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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Cass academics scoop Worshipful Company award of honour

The Worshipful Company of Actuaries (WCA) and the actuarial faculty of City University were both inaugurated in the 1970s and they are both involved with the City of London in the work they undertake. The City University actuarial faculty has recently become an integral faculty of the Cass Business School (formerly the City University Business School), and has relocated from Northampton Square to Bunhill Row, on the northern boundary of the City.

Some years ago, the WCA instituted its award of honour for recognised contribution to the actuarial profession, particularly in the wider fields environment. Previous recipients include George Ross Goobey, Jack Plymen, and Sir Brian Corby. The court of the WCA recently announced that the award of honour in 2003 would be made to the Faculty of Actuarial Science and Statistics at City University for its outstanding contribution to the actuarial profession since its inception in 1974.

Over the years, many well-known actuaries have been associated with the City faculty, whether as full-time professors, directors, or visiting lecturers. The number of BSc students has risen steadily from the original intake of nine in 1974 to an intake of over 100 in 2002. There are currently 230 BSc students in total – over half of them from overseas. More than 200 graduates have qualified as actuaries, including the newly appointed government actuary of Greece.

Since 1991, the faculty has also operated a diploma in actuarial management programme, with an original intake of 72 participants; now the annual intake exceeds 120. Recently an MSc in actuarial management was set up, the first of its kind in the UK.

The faculty is active in actuarial research work, supported by some leading UK actuarial employers. There has been a considerable and steady output of papers on actuarial subjects ranging from medical statistics, actuarial techniques in banking, probability of ruin-life portfolios, to applications of fuzzy set theory. In addition, closer links with finance and business are being forged – hence the logic of the move into the Cass Business School, which will give it a higher external profile. This move will enable actuaries to contribute significantly in making City University the intellectual hub of the City of London.

The current faculty head, Professor Richard Verrall (an honorary FIA), was presented with the WCA award of honour by the master of the WCA at Mansion House on 1 April 2003, in the presence of the deputy vice-chancellor, Steve Miller, and the chancellor, the Lord Mayor. Richard said: ‘Winning this award is recognition for all the hard work our staff and students have put in and is also a reflection of the consistently high quality work we have produced. This award can only help strengthen the reputation of the department.’

The award of honour by the WCA is not just a one-off recognition of the contribution the faculty makes to the actuarial profession. The WCA also sponsors an annual lecture to actuarial students, and supports several actuarial students (not just at City University, but also at Southampton and Heriot-Watt universities) with bursaries.

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