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Highlights of the Life Conference 2019 - London

Wednesday 11 March 2020 09:00 - 17:00

This event will cover the highlights from last year's Life Conference 2019 held in Dublin. The Conference Committee has reviewed session feedback and has put together a high-quality technical programme featuring the best-reviewed sessions from the conference. Book now to ensure your place.

This seminar is primarily targeted at qualified life actuaries who were unable to attend the conference in Dublin or who did not attend all their preferred sessions whilst at the conference.

Event organiser

Contact Events Team for more information.

0207 632 1498

09.00-09.30 Registration
09.30-09.40 Chair’s introduction

Dawn Whittaker


Plenary 1: Embedding climate change risk – experiences and insights

In this presentation, L&G and Deloitte discuss their shared experience of quantitatively accounting for climate risk within an insurance portfolio. This talk addresses:

• The material impacts that climate risk has on life insurers, pension funds and GI insurers

• A coherent approach to treat climate risk across an organisation

• Our experiences of introducing climate risk awareness throughout an organisation, including some of the difficulties of which to be aware

• First-mover advantage, and the risks of being a late-mover

• Current regulatory focus and likely developments

Speakers: Andrew Tedder, Deloitte and Travis Elsum, L&G

10.40-10.45 Transfer to next session

Workshop A:

A1: M&A madness!

Rationalisation of the insurance landscape is well underway in the life space in the UK, and attentions are now being turned to similar European consolidation of back-books. This presentation will cover the drivers of recent M&A transactions, and how to deliver shareholder value through best in class capita, investment and operational management.

Speakers: Ian Carey, KPMG

A2: E-cigarettes and the impact on insurance

Smoking cessation has been a significant driver of high mortality improvements over the last 20 years. Now there is a rapid rise in awareness and use of e-cigarettes, in particular for younger ages due to wider access and use of newer marketing channels. Increasing concern that use of e-cigarettes could act as a gateway to future smoking.

Transition of existing smokers to e-cigarettes may improve mortality/morbidity; but the extent of these impacts remains unknown

Should e-cigarette users still be classified as smokers?

Any change to treatment of e-cigarettes at underwriting should trigger us to review our pricing.

Current mortality trend assumptions implicitly reflect transitions between non-smoker and smoker groups. With increasing use of e-cigarettes, these patterns may change.

Speaker: John Schoonbee, Swiss Re

11.35-12.00 Morning refreshments 

Workshop B:

B1: IFRS 17: Where are we and what are the key issues facing the UK and Irish life industries?

IFOA Financial Reporting Group members Anthony Coughlan and Kamran Foroughi will:

-Provide an update on the IASB’s IFRS 17 re-exposure, Transition Resource Group and EU endorsement process.

-Provide an update on the IFoA and IAA responses to the IFRS 17 Exposure Draft.

-Examine key issues for products in the UK life insurance market and where insurers are in their implementation journey

Speakers: Anthony Coughlan, Kamran Foroughi, Members of the IFOA Financial Reporting Group 

B2: Sustainable Investment – what’s driving changes in insurers’ investment strategy?

Insurers are increasingly focused on the sustainability of their investment portfolios and wider business models. Additionally, recent regulatory proposals look set to require UK and European insurers to take account of, and report on, sustainability risk exposures. This is driving change in insurers’ investment strategy and risk management.

 We’ll discuss:

A Sustainable Investment framework for investment strategy;

The challenges, opportunities, and risks arising from implementing this framework, and the key roles for investment and risk professionals;

The potential investment outcomes, considering both the societal impact of those investments and the impact on investment returns;

Finally, we’ll provide insights into what insurers are doing including the results of an industry survey; and what can be learned from other institutional investors.

Speakers: Keith Goodby, Aviva, Munawer Shafi, Aviva Investors and Dhiran Dookhi, Willis Towers Watson

12.50-13.50 Lunch

Workshop C:

C1: The countdown to the end of LIBOR

For over two decades LIBOR has been cited as the financial world’s most important number, underpinning $260trn of loans and derivatives and used worldwide as a benchmark for financial instruments. But now that it’s set to cease its existence, how is the Pension and Insurance market progressing on transitioning? We discuss both the market impact as traditional LDI back books, new hedging mandates, and the insurance industry shift, and the knock on effects for the cross currency, bond and loan markets that a LIBOR-less world creates.

Speaker: Elizabeth Armitage, Goldman Sachs and Nelly Terekhova, Legal & General Investment Management

C2: Are we really all the same? Evolving baseline and longevity improvement trends

In this session, we bring together insights from Club Vita on mortality baseline and improvement trends from three countries with growing longevity risk transfer markets – UK, Canada and USA.  We compare and contrast the importance of different rating factors in different locales, along with the emerging understanding of longevity trends both at the macro and socio-economic level.  We will include case studies to highlight the different ways the CMI model can be leveraged to reflect socio-economic differences.

Speaker: Steven Baxter and Mark Sharkey, Club Vita

14.40-14.45  Transfer to next session

Workshop D:

D1: Proxy Modelling in the UK: The regulator's view on best practice

The PRA will summarise the findings of recent research into the use of proxy models in the UK life insurance sector.Proxy models are widely used by life insurers with Internal Models to calculate their capital requirement, to manage risk and for other uses such as stress and scenario testing. Over 2018 and 2019, the PRA has conducted a survey of Life Internal Model firms, engaged with consultancies and other National Supervisory Authorities in order to assess the current practices in this space. In this presentation, we will summarise the findings from our research and analysis, outlining best practice and emerging trends.The intent is for the talk to stimulate conversation with the audience and contain a high degree of interaction.The session will assume prior knowledge of what a proxy model is and what it is used for, regression techniques and a basic level of statistics. 

Speakers: Sarah O'Sullivan, Terrence Venables and George Holbrow-Wilshaw, Bank of England

D2: Dementia and insurance: cognitive protection

With the rising prevalence of dementia, how can we manage this risk effectively and can insurance do more?

In 2025, the number of people living with dementia in the UK will pass one million. But yet incidence has fallen at all ages in recent years. How well do we understand the diseases which cause dementia? Can we predict who might develop dementia? What is technology's role? Matt Singleton, Ageing Lead at Swiss Re, will cover these topics and how insurance could help people address their concerns.

Speaker: Matt Singleton, Swiss Re

15.35-15.55 Afternoon refreshments 

Plenary 2: Unlocking the Code: Speaking Up, Conflicts of interest and AMS

This is a valuable opportunity for members to gain insights into significant regulatory developments involving the IFoA. There will be a focus on Speaking Up and Conflicts of interest, combined with practical case-studies and examples, as well as updates on the IFoA’s review of the CPD Scheme and joint publication with the Royal Statistical Society on ethical data science.       

The session will include an update on the introduction of Thematic Reviews of actuarial work as part of the implementation of the Actuarial Monitoring Scheme. We will provide insight into the background to the decision following our 2018 consultation, discuss the thematic review topics and how members can get involved.

Speaker: Leisha Watson, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and Malcolm Slee, Member of the Professional Skills Sub-Committee

17.00 Event close




America Square Conference Centre, 17, One Crosswall, America Square, London EC3N 2LB


Nearest Public Transport


Tower Gateway

Tower Hill