When the barman in the Posthouse on the Ipswich Road in Norwich cleared away the glasses on 24 October 1974, he little realised the significance of the evening. Actuaries, proposing allegiance to the brand-new practice area of general insurance, had gathered to discuss issues facing insurance in the mid-seventies. Hugh Scurfield, later to become president of the Institute, was in the chair and the ball was rolling. GIRO was born.
Fast forward through dream venues (Sorrento, Killarney, Disneyland), a galaxy of A-list chairmen, pertinent issues over 39 years and speakers whose knowledge was paramount but who added humour to that special cocktail to make GIRO the must-attend annual event.
At GIRO 2013, the GI actuary, now trusted and mature, is reviewing the future and asking whether it is time to evolve or revolve? It is surprising to see how the range of topics has stayed the same over the years, with as many capital calculation related papers (12) in the first 50 papers (which took 11 years to produce) as in the 2013 50-workshop sample. Reserving parity (8) was not surprising. The new modern topic seems to be risk at the expense, perhaps, of reinsurance and pricing topics.
With risk coming of age, GIRO40 will expand further on this as an important component of most papers (at least 43 of 50) having some aspect of either capital calculation, risk quantification, risk reduction, risk driver analysis, or risk optimised decision-making. With risk continuing to energise our thinking, our methods will evolve. Are we heading for risk-driven unification of diverse topics like pricing, reserving, capital modelling, and business management? What topics are we neglecting in our rush towards risk and how will you help push the research boundaries for GIRO 2014?
Put your ideas forward for discussion and get involved with a working party whilst at the conference. IFoA staff will be on hand during breaks to help you expand further on these ideas. We look forward to an action-packed 40th anniversary with thought-provoking sessions and an exciting social programme. For details on GIRO40 visit: tinyurl.com/bww9vhb