In light of political and technology changes, Richard Purcell outlines the challenges and opportunities for the profession in the coming year
09 FEBRUARY 2016 | RICHARD PURCELL
In our first issue of 2017, it's a good opportunity to stop and look ahead at some of the big issues we know are on the horizon, and those that may yet appear. In the UK and Europe, Brexit is set to dominate the agenda. In the first of a series of articles on this theme, this month The Actuary speaks to the director-general of the Association of British Insurers on the implications for the insurance market.
We will also begin to get a better understanding of the priorities and style of the new president of the United States, and what it will mean for the global economy. Two important issues that already seem to be further down the president's priority list, but that remain on the agenda for our profession, are the environment and diversity. In this issue, we hear from Mark Thompson, CIO of a leading pension scheme, on creating passive investments that protect investors against the effects of climate change, and exerting more pressure on companies to tackle their environmental impact. On diversity, Damian Sivajoti emphasises the role that shared parental leave can have in improving gender diversity in the workplace.
Technology is also likely to reveal some interesting challenges and opportunities in the year ahead. Already this year there have been reports of artificial intelligence replacing 30 employees at a Japanese insurer. Then, in the US, a start-up called Lemonade has set a new record, processing a claim in just three seconds. Meanwhile, the rise of automation is seeing a simultaneous increase in cyber crime. James Parry explains why real-time intelligence is vital in combating cyber risk. Elsewhere, developments in healthcare are also moving a step closer. Nay Wynn looks at the potential effect on insurance if a cure for cancer is found. Certainly, 2017 looks set to be an interesting year, and one where actuaries should have a lot to say.