The Archive of the Equitable Life Assurance Society contains the first evidence of the scientific practice of life insurance on the basis of 'actuarial' analysis of mortality and mathematics

The Archive presents an almost continuous record of how life insurance operated and endured over nearly 200 years as new companies entered an uncertain market in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The Society for Equitable Assurances on Lives and Survivorships first prospected for policy applicants with tables of level premiums calculated by age. It conducted the first actuarial valuation of liabilities (1776) and it pioneered the distribution of surplus in the first 'reversionary bonus' (1781) and 'interim bonus' (1801) among its members.

The term 'actuary' was first coined by the Society in its Deed of Settlement of 1762 and the role was later fulfilled in the modern sense with the appointment of a person skilled in probability and financial matters, most notably William Morgan from 1775.

Behind these landmarks in how life assurance has developed, not only to protect against the contingencies of life but also as a vehicle for providential return in later life, there is the work of individual mathematical thinkers and practitioners

James Dodson (ca. 1705-1757) produced for the first time a level premium for each age of applicant for an increasing or varying risk but he died leaving others to see his proposals for an insurance society through to fruition.

Edward Rowe Mores (1731-1778) and others then strove to establish the Society on sound administrative and mathematical principles. The Archive has original manuscript evidence of the mathematical advice of Richard Price (1723-1791) (dissenting minister and commentator at a time of momentous political changes) and principally of William Morgan, who served as Actuary from 1775 to 1830.

William Morgan would be followed by his younger son Arthur and then by other illustrious names, among them Henry Manly (1844-1914) (who developed the theoretical background of staff pension funds, the Society selling pensions from 1913), George Lidstone (1870-1952) and Sir William Elderton (1877-1962) both of whom were awarded gold medals by the Faculty of Actuaries and Institute of Actuaries for contributions to the advance of actuarial science.

The Society’s first years as an early ‘mutual’ office were marked by contest between its first subscribers (seeking return on initial risk capital they had put in to help set up the Society) and the interests of new applicants the business sought to attract

Debates continued about fair allocation of an accumulating surplus among qualifying members, whilst an actuarial perspective looked to ensure prudent levels of funding to meet the Society’s potential responsibilities for the next generations of policyholders.

There were external challenges to the Society’s apparent reliance on specific mortality tables (the experience of Northampton) over the long term and others advocating pooling this experience with wider sources for an improved forecast of life expectancy.

As William Morgan was called upon by government to provide mortality assumptions for viable sales of annuities in the government’s borrowing for state revenue, and the Society leading by example in its practice of regular valuations, it might be said that he fulfilled the roles of professional model and government actuarial adviser in the Society’s first fifty years.

Nearing the end of his fifty years in office, Morgan would have his work challenged by John Finlaison, first Actuary to the government, and others. Although the Society’s actuaries would play little part in the establishment of the Institute of Actuaries the Society’s part in designing the framework for scientific insurance practice and development cannot be denied. John Finlaison became the first president of the Institute of Actuaries.

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  • IFoA & PRI Webinar: TCFD – leaders and challenges

    Online webinar
    2 September 2019

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    In collaboration with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the Principles of Responsible Investment is delighted to host this webinar discussing the response to the TCFD’s recommendations two years on from their publication. The webinar will feature new analysis of the 591 investors representing $45 trillion who responded to PRI’s 2019 climate indicators, insights from the past Chair of the IFoA’s Resource and Environment Board as well as an investor case study of implementation in practice from Aviva. 

  • SIAS Event: Climate Zero to Climate Hero

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    3 September 2019

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    An introductory session to help you get ahead with climate change.

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  • KSS event – The Regulatory Perspective

    Deloitte Saltire Court 20 Castle Terrace Edinburgh EH1 2EG
    5 September 2019

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    This KSS talk, presented by the FCA Head of Department in Scotland, will focus on the following 3 main areas:

    • FCA business plan priorities
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  • Professional Skills Training session (Jointly held with China Life)

    China Life Insurance, Beijing •  China Life Shanghai Office • China Life Shenzhen Office  
    6 September 2019

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    Friday, 6 September, Beijing Local Time (CST) 14.00-16.30; British Summer Time (BST) 07.00-9.30

    The IFoA Beijing Office and China Life are pleased to be co-hosting a Professional Skills Training (PST) session in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen on Friday, 6 September. Wen Li (FIA), the IFoA Lead Representative in China and East Asia, will lead the PST presentation and discussion on ‘Getting it right!’.

    The main venue will be in Beijing. Members in Shanghai and Shenzhen can join the interaction with Beijing via video conference at China Life’s regional venues. (see full details below)

  • GIRO Conference 2019

    EICC, The Exchange, 150 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8EE
    24-26 September 2019
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    GIRO is attended annually by over 800 delegates and speakers who are keen to discuss key topics such as Pricing, Reserving, Modelling and the future of the insurance industry. GIRO 2018 was a huge success and we have opened bookings early for what we hope will be another brilliant conference at the EICC in Edinburgh this year. 

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  • Chief Actuaries and Senior Life Actuaries Workshop 2019

    Staple Inn Hall High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    2 October 2019

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    This workshop, now in its sixth year, is aimed at senior actuaries working in life insurance - predominantly Chief Actuaries, but also Reviewing Actuaries and others working in risk and financial reporting. It will provide seven hours of relevant CPD.

  • The Future of the Actuarial Profession

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    3 October 2019

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    Three actuaries – and CEOs – discuss their views on how the business world is changing and what that might mean for actuaries in the future.

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    Have you ever thought about working in wider fields? Would you like to play a role in the fight against climate change to make the planet better? 

    It can be difficult to do this - but seeing an example you can follow can make it more realistic. In this ‘green’ case study a template is outlined to show how actuaries can apply their skills more broadly - and in doing so, to make a difference.

  • RSS/IFoA Data Science Ethics: the role of practitioners

    Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol St, London EC1Y 8LX
    7 October 2019

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    The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and the Royal Statistical Society have worked together to develop joint ethics guidance on data science. This is the culmination of an 18 month programme of practitioner led work. 
     
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  • Sessional Meeting - Autonomous Vehicles and impacts on the wider insurance industry

    Staple Inn, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ         
    28 October 2019

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    The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries is running a sessional meeting on autonomous vehicles on 28th October.  The session will showcase the work of the IFoA “Autonomous Vehicles” working party alongside a number of expert external presenters. 

  • ARC Event: Beyond Proportional Hazards

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    30 October 2019

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    ARC Event: Beyond Proportional Hazards: Statistical methods for assessment of the impact of medical advances and health interventions on longevity and population projections.

    This workshop is being delivered by the Actuarial Research Centre’s (ARC) ‘Big Health and Actuarial Data’ Research Programme.

  • Hot Topics in Health and Care: Networking and Drinks

    Staple Inn, 4 High Holborn, London WC1V 6DR
    4 November 2019

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    This evening will feature two new cases studies that highlight the implications for insurers of issues impacting on health and mortality for life, pensions, and health and care products; Impactability modelling: a worked example in Type II diabetes presented by Josephine Robertson, and Seasonal Mortality in England and Wales 1993-2016 presented by Mary Hall, Dublin City University.

  • Autumn Pension Seminar

    Grand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen St, Holborn, London WC2B 5DA
    13 November 2019

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    Join us for this brand new seminar that brings together our Current Issues in Pensions, Pensions and the Law, and Investment for Pension Actuaries events. The seminar builds on the IFoA’s Annual Pension Conference with sessions covering CDC, TPR’s code of practice, investments, legal updates and Professional Skills Training with a focus on interactive discussion throughout.

    • KSS event: How is Scotland’s population changing and what are the implications?

      Barnett Waddingham, 163 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 2JJ
      14 November 2019

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      The National Records of Scotland (NRS) collects, preserves and produces information about Scotland's people and history to inform current and future generations - work that underpins the fabric of Scottish society and tells the story of our nation. This KSS talk will explore the following and other areas impacting Scotland’s changing population, and assess the potential implications of the changes:

      • population statistics
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    • Life Conference 2019

      The Convention Centre Dublin, Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1
      20-22 November 2019
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      The Life Conference is the premier event for professionals interested in life insurance.  Offering a wide range of workshops and plenary sessions it’s the perfect opportunity to discover what’s hot and current in life insurance ensuring you get up to date on the latest thinking and innovation whilst meeting and exchanging ideas with a broad range of professionals.

    • Autumn Lecture 2019, London - Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP

      Lincoln's Inn The Treasury Office, London WC2A 3TL
      2 December 2019

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      The IFoA is pleased to announce that this year’s Autumn Lecture will feature the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP as its guest speaker.  Nicky has previously served as Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Minister for Women. She now chairs the Treasury Select Committee whose remit is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of HM Treasury, along with all of its agencies and associated bodies.

    • Autumn Lecture 2019: Live Streaming

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      2 December 2019

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      Watch the live stream of this year's Autumn Lecture with guest speaker Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP. 

    • Behavioural Finance Research Launch- 14 January 2020

      Staple Inn, 4 High Holborn, Holborn, London WC1V 6DR
      14 January 2020

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      We are delighted to announce the launch of the findings from our ARC funded Behavioural Finance research with a special evening event at Staple Inn on Tuesday14th January 2020. Entitled Behavioural Aspects of Institutional Investment Decision-Making, this research programme is being delivered by City, University of London, Leeds University Business School and Ipsos.