What a start to 2021. We have had mobs of protesters storming their way into the US Capitol building, a third COVID-19 lockdown introduced in England, and the end of the Brexit transition period as the UK leaves the EU.
Good news has come in the form of the approval and distribution of the first COVID-19 vaccines around the world, although this has been tainted by allegations of hoarding by richer nations and unequal distributions. A timely article from Sam Wilkin puts geopolitical events on the stress testing agenda.
We also cover topical events related to investment, data science and pensions. In terms of careers, we interview Iain Allen, who tells us about the exciting opportunities in the banking world for actuaries who are unafraid to explore fields outside their area of expertise, while Dawid Kopczyk talks about the skills needed for the actuarial data scientist. Matt Roberts-Sklar and Sheila Torrance tell us why there is increased attention from regulators on liquidity risk from margin calls, and John Ng and Melanie Zhang show us how to perform sentiment analysis using social media data and machine learning techniques. Professor Peter Ayton looks at understanding biases in trustee decision making, and the list goes on, with many more great contributions.
We also put our hands up for getting some things wrong. The November 2020 issue featured an article by Peter Wylie (‘Adding experts to injury’) that included the sentence “The next year, in a case involving Miss Martin who had been badly injured, I carried out calculations that were again accepted by the court, and another record figure for damages was established.” This is incorrect. The actuarial evidence for the pursuer was provided by David Carlisle FIA as an expert witness in the case of Miss Elizabeth Anne Martin v James & Andrew Chapman Limited in the Court of Session, Edinburgh. It was heard by Lord Penrose, whose written judgment was published in December 1994. Hopefully this sets the record straight.