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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Conference preview: Collateral damage

Chairman’s Preview

Actuaries working in the life insurance world are finding life increasingly busy. Solvency II advances ever closer, reams of reading material are on offer, while existing time demands are certainly not easing off.
I am delighted to invite you to the 2010 Life conference to take part in a packed programme of workshops and presentations, which will allow you to discuss with colleagues and learn more about the key issues we are all now facing. This year, the event is being held in Birmingham at the ICC facility in the centre of the city. The ICC is easy to get to, with good transport links from all over the UK. Together with a new structure to the timetabling of the conference, we hope this will mean that even the most time-pressed actuary will be able to attend easily and make the most of the whole conference.

It would have been easy to rebadge this year’s conference as Solvency II. However, that would have squeezed out the large range of issues that are not about regulatory changes but just as fundamental to our work. So we hope we have put together a varied and wide-ranging programme that caters for all tastes and indeed offers the chance to dip into subjects outside your core work.

The conference is held as we look forward to a challenging but rewarding world that includes Solvency II, but also major changes to the distribution of our products and to the potential avenues for managing risks. This outlook provided our theme of ‘2010 and looking forward’. We have also been very conscious of the demands on all businesses to adapt to difficult trading conditions, and thus many of our sessions reflect the realities of our other theme: ‘Collateral damage — life insurance after the credit crunch’.

Particularly in tough times, there are opportunities for, and great demands on, our profession to communicate and manage risks well. Consumers still need insurance, savings and pensions — perhaps in changing forms as their personal approach to risk and uncertainty alters. The life industry continues to play a key role in meeting these financial needs and demonstrating that these needs will continue to be met through future difficult times. So the sessions aim to answer the following questions:

>> Are we communicating risks and opportunities to our colleagues and our Boards? How should capital and product management develop in practical and effective ways?
>> Are our modelling tools standing up to the reality of extreme scenarios and are we comfortable with the validation of these risk management tools?
>> How do we adapt our business strategies and working methods in the new Solvency II world — what are the benefits we should grasp?

We are offering the usual workshop-style sessions as well as the hot topics slots that have proved their worth in previous years in ensuring the conference can address all the issues we want it to. The plenary sessions range from Colonel Tim Collins talking on leadership; Lord Lamont talking on the immediate economic outlook; and a closing plenary with speakers from HM Treasury, the ABI and the EU Commission on Solvency II.

Of course, this event offers far more than just listening to speakers — there are plenty of opportunities for discussion in the workshop sessions, the plenaries, the dinner and the bar.

I hope you can attend, that you make the most of the full schedule and have time to enjoy the social events and the company of friends and colleagues.


James Tuley is chair of the Life conference programme committee


For further information and to register, visit www.actuaries.org.uk/media_centre/events_folder/ap_events/?a=169441