoA event Toolkits which you can make use of to run your own in-house events and events for regional communities. 

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    16.00-17.00 (GMT+8) | 09.00-10.00 (BST)

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  • Autumn Lecture 2020: Professor Elroy Dimson

    Online webinar
    14 October 2020

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    Many individuals and institutions have a long-term focus, and invest funds for the benefit of future generations. Their strategy should reflect their long horizon. University endowments are one of the oldest classes of institutional investor, and I will present the first study of the management of these endowments over the very long term.

  • GIRO Conference 2020 Webinar Series

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    This year's GIRO has been re-designed as a virtual conference to offer members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the general insurance field via online webinars. All sessions will be recorded and made available to purchase and re-watch post-event on the IFoA's GI Online Learning Resource area.

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    Cash-flow driven investing is a game-changer for DB pension funds navigating their end-game. Suitable for sponsors who want to reduce risks on their balance sheets. And for trustees, it shifts the focus to providing greater certainty of returns, managing funding level volatility and ensuring they have enough income to pay cash-flow requirements.

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