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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Finance & Investment Board news: The investment ac

We are looking for volunteers for working parties on a variety of research projects, with a view to presenting papers at next year’s Finance & Investment Conference to be held at Whittlebury Hall, Northants, on 19–21 June 2005. Building on this year’s conference theme – investing to manage liability-related risk – we now want to carry that idea further. The investment actuary: ‘public liability’ or an ‘embedded value’? will be the conference banner for 2005, and we will explore areas such as:

  • Have applications of theory in the past created value for clients and employers or merely been the engineers of the next mis-selling claim?
  • Is the role of investment actuaries one of education or evasion?
  • Is ours a viable qualification, for example, for tomorrow’s institutional investors or should they take the CFA instead?
  • Do we have the leading-edge ideas to confound our critics, or are we too tarnished by history?

The conference is a platform for those already in the profession who want to work with others, actuaries and non-actuaries, on a non-commercial basis, to develop ideas that are of value to tomorrow’s clients – from concept to consumer deliverable, from strategy to solution.

This is a chance to expose presenters’ new ideas, products, and concepts and to educate delegates, helping them to assimilate current thinking, actuarial and non-actuarial. The conference should be of value to members of the profession seeking to build their knowledge on the finance and investment side whether their primary interest is pensions, insurance, banking, or asset management.

We are planning next year’s conference now, and are putting together a number of issues to help shape the programme. Some volunteers have already come forward, keen to work on topics including:

  • Impact of regulation – effect of ICA and CP195 policy statement on asset allocation for life insurers, market impact for other investors
  • Benchmarks – dynamic benchmarking, liability driven benchmarks, dedicated bond portfolios
  • Defined contribution arrangements – investment strategy, behavioural finance, applications of omega functions to financial planning, planning equity switches
  • Risk – the risk ridge, copulas in financial management, coherent measures of risk
  • Property – segmentation of property cashflows and implications for ALM
  • Hedge funds – the practitioner’s perspective, separating myth from reality, risk management
  • Pricing – derivative prices and market behaviour
  • Bonds – deriving an analytical formulation of the yield curve from bond prices and swap rotes, etc
  • Infrastructure – infrastructure bonds/finance, Islamic bonds
  • Strategy – why should institutions hedge liabilities or not, etc
  • Modelling – comparison of available models, impact of stochastic (non-constant) variance in economic and asset models
  • Consumer education – how can actuaries help consumers to make financial sense of the future?
  • Economics – labour economics
  • Performance measurement – risk and return, fund of funds, trading, drawdown in mutuals, etc.

If any of these topics appeal to you, and you would like to join a working party, please contact Mark Symons, email marks@actuaries.org.uk. Or if you are inspired to work on any other relevant finance/investment topic, please let Mark know. Full details of the working parties are on the website at: www.actuaries.org.uk/link/members/fib/researchwps0405.html

This is your chance to have your say at the Finance & Investment Conference 2005, so don’t miss out!