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How good are insurers at measuring market risk?

Every year at PwC we train our new graduate intake on the basic intricacies of the insurance business. And recently I have asked myself whether this model is still the right one to teach. As we all know too well the building blocks of the insurance business model are pricing risk well, pooling it effectively, being efficient in acquiring and administering the portfolio and investing premium income wisely so that it hopefully exceeds the cost of running the business. I don’t need to ask which of the blocks has eroded in the last ten years.
Posted on Monday Nov 20

Auto-enrolment: The Past, Present and Future

Auto-enrolment, on the face of it at least, has been a huge success. Very few employees have chosen to opt out and, five years on from launch, we are seeing its impact. But where did it all start? Back in 2003, the Government had a problem. Defined Benefit pensions in the private sector were in sharp decline as many closed to new members.
Posted on Thursday Nov 16

Transition approach to IFRS 17 adoption

Matthew Ford from Willis Towers Watson discusses the transition approach, which is one of the most significant choices behind IFRS 17 adoption
Posted on Wednesday Nov 15

The Young Ones

An Autumn Budget looms in November and the pensions industry is expecting change. A quick recap of where we are. Philip Hammond flipped things around to return the Budget to the Autumn and so we are blessed to have two Budgets in one year as we’ve already had a Spring budget. In the spring the Government largely left pensions alone, which many were relieved about.

Posted on Monday Nov 13

European and Asian perspectives on Asset Management

The insurance industry is experiencing a period of unprecedented change as market forces exert increasing pressure. Lower bond and cash returns make it difficult to generate the returns needed to deliver guaranteed returns. At the same time, regulatory change is exposing the asset-liability mismatches in current investment strategies. This is leading insurers to seek both higher returns and longer-maturity assets.
Posted on Friday Nov 10

What are the benefits and pitfalls of blockchain

Imogen Bunyard from Qadre reviews how insurers and insureds can benefit from blockchain.
Posted on Thursday Nov 9

The real story of Group Risk growth

On the face of it, the latest statistics on the group risk market suggest our industry is a massive success story. More than 12 million employees are now covered by group risk policies, with an increase of over 500,000 people (or 4.5%) in the last year alone. Premiums have also risen by 3.8% to £2.106bn . Surely this is news for insurers to celebrate?
Posted on Tuesday Nov 7

How to get the PRIIPs calculations correct

The PRIIPS implementation deadline of 1 January 2018 is fast approaching – it’s time for PRIIPs manufacturers to get their PRIIPs calculation tests completed. It has been a long road to this point; In September 2016, the European Parliament rejected the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) drafted by the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs). In the absence of these, the European Commission delayed the application date of the PRIIPs Regulation to 1 January 2018, now in just two months’ time.
Posted on Friday Nov 3

Serving an ageing population

Final salary scheme actuaries are well-versed in the impact of the UK’s ageing population and have adjusted mortality assumptions accordingly. But the impact on financial services in general, and pensions in particular, does not stop there as increasing numbers of people enter longer and longer periods of retirement with defined contribution (DC) plans.
Posted on Wednesday Nov 1

Linking technology helps Actuaries know their risk profile

The advanced analysis of big data helps drive more valuable risk intelligence, giving insurers a deeper understanding or better picture of their book of business. In addition to this, the ability to view external sources of data will bring particular added value in the future by linking and exploiting data for the benefit of insurers and consumers.
Posted on Friday Oct 27

PLSA interviews Pat Sharman MD of UK Kas Bank

PLSA talks to Pat Sharman, MD of UK Kas Bank, about the challenges facing the pensions industry.
Posted on Thursday Oct 26

The importance of a data enriched insurance journey

Insurtech is revolutionising the way in which people have access to insurance, but how can it generate more sales, increase rates of retention and deliver an improved customer experience? Technology that embraces data is the linchpin for companies to succeed in a world where consumers demand that you know them, that you provide them with relevant information when they need it and that you provide it via the channel that suits them, considering their specific circumstances or preferences.
Posted on Tuesday Oct 24

Will personal insurance be strangled by red tape

Industries that rely on crunching numbers have benefited greatly from the rapid advances in technology over the last few decades. The capability of modern computers to handle vast data-sets has particularly helped the insurance industry, allowing far more accurate predictions of risk based on much bigger data samples than was ever regarded as realistic before.
Posted on Friday Oct 20

Leveraging GDPR to strengthen customer relationships

Hitachi Solutions Europe brought together industry leaders to discuss approaches to GDPR in the insurance industry. Here are the highlights from their round table debate at The Gherkin, London.

Posted on Tuesday Oct 17

Actuarial Post Awards 2017 - Last Day of Voting

Monday 6th November 2017 is your last chance to take part in our 2017 Actuarial Post Awards. Already we have had more votes cast than ever before with all categories still extremely close. So vote now. We would also like to thank this year’s sponsors Aon's Remetrica Team and Bolton Associates. Vote now for your short-listed nominees.
Posted on Tuesday Oct 17

Matching data to move motor insurance risk scoring up a gear

It’s human nature to want to feel valued for your custom. From a business perspective, we know it is far more cost-effective to retain an existing customer than to recruit a new one. Outside of insurance, we’ve all become used to loyalty schemes, customer service initiatives and incentives in a bid to keep us coming back for more. But general insurance in the UK has been sliding towards more of a commodity business, highly dis-intermediated by price comparison websites, with a very high rate of churn.
Posted on Friday Oct 13

The new tactic to cope with Solvency II

Grappling with Solvency II requirements has not been an easy task for insurance firms over the last 20 months. Whether from a resource, technology or writing business perspective, insurers are continuing to jump through several hoops to ensure compliance with this regulation. This is largely down to the Solvency Capital Requirement (SCR), or the amount of capital which insurers are required to hold.
Posted on Monday Oct 9

MiFID II: The Role of Reference Data

As MiFID II looms, David Bull, Head of Fixed Income Content, discusses the evolving role of referential data and how referential content is essential to MiFID II compliance.
Posted on Thursday Oct 5

Scams: Get a grip

One of the biggest risks to pension schemes is political risk. The incessant tinkering of politicians in relation to taxation and regulation is a major issue that scheme advisers and trustees need to be aware of. This includes understanding the direction of the Government’s thinking and the impact of potentially negative changes. Therefore, it feels strange to write asking for the Government to draft some legislation to address a growing issue.
Posted on Thursday Oct 5

A new system for a new culture

The world is changing. People are living longer and retiring later; one in three babies born in 2017 are now expected to live to their 100th birthday. In order to fund this, the Government is steadily pushing the state pension age higher. There is also a growing culture of part-time and flexible workers, bringing its own set of challenges from a saving and retirement perspective.
Posted on Tuesday Oct 3

A false sense of security

Most people dread the bi or tri-monthly message that flashes up on their screen when they sign on – “Your password has expired. Please select a new one.” Just as their fingers have managed to become almost automatic at putting in the random string of mixed letters, numbers and symbols, randomly capitalised, they are forced to start learning a new one.
Posted on Friday Sep 29

Pension schemes still need to take action to stem scams

The government has announced it is set to call time on cold calling about pensions. This will be welcomed by the whole industry as way of protecting individuals from the predatory pension liberators and phoney investment schemes that threaten the hard earned savings and future incomes of pension scheme members.
Posted on Wednesday Sep 27

MiFID II – The Implications of Research Unbundling

Mahesh Narayan, Head of Research at Thomson Reuters, discusses the research unbundling aspects of the MiFID II regulations with Emily Horler from Finextra. Mahesh outlines how he expects the research unbundling regulations to impact firms consuming investment research and how firms producing research might adapt their services.
Posted on Tuesday Sep 26

Where is insurance prudential regulation going?

In mid- July the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) published its latest iteration of the Insurance Capital Standard (ICS 1.0) for extended field testing. How important is this development for the insurance industry? If you’re reluctant to get dragged into global initiatives with many complex acronyms you have my sympathy. Having said that, there is value in knowing what regulators consider appropriate insurance prudential regulation for the 2020s.
Posted on Monday Sep 25

Stars of the Future Awards - Voting Open Now

Actuarial Post is delighted to announce that Voting is now Open for our Stars of The Future awards, sponsored by Star Actuarial Futures. After an overwhelming response to the nominations, our shortlist of 20 finalists are listed here. Each finalist has their own voting form complete with photograph and bio, so you can simply click on their name here to complete their voting form.
Posted on Tuesday Sep 19

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