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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Obituary — Colin Cornwall

Colin Cornwall died on 15 October 2009 aged 82. A service of thanksgiving for his life was held at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Redhill, Surrey, on 30 October 2009. He was educated at Radley College where he won a scholarship to read mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge. On graduating, Colin joined London Transport and embarked on the actuarial examinations. He qualified as a fellow of the Institute in 1955. From London Transport, his career in pensions took him to British Rail, Courtaulds and Associated Newspapers, the Daily Mail group. He was invited to become a member of the Occupational Pensions Board on its formation in 1973.

Colin served the Institute continuously in one capacity or another from 1964 until 1985. He was on Council for 15 years, and was vice president from 1974 to 1977. He served on numerous committees but will be best remembered for his work as chairman of the 1973 committee to review the education and training of actuaries. This was a major review that established the framework for the system now in force with, among other things, the addition of general insurance to the syllabus, attention to experience after qualification and close co-operation with the Faculty and universities.

Shortly after Colin retired, the Maxwell affair hit the headlines. Robert Maxwell, chairman of the Mirror Group, had misappropriated most of the assets of the Group’s pension schemes, putting the members’ benefits in jeopardy. A new independent chairman of trustees was required and Colin stepped forward. He spent the next three years in the public eye in single-minded pursuit of the pension schemes’ assets. To the great relief of the scheme members, most of the assets were eventually recovered, which was a fitting climax to a career spent in the nurture of pension schemes.

Colin, his wife Enid and their four children were a close and happy family, and he will be sorely missed.
By Colin Stewart