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WCA Lecture – Technology: A red-eyed Terminator or an actuary’s best friend?

Wednesday 5 February 2020 17:30 - 20:00

The Worshipful Company of Actuaries Annual Lecture by John Taylor, President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Despite long-running concerns that innovation could lead to widespread redundancy, technology has enabled greater productivity, created higher-value jobs and spurred us on to new heights. With artificial intelligence increasingly automating work undertaken by professionals, I look at the prospects for the actuarial profession in the era of unprecedented technological innovation. Whilst this “double-edged sword” will see some traditional actuarial tasks being automated, I contend it will create more opportunity for actuaries to contribute to a broader range of important issues such as climate change and consumer finances. Moreover, the prevalence of data provides a platform for actuaries to make a difference outside the traditional sectors of insurance and pensions.


John is the current President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Prior to joining Hymans Robertson, John spent most of his career in executive level roles with a variety of product providers, including as Managing Director at NEST. After gaining a B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Pure Mathematics from The University of Glasgow, he started his career as a trainee actuary at Standard Life in 1994. Since qualifying as an actuary, John has focused on marketing and distribution in pensions, savings and insurance.

John is Chair of the Scottish Financial Risk Academy, a collaborative venture between academia and business and is also involved in what’s commonly described as “robo–advice”. In essence, this involves making actuarial modelling accessible and meaningful to consumers as they seek to understand financial choices open to them.

17:30 – 20:00 GMT



Centenary Building 100, Room 4013

University of Southampton

Highfield Campus


SO17 1BJ

Nearest Public Transport