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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Conference: Momentum

Chairman’s preview
The Momentum Conference is not like other conferences. Momentum is the only Actuarial Profession conference that is designed for actuaries and risk professionals working in any discipline or practice area. As such, we have a fantastic opportunity at Momentum to share views, models and skills across traditional practice boundaries, and to learn from others outside our usual peer group. It also allows us to focus on non-technical areas and the Momentum conference has built a strong reputation for developing both technical and soft skills — a reputation I am confident will only be enhanced this year.

Those of you who have already thumbed through the brochure that landed on your doormats and desks recently may have noted that my chairman’s welcome contained the word ‘change’ (or other Thesaurus derivation of the word) well over 20 times. While this breach of literature etiquette would have had my English teacher fuming, ‘change’ really summarises the theme for Momentum 2009.

This theme still looks very appropriate — when I wrote my chairman’s welcome, the world was in the lows of what is increasingly being referred to as the period ‘post-Lehman Brothers’ — yet as I write this, the FTSE100 has hit the highest point it has reached for 2009 to date.

The theme of change runs right through our programme this year starting with Maynard Leigh Associates, who return to Momentum after superb feedback last year and will run our first plenary as well as a number of workshops to develop delegates’ softer skills. The workshops promise to be interesting and include, for example, sessions on managing your boss and adapting to change.

The theme continues through the two days to our final plenary where our panel of assembled experts and commentators will give views on the world after the global financial crisis and what this means for actuaries and risk professionals working in it. The questions for the panel will come direct from the delegates and, in keeping with the tradition of Momentum, this will be a no-holds-barred session for you to ask the questions you really want. If you already have questions to put to our panel (or would like to ask them anonymously) please feel free to e-mail me at paul.kitson@watsonwyatt.com

Picking out a few highlights from the technical workshops, we have a session looking at bulk purchase annuities (from the perspective of an insurer, reinsurer and pensions consultant), preparing for Solvency II for general insurance practitioners, and the rise of the longevity swap (again, from different views — investment and pensions).

Once more, picking out a couple of examples, our final non-technical workshops give delegates the chance to hear about epidemiology (don’t worry, it’s a beginner’s guide) and ‘What makes people tick?’. And finally — this being Momentum — we will provide the usual fun along the way, including a disco and an interactive quiz. I look forward to welcoming you to Glasgow in December.

Paul Kitson,
chairman 2009 Momentum Organising Committee


Momentum Conference 2009 — plenary sessions
Plenary 1: Survive and thrive

A central theme of emotional intelligence is adaptability and flexibility in times of change. Following the conference in Berlin last year, Maynard Leigh Associates will lead with this vital theme of survival in tough times. It is within our capability to come up with new ideas and see these challenging times as an opportunity that will move us forward.
Speaker: Deena Gornick, Maynard Leigh

Plenary 2: Are actuaries still behaving badly?
Behavioural finance has been in the ‘mainstream’ for a decade. Have people changed their behaviour? What new biases have come to light? Do the issues raised by behavioural finance have a real economic impact or do they just have entertainment value? How should actuaries factor behavioural finance into their work?
Speaker: Nigel Taylor, UBS Global Asset Management

Plenary 3: After the global financial crisis — the future for financial services and what it means for your career as an actuary
Financial services organisations are coming to terms with a new business environment, built around themes of stronger enterprise risk management, more intensive regulation and the emergence of new markets. Never in a generation has there been a more golden opportunity for actuaries to play to their core strengths of risk management and modelling and take advantage of these new opportunities. Taking questions from delegates, the panel will consider lessons, themes and opportunities for the profession.
Speakers: Ronnie Bowie, president, Faculty of Actuaries
Chris Hancorn, PwC
Trevor Llanwarne, government actuary
Andrew D Smith, Deloitte LLP
Nigel Taylor, UBS

For further information on the programme visit http://bit.ly/4cTDya