[Skip to content]

Sign up for our daily newsletter
The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Obituary — Leonard Hall

Leonard Hall, who died on 20 January 2010 at the age of 92, gave unstintingly to the Profession. He was a council member for 20 years and served as honorary secretary and as chairman of the Board of Examiners, as well as chairing various committees. He was appointed vice president of the Institute in 1972.

Leonard was born in Grimsby in 1917, and gained an exhibition to St John’s College, Cambridge, where he read mathematics. On graduation he joined the Clerical, Medical and General Life Assurance Society but the war soon interrupted his studies. He was called up to the RAF as a meteorologist. In 1942 he was torpedoed, and spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft II, the prisoner-of-war camp for RAF officers and the site of the Great Escape.

On repatriation he returned to Clerical Medical and qualified as a fellow of the Institute in 1949. In 1950, he took responsibility for the large portfolio of stocks and shares, a role in which he was notably successful. He became one of the first honorary fellows of the Society of Investment Analysts (now the UK Society of Investment Professionals).

In 1975, Leonard became chief executive of Clerical Medical and his time was noted not only for his business acumen but also for his caring interest in people, and in particular for all those who worked with him. From 1977 to 1981 he was at first deputy chairman and then chairman of the Life Offices Association, where he worked hard to reduce the tensions between competing groupings within the insurance industry; his efforts led to the formation of the all-embracing Association of British Insurers. He retired from executive duties with Clerical Medical on his 65th birthday but remained on the board for another eight years.

On his retirement, the number of his appointments increased sharply and included being a governor of BUPA, advising pension funds, investment companies and even opera companies. He had helped in the formation of the Profession’s Livery Company and was elected its sixth master in 1984.

Despite all this activity, Leonard had a wonderful partnership with Betty for 54 years and always had time for their three children and six grandchildren. In return, after Betty died in 2000, the family supported him lovingly, especially in more recent years when he sadly lost the use of his legs.

On news of his death, one tribute stated simply: “Leonard was one of the world’s true gentlemen and a good friend to me”. There are many who could say the same.
By Roger Corley