Reemas Inahsek reviews the Actuarial Professions GIRO 2011 conference
The sight of 600 bespectacled, sun-deprived actuaries emerging from Lime Street station as they descended on the city for must have been amusing to the assembled locals.
The GIRO 2011 conference kicked off in a more laid-back style this year with an opportunity to mingle and catch up with old friends on the Tuesday night. Scouse was the obligatory dish on the menu and, when combined with a couple of glasses of wine, most people were able to enjoy a relaxing first evening with thoughts of the office fading fast from their minds.
A wide variety of topics were covered over the course of three days ranging from reserving cycles to the ORSA and 'genderless' pricing. There was a lot of information to absorb but the quality and creativity of plenaries this year meant that listening was particularly engaging. In an increasingly litigious role, all insurance actuaries are concerned with fulfilling their expanding responsibilities whilst maintaining that ongoing commitment to integrity and professionalism.
The issues raised during the week gave us food for thought and provided both comfort that we were all facing the challenges together but also some needed discomfort that there was still much work ahead - navigating risks indeed!
The programme of workshops and plenaries was broken up with some organised socialising as the stunning Liverpool Cathedral played host to the GIRO conference dinner. Attendees were greeted with a champagne reception at the magnificently illuminated building, before enjoying some fine food and taking in the wonderful operatic entertainment on offer. An excellent evening was rounded off with the presentation of the lifetime achievement award to a thoroughly deserving Andrew Hitchcox, chief actuary at Kiln.
Those delegates who were able to stay for the full conference (and thus claim all of their CPD points) would have enjoyed the final Friday topic on international markets given by Lord Digby Jones. With a variety of anecdotes and one-liners, not to mention great insight with regards to the political process, his presentation made for one of the most memorable in recent years - a great way to end the conference.
We should thank the GIRO committee for organising another great convention and to the all the speakers for contributing their knowledge and experience for the benefit of our insurance compatriots. Their voluntary efforts are very much appreciated and we look forward to enjoying the fruits of their labour in Brussels later this year.