Welcome to the August edition of The Actuary. During the summer months, previous editors probably imagined readers enjoying their print copy poolside, with a glass of something refreshing involving coconut and an umbrella.
This is unlikely to be true in the majority of cases while part of the world is still in lockdown and travel restrictions are the norm. More likely, you are indoors when the issue arrives. Whether you are having a staycation or local break, I hope you find the magazine interesting and relevant, and it brightens up your day. Let me tempt you with some highlights from this issue.
This month’s interview is with Jennifer Dixon, chief executive of the Health Foundation, a charity committed to improving health and care for people in the UK. She talks to us about her concerns for the future in the public health space, highlighting a growing health and life expectancy inequality (p12).
On a related topic, Andrew Cairns, Torsten Kleinow and Jie Wen have been working on developing the next generation of mortality models for practitioners; they tell us about the new Longevity Index for England (p28). You can also visit the IFoA’s YouTube channel to view a webinar of Andrew and Torsten demonstrating the index and its associated app.
In our cover article, Prachi Patkee writes about the existing global imbalance in COVID-19 vaccine purchases, and argues that to mitigate the global economic impact, high-income countries should do more to support vaccinations in emerging nations (p17).
Finally, representatives from the IFoA Biodiversity Working Party present their findings from recent research on the link between biodiversity loss and zoonotic diseases, and how this should be taken into consideration in actuarial work (p38).
I hope you enjoy the issue and wish you a safe summer.
Dan Georgescu Editor