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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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A hive of activity

It has been a busy month at The Actuary. After the launch of the first new-look edition, it is ‘business as the editorial team have never known it’, with the letters bag growing fivefold and the features submissions increasing in both quality and quantity again this month. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this edition.

Having battled through the unseasonal storms in London on the way to the office recently, it seemed rather fitting to be attending a roundtable on a general insurance theme, this being the industry that may be hit first and hardest by global warming. It was a pleasure to be in attendance at the first roundtable hosted by The Actuary. The topic was the softening of the insurance market cycle, and a transcript of the lively debate can be found starting on page 32.

Keeping to the environmental theme, Professor Bill McGuire discusses the issue of global warming (page 10) and the vital role that actuaries can play in pushing forward the agenda for climate change.

We plan to hold a number of roundtables during 2008, covering themes such as Solvency II, as well as the difficult, and sometimes controversial, argument of how actuaries should balance commercial pressures with the requirement to remain professional. Please get in touch if you have any ideas for future roundtables or are interested in taking part in one of these events.

Issue themes
Our themes for this edition are financial modelling and reinsurance with features from Paul Hopkins, who looks at IT trends (page 30), Society of Actuaries’ member, Henry Witmer on the analysis of protected cell companies (page 38), and Adrian Pinington who analyses mortality projections by cause of death (page 28).

Our web exclusives this month include articles from Dmitri Subotsky navigating his way through marine hull insurance, and Maria Marques who charts the launch of the Brazilian reinsurance market. Also online is a feature from Graeme Cluskey, who delves into the dusty pre-1900 world of life insurance.

If you haven’t visited our website yet, then I encourage you to take a look and let us have your comments.

Our online poll has been running for a couple of months and we have had some interesting results to the questions posed so far, including the merger. As I am sure you are aware, there is a lot of consultation to take place before the formal vote, including a decision on how the voting process will work.

The Actuary is keen to promote an active debate about the merger and so we will be dedicating the letters page in May to your views. We have already received a number of letters about the merger and voting process, however, if you have not yet done so, please send us your letters before the 4 April deadline. We cannot print all letters due to space constraints but we do try to ensure that the letters printed in the magazine reflect the balance of opinion in the post bag.

Volunteers
On a different note, we are currently looking for volunteers for our book reviewer panel. Review copies are often provided so if you are an avid, critical reader interested in an opportunity to share your views then please get in touch.

Finally, we are delighted that Louisa Lobo will be joining the editorial team as news editor with effect from the June edition. Louisa will be responsible for the industry news section.

Margaret de Valois
Editor
editor@the-actuary.org.uk