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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

SAS tackles challenges ahead


The Students’ Actuarial Society (SAS) at Heriot-Watt University welcomed several distinguished guests to its annual Actuarial Conference on 9 February. The conference is one of the key events in the calendar, attracting students and professionals at all stages of their careers. This year’s event was attended by over 200 participants, including working actuaries, lecturers and students.

Entitled ‘Discovering Potential in a Changing World’, it addressed current issues that pose both challenges and opportunities to the actuarial industry, with topics on Solvency II, the insurance of terrorism risk, risk management in climate change and pensions.

First speaker, Craig Turnbull, (Standard Life), presented on insurance investment strategy. 

He highlighted a few interesting episodes in the history of actuarial thought and elaborated on illiquidity, asset credit risk and the impact of Brexit on Solvency II.  

This was followed by Dr Gordon Woo (RMS), on quantitative terrorism insurance risk modelling and an analysis of the largest historic terrorist attack event – 9/11. He elaborated on cyber security and its links to terrorism risk.  

Our third talk, Sandy Trust (Grant Thornton) opened with a video of ‘Breathing Earth’, highlighting the principal climate change issues, and explored why risk management fails, with examples in slavery, mass immigration and consumer choice.

Lastly, ‘The Rising Profile of Pensions’ was presented by Melanie Stephenson and Louise Lau from Barnett Waddingham. They opened with “Are People Saving Enough For Retirement?”. They followed with current issues within the pensions industry: auto-enrolment, longevity improvements, state pension reform and the impact of Brexit and Trump on equity returns and gilt yields.  

We would like to thank all those who helped to organise, present, and attend the conference, making it a such great success.