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Highlights of the Life Conference 2017 - Edinburgh

Tuesday 20 March 2018 09:00 - 17:00

This event will cover the highlights from the Life Conference 2017 held in Birmingham.

The full program has now been announced - See details in programme tab.

There are over 5 hours of CPD available from plenaries and a choice of workshops.

Event organiser

Contact Niki Park for more information.

020 7632 2152

09.00-09.30 Registration
09.30-09.40 Chair's Introduction - Michelle Lister, PwC

Plenary 1: IFRS Doing the hard work 

Comparing and contrasting a 'top down' against a 'bottom up' approach to implementing IFRS 17 in a global organisation.   The presentation will offer some insights into the progress made to date on the road to IFRS17 implementation, along with sharing some of the challenges encountered.  The bottom up approach taken is allowing the organisation valuable insights into methodology and technological challenges presented by IFRS17.

Speakers: Adrian Parris, MetLife and Patrick Rowland, KPMG

10.40-10.45 Transfer to next session

Workshop Session A

A1: Letter of Corpulence: One Actuary’s attempt at Carbocide and an Underwriter’s View

Cleopatra bathed in milk to maintain her youthful appearance, but reports these days suggest children drink enough sugar for a cola bath. Obesity is at epidemic levels, but is this driven by lack of adherence to guidelines or is the guidance wrong?

We consider the impact that going against conventional dietary advice has had on one actuary.  We look at the latest science, how this compares to official advice, and provide an overview of the medical UW profession's view on the topic.

Could there be a new way to tackle diabetes and the problem of obesity? What impact could this have on the underwriting of protection products?

Speakers: Chris Reynolds and Cillian Tierney, PartnerRe

A2: How the analysts reacted to the first Solvency II disclosures 

This session will pick up on:

  • The success of investor communication strategies
  • The key metrics of interest to Analysts and how they use them
  • The key differences in message between the UK and the rest of Europe

Speaker: Nick Ford, KPMG

11.35-12.00 Morning refreshments

Workshop Session B

B1: Risk of anti selection in protection business from advances in statistical genetics 

Use of Genetic Data in underwriting is heavily regulated around the world and this is unlikely to change. As the price of genetic testing continues to fall and genetic tests become more ubiquitous, particularly the growth of direct to consumer personal genome testing, the potential for information asymmetry and anti-selection increases. This session will review emerging scientific trends in predicting death and disease using genetic data, with a particular focus on the advances in statistical genetics (in particular, the use of Polygenic Risk Scores [PRS]), and propose scenarios for anti-selection in the near future.

Speaker: Dr Richard Russell and Stephen Courquin, RGA

B2: Scottish mortality – how is it different and why does it matter?

Life expectancies in Scotland are shorter than elsewhere in the UK, but what does this mean and why? Is there merely a different balance of UK life expectancy sub-groups in Scotland, or is there something specific to the Scottish experience? Do these differences disappear once income and socio-economic groups are accounted for? Are there differences within England too, and should there be different state pension ages in different areas of the UK? We explore the patterns in Scottish mortality and how they differ from the rest of the UK, using Mercer’s latest modelling to demonstrate surprising differences. We discuss possible reasons for the differences, and the right and wrong ways to make use of this information.

Speaker: Susan Hanlon, Mercer



Workshop Session C

C1: Managing Data – understanding the impact of the general data protection regulation (GDPR) 

On May 26th 2018, the regulations around the handling of data fundamentally changed and this will impact the Life insurance sector significantly. Personal data flows through many of our actuarial processes from pricing through to reserving and claims payment.

We will provide

  • Insights into the background of the regulation and the changes it is bringing. 
  • Practical lessons on recent engagements undertaken and processes like pseudonymisation which are being used to manage the consequences
  • How data processing will be impacted and how one can operate within the legal requirements.

The presentation will be anchored around the customer lifecycle and how various processes are impacted both now and as firms move towards automation and change how they use technology.

Speaker: Shimon Simon and Ernst Landsberg, EY

C2:  Using EI to better manage actuarial teams 

A follow up to last year's talk on emotional intelligence, this talk covers aspects of the topic in more detail, with a particular focus on understanding and managing other people more effectively, and is aimed at people who lead actuarial and finance teams. We'll be covering the following;

  • Millennials in the workplace - managing different generations
  • A model for political awareness (foxes, donkeys and owls)
  • How to deal with the walking dead and the well poisoners 
  • Plus lots more!

It promises to be a thought provoking and practical talk that will challenge you to approach your team management differently.

Speakers: Peter Heffernan and Michelle Lister, PwC

14.40-14.45 Transfer time

Workshop session D

D1:   With profits transformation: improving stakeholder outcomes through simplification 

With the majority of with-profits funds in decline, managing expenses, ensuring fairness, and reducing levels of expertise and focus within company leadership teams are all factors that are becoming more challenging over time. These factors are making with-profits transformation more attractive for all stakeholders. This session will provide insight into: the latest thinking in the industry (including  taking a look at a number of case studies); why more and more companies are looking to a more radical transformation of their with-profits funds and products; and the impact on various stakeholders.

Speakers: Trevor Fannin, Willis Towers Watson and Brian Murray, Royal London

D2: Professional Skills Session

Speaker: Malcolm Slee, Professional Skills Working Group

15.35-15.55 Afternoon refreshments

Plenary 2: Cancer: Underwriting and claims perspective

With reducing cardiovascular disease, cancer is the cause of a growing proportion of claims. This presentation will focus on current challenges relating to cancer, covering both the underwriting and claims adjudication dimensions.

Speakers: John Turner and Andrew Parkinson, Swiss Re 

16.55-17.00 Chair's closing remarks
17.00 Close of event


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EICC, The Exchange Edinburgh, 150 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8EE

Nearest Public Transport

Haymarket station