Insurers must be careful not to underestimate the true threat of climate change. Because its effects are systemic, climate risk is likely to stress local economies and-more grimly-cause market failures that affect both consumers and insurers. More frequent catastrophic events, in combination with the need to meet evolving regulatory requirements, will inevitably threaten business models-and make insuring some risk unaffordable for customers or unfeasible for insurers.
Customers, regulators and the wider society that the industry serves are therefore likely to demand that insurance solutions go beyond traditional risk transfer to explicitly address risk mitigation. This panel of experts from across the industry will explore the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change that are facing the sector as we move towards COP26.
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Louise Pryor, President 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.
Dr Bronwyn Claire (Senior Programme Manager at Climate Wise)
Dr Bronwyn Claire leads ClimateWise, a group of near 40 insurance industry members who are responding to the risks and opportunities of climate change. The ClimateWise Principles Independent Review 2020 shows member insurance industry firms have made significant progress in their preparedness and response to climate change and TCFD aligned disclosure. ClimateWise also leads in research with recent reports Climate product innovation within the insurance sector and Policy opportunities on the road to net zero underwriting that explore the critical role of the insurance industry in enabling the transition of the wider economy towards decarbonisation.
Sharanjit Paddam (Principal, Finity Consulting)
Sharanjit is a Principal at Finity based in Sydney.He is an actuary with over 26 years’ experience in actuarial consulting and as a senior executive at general insurers in London and Sydney. He specialises in non-financial risk management and strategy, including climate risk, risk culture and strategic, environmental and social risks. He is a leading adviser to insurers, banks, investors and government on climate risk management, strategy and reporting.
Sharanjit initiated and lead the Climate Measurement Standards Initiative, a collaboration between Australia’s largest banks, insurers and asset owners with regulators and leading climate scientists to develop guidance on climate risk scenario analysis.
He was awarded Risk Manager of the Year in 2020 by the Climate Alliance, and received the Actuaries Institute’s Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his service on the institute’s Climate Change Working Group.
Karen Tan (Managing Director, Chief Risk Officer Asia and Global Head of Life & Health Risk Management · Swiss Re)
Karen joined Swiss Re as Chief Risk Officer for Asia Pacific in May 2014, based in Singapore. In July 2018, her portfolio expanded to also include the risk-managing of Swiss Re's Life and Health Reinsurance business globally. Together with her teams, Karen helps ensure that the business has the necessary culture, expertise and framework to support good risk-taking and sound risk management, including in the area of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) to promote sustainable business.
Karen actively shares her knowledge and experience in forums such as the UNEP's Financing Clean Air panel discussion in China and the Financial Times Climate Finance Asia Summit, to encourage more financial institutions to support the transition to environmentally sustainable economies in Asia and promote the role of insurance in building resilient infrastructures important to Asia's growth story.
Prior to her current role, Karen was Chief Actuary of Zurich Life Insurance Company in Switzerland, overseeing operations in the Swiss domestic market, International Group business, as well as branches in Asia and the Middle East. Before that, Karen headed up Zurich Insurance Group's Global Life Risk Analysis department and was responsible for Zurich's risk and capital management models and approach for its Life businesses globally.
Before joining Zurich Insurance Group, she was already a member of Swiss Re from 1998 to 2008, holding multiple positions in Group Capital Management, Finance and Life & Health.
Karen is a Fellow of the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, and holds a Master of Business from the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, where she also received the Lee Kwan Yew gold medal award. She completed the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School in 2018.