Tuesday 16 March 2021 09:00 - Tuesday 23 March 2021 10:00

The Dr Patrick Poon Presidential Series presents Finance in the Public Interest sponsored by Milliman

Recordings of each session are available to watch via our Leadership and professionalism Online Learning Research page.

There is a widening debate that many of our social, financial, and regulatory institutions need to be rethought so that we can create more sustainable futures, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the policy/macro-economic response to the pandemic and how it affects consumers, as well as the impending climate crisis.

The ‘Build Back Better’ platform provides actuaries as risk professionals with an opportunity to question whether the financial system is really operating in the public interest, including:

  • Is it meeting consumers’ needs in a post-Covid world?
  • Did it really meet their needs before Covid?
  • How will the system react to even greater challenges, eg. the climate crisis?
  • Is a new school of economic thought required?
  • How can actuaries inform the process of building back better?

This multi-day series of three keynote webinars were individually presented by leading economist John Kay, and by Sir Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. Ashok Gupta - Chair at Mercer Ltd, Nico Aspinall - Chief Investment Officer at B&CE, Nick Silver - MD of Callund Consulting, and Lucy Saye – Actuary at Aviva working on climate risk and opportunities, and were designed to open up an actuarial discussion on these essential topics. The series culminated in a panel session with the Chief Economist of the Bank of England, Andy Haldane.



Nico AspinallNico Aspinall

Nico is the Chief Investment Officer for B&CE which includes The People's Pension, the largest DC Master Trust in the UK. 

He is the former Chair of the Resource and Environment Board of the the IFoA and previously Chaired the Research sub-committee of the Board. Nico has co-authored a number of papers for the IFoA considering the impact of Climate Change, Resource Depletion, Sustainability, Systems Thinking and the Financial system on the actuarial profession and its clients. He co-authored the IFoA’s policy briefing on managing the risk and uncertainty around climate change. His previous roles include Head of Defined Contribution Investment for Willis Towers Watson; Head of DC and Communications for the Barclays UK Retirement Fund, one of the largest pension funds in the UK; and as an actuarial pensions consultant for Deloitte Total Rewards and Benefits. Nico received a Masters in Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge in 2004

Sir Paul Collier

Sir Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and a Professorial Fellow of St Antony’s College. From 1998–2003 he took a five-year Public Service leave during which he was Director of the Research Development Department of the World Bank. He is currently a Professeur invité at Sciences Po and a Director of the International Growth Centre.

He has written for the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. His research covers the causes and consequences of civil war; the effects of aid and the problems of democracy in low-income and natural resources rich societies; urbanisation in low-income countries; private investment in African infrastructure and changing organisational cultures.

Paul has authored numerous books, including The Bottom Billion (Oxford University Press, 2007) which in 2008 won the Lionel Gelber, Arthur Ross and Corine prizes and in May 2009 was the joint winner of the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book prize; Wars, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places (Vintage Books, 2009); The Plundered Planet: How to reconcile prosperity with nature (Oxford University Press, 2010); Exodus: How migration is changing our world (Oxford University Press, 2013); and The Future of Capitalism: Facing The New Anxieties (Penguin Books, 2018).

His latest book, co-authored with John Kay, is Greed is Dead: Politics After Individualism (Penguin Books, 2020).

In 2014, Paul received a knighthood for services to promoting research and policy change in Africa.

Ashok GuptaAshok Gupta

Ashok is Chair of Mercer Ltd and NED of Sun Life Financial Inc. He has played significant roles in building several successful financial services businesses including The Phoenix Group, SJP and EValue, also being influential in the turn-around of large organisations including Scottish Amicable and Old Mutual Asset Management. He has in addition worked with the Bank of England and PLSA analysing financial system deficiencies.

Andy HaldaneAndy Haldane

Andrew G Haldane is the Chief Economist at the Bank of England. He is a member of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee and Chair of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Council. Among other positions, he is Honorary Professor at University of Nottingham, a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Governor of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. He has authored around 200 articles and 4 books. Andrew is the founder and trustee of ‘Pro Bono Economics’, a charity which brokers economists into charitable projects and Vice- Chair of National Numeracy.


John Kay, senior economistJohn Kay

John Kay is one of Britain’s leading economists.  His interests focus on the relationships between economics and business.  His career has spanned academic work and think tanks, business schools, company directorships, consultancies and investment companies. For twenty years, he wrote a regular column for the Financial Times.

His witty and authoritative style has won a wide following for his books and articles which have been recognised by numerous awards and prizes. Forty years after he co-authored The British Tax System with Mervyn King – a book which went through five editions – the two authors have come together again with a very different subject. Radical Uncertainty will be published by the New Bridge Street Press in March 2020.

Louise Pryor

Louise is the current President-elect of the IFoA. In the course of a varied career as an actuary, software engineer and academic, Louise was Director, Actuarial Standards at the Financial Reporting Council, where she led the development of the Technical Actuarial Standards. She has practised as an independent consultant in the areas of software risk and sustainability and has worked on financial modelling for social security and pensions reform in a number of emerging economies.

Louise is Chair of the London Climate Change Partnership and a non-executive director at the Ecology Building Society. She became a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1987 and a Fellow of IEMA in 2019. She has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Northwestern University.

Lucy Saye

Lucy is an Actuary working on climate risk & opportunities project at Aviva. Lucy is a member of the IFoA's sustainability board, and has recently hosted several Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) podcasts, a series that explores the Sustainable Development Goals and the role that actuaries can play in achieving the 2030 agenda




Nick SilverNick Silver

Nick founder/chairman of Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), founder/director of Radix, the think tank of the radical centre and managing director of Callund Consulting. Nick is a visiting fellow at City University Cass Business School, where he teaches a course on Emerging Global risks. Nick has worked with the UN, World Bank and over 30 countries’ governments on climate change and economic development. Nick previously won The President’s Award for outstanding contribution to the Actuarial Profession and the Phiatus Award for his charitable efforts. Nick’s book, Finance, Society and Sustainability was recently published by Palgrave Macmillan.  Nick is a Freeman of the City of London.

Event organiser

Contact Niki Park for more information.


020 7632 2152

Recordings of each session below are now available to watch via our Leadership and professionalism Online Learning Research page.

Tuesday 16 March
John Kay
Wednesday 17 March
Sir Paul Collier
Thursday 18 March 
Actuaries in the Public Interest
Ashok Gupta, Nico Aspinall, Lucy Saye and Nick Silver
Tuesday 23 March
Panel debate with John Kay, Sir Paul Collier, Andy Haldane and Louise Pryor