Obituary - June 2018
Brian Harrison, the well-loved and widely-respected actuary, died aged 59 on 8 February 2018. His actuarial career started at Gresham Life in 1979, after he realised that his fledging career in the Navy was not for him. The armed services' loss was the actuarial profession's, and the life insurance industry's, gain. After moving to what was then Friends Provident in 1992, Brian took on a series of increasingly senior roles, including chief actuary and eventually finance director of the life and pensions company.
The years at Friends Provident were ones of great change, including the demutualisation, listing, and eventual sale of the company.
Brian was instrumental in ensuring that all these changes were carefully planned and implemented. His calm, intelligent and meticulous way of working meant that everyone involved in these projects always had the utmost confidence that whatever Brian was in charge of would be delivered to a high quality, and on time.
After taking early retirement from Friends in 2009, Brian embarked on a new career as a non-executive director of both Marine & General Mutual and Police Mutual, as well as continuing as a trustee of the Friends Pension Scheme. In these roles, Brian brought a powerful combination of intellect, experience and personal support for the executive teams. He was able to 'cut through' much of the complexity that can surround life insurance company strategy and ensure effort was spent on what was important.
Sadly, this promising new chapter in Brian's professional career was cut short by a diagnosis of cancer. He decided to step down from his roles so as to spend as much time as possible with his family and also enjoying his hobby of bird photography, while coping with the effects of chemotherapy. He was still driving around the UK to spot and photograph rare birds right up to a few weeks before his death, and his friends would always enjoy the tales of mad dashes in pursuit of some rare feathered guest to our shores.
Brian leaves two adult children from his first marriage, as well as Anna, born in 2009 from his second marriage to Lalizar in 2004. His family, friends and colleagues will miss him.