It’s just a few weeks until our inaugural IFoA Conference, which is taking place on 22–23 June – our first in-person conference for more than two years. We’re excited to be back and look forward to welcoming you to the event – whether that’s in person or virtually.
Our conference theme focuses on ‘Tomorrow’s actuary’ and we have a strong line-up of sessions and speakers across both days, providing a range of varied and thought-provoking content to help you progress and excel in your career. Both days of the conference end with a networking reception, giving you opportunities to connect and network with friends, colleagues and associates.
We have more than 50 sessions lined up across a range of cross-practice areas. Here’s a taster of just some of the sessions you can look forward to.
SESSION: Bank of England – Supporting the transition: insights from the Bank of England’s Climate Biennial Exploratory Scenario (CBES)
The CBES explored the resilience of the UK financial system to the physical and transition risks associated with different climate pathways. This is the first time the Bank has tested both banks and insurers to capture interactions between them and understand the risk presented by climate change across the financial system. Expertise in modelling climate-related risks is in its infancy, so this exercise was designed to support capacity building for the Bank, CBES participants and the broader financial sector. This session will cover the main lessons for the insurance sector.
Speakers: Stefan Claus, Jethro Green and Giorgis Hadzilacos, Bank of England
SESSION: Profits versus purpose in business
Join this plenary panel discussion to hear leading figures in academia and business provide their perspectives on the purpose of business, the future of corporations and how we can restore trust in commercial institutions. COVID-19 and the climate crisis are shining a light on the way corporations act. How can we create more purposeful, trustworthy and ethical businesses to meet the needs of today’s society?
Chair: Tan Suee Chieh (past president of the IFoA)
Panel: Professor Colin Mayer CBE, Said Business School; Sara Drake, Chartered Governance Institute; Kalpana Shah (incoming president-elect)
SESSION: Exploring the reforms to adult social care
The history of social care reform in the UK is long. In February the government published its proposed reforms to adult social care (including a cap on care costs). Against this backdrop of funding promises and rising National Insurance taxation, this session will debate the resilience of these new proposals, the impact on future demand for care services, and the role for the insurance industry and the important role it has played in long-term care funding.
Chair: Jules Constantinou (past president of the IFoA)
Panel: Sir Andrew Dilnot CBE, Warden of Nuffield College Oxford and chair of the Geospatial Commission; Tom Kenny, IFoA Social Care Working Party; Natasha Curry, Nuffield Foundation and political/parliamentarian speaker
SESSION: Neurodiversity – a disability or a superpower?
Neurodivergent people – those who sense the environment, process information, regulate emotions or manage energy differently to most – make up 15% of the population. Conditions include autism, attention-deficit disorder and dyslexia, among others. Neurodivergent individuals are often innovative and quick thinking, and can ‘join dots’ and spot trends in data, among other things. However, they may be perceived as ‘different’, have difficulty reading or suffer from tiredness brought on by noise or colours. Three experts explain how understanding this area can improve teams’ effectiveness.
Speakers: Alicja Nocon, Expand the Circle; Charlotte Valeur; Brandon Horwitz, NomBon Consulting
In addition to the sessions, a range of top-flight speakers are also appearing at the conference.
Paul Johnson, CBE Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies
Paul will be looking at the challenges ahead for pension policy, the welfare state and the NHS, and the degree to which current policy is unsustainable. He will ask whether we need to think again about how we support pensions, savings and the welfare state.
Sir Geoff Mulgan, CBE Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation at University College London
Sir Geoff Mulgan’s plenary session, ‘Risk, measurement and the many dimensions of intelligence: understanding the future in turbulent times’, will look at how organisations and whole systems can organise their intelligence – particularly in times of turbulence, when pandemics, war, energy crises and other factors make long-term planning harder. The talk will reflect on how best to combine evidence, judgment and wisdom, and how actuarial sciences may respond to a period of transition.
Research associate, Systemic Risk Centre, and senior research associate, Financial Markets Group at the London School of Economics and Political Science
Amlan Roy will be exploring why demographics matter, including:
- Impact on growth, debts, capital flows, and inflation
- Asset pricing and asset allocation
- Macro systemic risk modelling and the future
- Qualitative aspects – gender equality, health and SDGs.
SESSION: Making the leap to C-suite and NED role using your unique talents
- How do you leverage your unique talents to stand out from the crowd?
- How do you get comfortable stepping up when you don’t fit the ‘accepted mould’ or usual stereotype?
- How do you overcome hurdles to build a senior executive and/or non-executive director (NED) career?
In this interactive session, our three expert panellists will provide top tips on how to market your unique perspective to successfully become a senior executive or NED. With expertise in the insurance and financial services sector, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion, they will cover key topics such as networking, neurodiversity, executive search, career management and allyship. You’ll leave with the tools to overcome career hurdles and achieve your ambitions.
Speakers: Barbara Schonhofer MBE, executive chair global of ISC Group; Fiona Hathorn, CEO of Women on Boards UK; Mark Freed, CEO of E2W
SESSION: Freedom and choice: public attitudes seven years on
Since April 2015, individuals have had greater flexibility in how they can access their pension benefits. This offers individuals much more choice and flexibility.
In 2016 the IFoA carried out some work on how individuals were reacting to the new pensions freedoms. In early 2022 we carried out an updated study involving 2,000 people aged 55 and over to see whether public attitudes to the reforms had changed in the intervening six years, and to assess the current state of play in terms of how individuals understand and manage their pensions.
In this session we will summarise the survey findings and chair a panel discussion to consider what they mean for pension savers in the UK, explore the problems that exist and highlight a range of possible solutions on how to improve outcomes for consumers.
Speakers: Kelly Hurren; Andrew Kemp; IFoA Personal Financial Working Party; and industry panel
SESSION: Data Science – it’s all very nice but what’s in it for actuaries?
This session will explore:
- What are the most used cases of data science in general insurance, health, life and pensions?
- How the use of data science tools can improve the speed and robustness of traditional actuarial work
- How advanced predictive modelling techniques can outperform traditional actuarial methods
- How the field of ‘explainable AI’ can help practitioners to understand what is happening ‘inside the black box’
- How change management is key to the acceptance of new methods in existing processes and governance.
Speakers: John Ng,Reinsurance Group of America; Alexis Iglauer, Partner Re.
SESSION: IFRS 17 – the bigger picture
This workshop will focus on the wider operational areas within an insurance company that are impacted by IFRS 17, and discuss the impacts beyond financial statements. The target audience is anyone in the insurance community. Topics covered will include: IT systems/data integration; product design/pricing; planning/budgeting; management information/key performance indicators; outwards reinsurance; executive remuneration; tax; processes.
Within each topic, the speakers will discuss the regulatory requirements and how to realise greater benefits.
Speakers: Simon Sheaf, Bhavin Bhatt and Mark Wu, Grant Thornton
We’re running the IFoA Conference as both an in-person and virtual event, so you don’t have to miss out, wherever you’re based. Take a look at bit.ly/IFoAConf to find the ticket that’s right for you. We look forward to seeing you.
This is just a taster of some of the sessions.
To see the full programme and book your ticket, visit bit.ly/IFoAConf