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Ethics so what

We actuaries may ask ourselves the purpose behind the recent increase in regulatory requirements for professionals to get Continuing Professional Development in ethics. A pessimistic perspective might see the world as a brutal place, with ethics a luxury good, and others may see ethics courses as simple boxes to check that don’t generate any real change.

Posted on Tuesday Jan 16

Traditional insurers can turn disruption into opportunity

The insurance industry is on the cusp of fundamental change. Technology-driven new entrants with innovative customer offerings, otherwise known as ‘insurtechs’, are redefining the consumer experience, using data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to launch more predictive services. According to CB Insights, $1.7bn was invested into insurance startups last year.
Posted on Thursday Jan 11

Responsible investing is unstoppable

Steffen Hoerter, Global Head of ESG, describes how energy investing will likely change dramatically in the future, abandoning coal based investments for example. Learn more about the integrated ESG approach implemented at AllianzGI.
Posted on Tuesday Jan 9

First impressions of KIDS is a very mixed bag

The PRIIPs regulations came into force on 1 January 2018, requiring all providers of Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Providers to have a Key Information Document (KID) available online from 3 January 2018. Reuters reported on 4 January 2018 that Hargreaves Lansdown have withdrawn or suspended in excess of 1000 ETFs and Investment Trusts for not complying with the PRIIPs regulations.
Posted on Tuesday Jan 9

More baby boomers to cash in on gold plated pensions in 2018

According to Willis Towers Watson the dramatic increase in defined benefit pension transfers will continue in 2018 as more baby-boomers cash in their gold-plated pension schemes. The pensions industry in 2018 will be dominated by tighter regulatory control, a continued increase in defined benefit (DB) pension transfers and the shadow of legislative change to the pension tax regime.
Posted on Thursday Jan 4

Am I a clueless buffoon

The Budget, delivered by Chancellor Philip Hammond in November 2017, was by far the quietest for pensions for a long time. To all intents and purposes nothing was announced to bother pensions professionals, trustees employers or members. The main announcement was a reiteration of the Government’s desire to get their hands on the £2 trillion pounds sitting in Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution schemes to fund infrastructure projects.
Posted on Wednesday Jan 3

Why its the right time for ESG now

Amine Benghabrit from Allianz on how ESG means different things to different people
Posted on Tuesday Jan 2

How to invest in ESG

Eugenia Unanyants-Jackson, Head of ESG Research, on the integrated ESG approach of AllianzGI.
Posted on Wednesday Dec 27

Divorce is for life

News emerged that Kelsey Grammer, he of Cheers and Frasier fame, was ordered to give 50% of his 401K plan to his ex-wife in their 2012 divorce. Unfortunately this is a rare occurrence. Just a week earlier Scottish Widows’ annual Women and Retirement report stated that 71% of couples did not even discuss pensions as part of their divorce, and only 11% of settlements involved a pension share. This is an oversight that could have a financial impact on divorcees for the rest of their lives.
Posted on Wednesday Dec 27

Policing the robots

Last month’s article on the willingness of people to trust advice given by questionnaires on the Internet and their willingness to assume that information given to them on websites was trustworthy got me thinking of the problems that we risk creating if we rush into the era of robo-advice in the financial sector without ensuring that the quality is good enough.
Posted on Thursday Dec 21

What you need to know about integrated ESG

Steve Berexa, Global CIO Equity, explains the concept of integrated ESG and how it is implemented in the portfolios of AllianzGI
Posted on Wednesday Dec 20

Is it the end of the game for cash flow matching

One of the few computer games from the 1980s that remains popular today is Tetris, where falling ‘tetrominoes’ must be lined up to fill the available space. There may be more sophisticated games available today but it is still played because, like all good games, it has a clear objective with simple rules and is difficult to master. In 2003, mathematicians from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) revealed that Tetris is so challenging because it belongs to a class of problems beloved by code-breakers.
Posted on Wednesday Dec 20

What to expect in 2018 for insurance regulation?

As we reach the end of 2017, I decided to pause and reflect on what this year brought to insurance regulation and what we can expect in 2018. Surprisingly, it feels the level of activity and change on the horizon are well above what we might have expected a few years back. I remember thinking that, following Solvency II implementation, we would have a period of quiet contemplation around regulatory matters. But life happens and so does Brexit and, as a result, more change is coming.
Posted on Monday Dec 18

Evolving the group risk market to reach new customers

The latest Swiss Re figures only scratch the surface when it comes to the group risk market. As we know, too few employers are buying group risk products and it is clear that the industry as a whole has to do better if we are to reach new customers. So how can we evolve the group risk market? Modernising scheme designs, responding to regulatory changes and effectively communicating the benefits of different schemes are key starting points.
Posted on Thursday Dec 14

Throwing in the towel on VAT on pension costs

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) appears to have given up the fight in relation to VAT on defined benefit (DB) pension costs and as predicted, we may now never see a certain Europe-wide VAT ruling applied to pension schemes in the UK. Tyron Potts from Barnett Waddingham considers why - and what trustees and corporate sponsors should do next.
Posted on Tuesday Dec 12

The Time for ESG is now

CEO Andreas Utermann explains AllianzGI's integrated ESG principles and holistic investment approach.
Posted on Monday Dec 11

Is your DC scheme responsible enough

We have seen a lot of talk recently about responsible and ‘ESG’ (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) investment in DC pensions. It is becomingly increasingly popular to try and adapt investments to be more aligned to either the trustees’, members’ or companies’ beliefs and lifestyle. There is certainly evidence to show that the millennial generation would prefer for their investments to be managed in this way.
Posted on Monday Dec 11

PPF report on the Purple Book 2017

The Purple Book, published by the Pension Protection Fund, gives the most comprehensive picture of the risks faced by defined benefit pension (DB) schemes in the UK.
Posted on Tuesday Dec 5

Maz Bown is our Actuary of the Year for 2017

Maz Bown is Head of Insurance Risk at Aviva Insurance and has won our Actuary of the Year Award for 2017. Celebrating her Actuary of the Year win, Actuarial Post took the chance to sit down with Maz to ask her about her career and reaction to winning Actuarial Post’s coveted award.
Posted on Monday Dec 4

New challenges for Insurance CEOs

Brid Meaney, KPMG UK’s Head of Insurance, shares her thoughts on the challenges facing leaders in the industry and how CEOs can prepare for the future.
Posted on Wednesday Nov 29

Data is the new oil for the insurance industry

The automotive insurance industry is being heavily challenged by technology.The introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT) was predicted to transform the automotive insurance sector and it is now shaking up established business models that existed for many years. Cars are becoming smarter, drivers are becoming more tech-savvy and new players are entering the space at an incredibly fast rate.
Posted on Wednesday Nov 29

Nudges need to be in the right direction

I think the award of the Nobel Prize for Economics to Richard Thaler was welcomed by many in the pensions industry as recognition of the work he has done, alongside Professor Benartzi, on behavioural finance and the art of the nudge. Thaler’s ideas introduced the real world into economics and recognised that human beings are not the rational individuals often portrayed in traditional economic theory.
Posted on Thursday Nov 23

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

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