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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Obituary - Rob Bratton

Editor’s note: We would not have wished to change a syllable of Samantha Warwick’s appreciation of her late husband.

On 25 September 2005 Robert Bratton, a British consultant life actuary with Zurich Financial Services based in Zurich, was killed mountaineering with his close friend Daniel Surchat, a French Swiss actuary who worked for the same firm. The pair had set off to climb the Mittellegi Ridge that stretches across the top of the Eiger, in Grindelwald, Bernese Oberland, on a brilliantly sunny morning, following a night on the mountain and ‘a beautiful sunset’.

Rob, 36, was a brilliant, funny, warm, brave, confident man who worked to live, and live he did. After leaving Manchester University with a physics degree he qualified as an actuary with Bacon & Woodrow in Surrey. He then moved to Rome for 18 months as a consultant, before moving to Swiss Re in Zurich in 2000. His reason for moving to Switzerland was not for the job – although that helped – but for the mountains which he loved with a passion. Ski touring, skiing, climbing, mountaineering, Rob mastered them all. Every weekend was an adventure for him. He liked nothing better than a big challenge so he could leave the frustrations of stochastic models behind. In true actuarial fashion he loved a series of problems to solve and climbing was just that. He had planned to climb Ama Dablam in Nepal in November. Sadly it was a dream he never realised.

Rob’s funeral was held in Grindelwald at the village church where he will remain forever with a perfect view of the Eiger. However, there will be a memorial service to celebrate Rob’s life – and there is an awful lot to celebrate – on 25 March 2005 at St Mary’s Church, Betws-y-coed, Snowdonia, North Wales at 3pm. Those who knew him and didn’t get a chance to come to Switzerland back in October are invited to attend and remember such a fantastic friend and colleague.RSVPs would be appreciated, sent to his wife Samantha, at samantha.warwick@mac.com.