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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Frank Redington

I found Icki Iqbal’s series of articles on ‘The Greatest British Actuary ever’ if not compelling at least diverting. Although such exercises suffer from the same issues as apply to picking the greatest cricketer or even the greatest batsman, most would reckon that Redington is a highly plausible choice. The article reminded me of the only conversation I ever had with the great man.

In 1982 Vol 109 of Part III of JIA was published and included a paper by Roy Colbran, ‘Valuation of Final Salary Pension Schemes’. I contributed briefly to the discussion on the paper at the Institute in connection with the appropriate way to value assets. About two days after the journal was published my telephone rang and the conversation went along these lines:

Caller: ‘Are you Peter Felton?’

Felton: ‘Yes.’

Caller: ‘It’s Frank Redington here.’

Felton: ‘THE Frank Redington?’

Redington: ‘I suppose so, but more importantly I’ve just read the abstract of the discussion on Colbran’s paper and I wondered if you meant “plus minus plus”?’

Felton: ‘I’m not sure. What exactly do you mean?’

Redington: ‘If you had meant “plus minus plus” you would know what I was talking about. Ah well, nice talking to you anyway. Goodbye.’

I have often wondered what indeed the significance of ‘plus minus plus’ is.

I am sure many others will have Redington stories.