ACTUARIAL POST FOR THE MODERN ACTUARY MAY 2020
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COVID CRISIS FOR INSURERS
SEE EXCLUSIVE ROLES WITH STAR ACTUARIAL ON PAGE 2 page 1
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PUSH PRICING INTO THE FUTURE Global Player
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Leading Specialist Insurer
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An exciting corporate role, enhancing and developing financial, capital and underwriting reporting capabilities. You will have strong people skills, and gain exposure across capital modelling, reserving, reinsurance and more.
A great chance to lead the team responsible for economic and capital modelling, providing oversight of financial risks. You will challenge the capital adequacy of the business and ensure effective risk management.
Developing the pricing, data science, analytics, and optimisation capabilities of a market leader, taking a strategic and technic role in complex projects.
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ASSISTANT RESERVING MANAGER
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Take this excellent chance to build upon your reserving experience and your strong people skills within an entrepreneurial team. Clientfacing consulting and project-leading experience would be advantageous.
Reporting to the Chief Actuary, you will work on pricing reinsurance treaties across multiple lines of business, collaborating with other teams and communicating results. You will also improve the efficiency of the pricing processes.
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Take up this excellent opportunity to plan and analyse the business performance of our client’s extensive portfolio, reporting your findings to senior stakeholders. Part-time or job-sharing plans possible.
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Take responsibility for the analysis and modelling of risks across casualty and specialty lines, whilst working closely with senior actuarial and underwriting colleagues. Casualty treaty pricing experience advantageous.
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Take day-to-day responsibility for reporting workstreams, with a particular focus on Solvency II technical provisions and Pillar 3 reporting. Talented exam-stoppers will be considered.
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Deliver pricing decisions to manage the performance and competitiveness of our client’s personal lines products. You will lead on pricing reviews and key projects whilst utilising a variety of software tools and data sources.
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Join a leading risk team, supporting the CRO, and providing risk opinions for a variety of areas, including reinsurance, investments, product design and pricing. Flexible working options are available.
In this key role, you will manage existing and new protection treaties throughout their lifecycle, and contribute to the development of reinsurance solutions and services, considering risk appetite and client needs.
Deliver pensions advice across a wide range of projects, including valuations, accounting disclosures, options for de-risking, and advising on PPF levies.
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An exciting opportunity to join a specialist in-house pensions team. Longevity swap experience would be beneficial. Our client offers excellent benefits and flexible working arrangements will be considered.
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Develop bespoke, end-to-end investment strategies based on ALM output for a wide range of clients. You will provide advice on establishing, maintaining and developing interest rate and inflation hedges.
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EDITORâ€™S NOTE The NHS continues to be the shining light in this ongoing pandemic and as always at times like this, individuals such as Captain Tom Moore lift spirits by his sheer strength of will and endeavour. Others, equally selfless, continue in their own way to stem the tide of the virus that is changing the way we view life at the present. It appears that we will all experience a new normal once lockdown has been lifted and our cover story from Katherine Daguer at PwC looks at some of the options for insurers once the crisis is over. We also have Fiona Tait commenting on the Rise of the Video Call, something that we have all become increasingly familiar with. We look forward to welcoming you back next month when we can look back at whatâ€™s happened and look forward to what will happen during these strange times in all our lives. Wishing you and yours all good health.
Legal Notice All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the prior permission of the publisher in writing. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, Actuarial Post cannot accept responsibility for loss of business to those referred to in this magazine as a result of errors.
Movers & Shakers
Wnning Side of This Crisis?
French Perspective on Cyber Risk
Taitâ€™s Modern Pensions
Lights, Camera, Actuary
2019 Trends in Mortality & CMI
NEWS MAY Pensions values exceed property values for the first time Households warned against cashing in pension lightly in the face of potential COVID-19 financial hardship.For the first time ever the value of a typical DB member’s pension is at a higher level than average property assets in the UK, according to analysis by Hymans Robertson. With an expectation that the gap is likely to
increase further over the coming months, the leading pensions and financial services firm warns people against being tempted by scammers or otherwise to withdraw the cash in the face of financial hardships in the emerging COVID-19 economic downturn. Commenting on the analysis and expectations READ MORE
What Covid19 death data means for longevity projections We earlier set out some initial thoughts on how the Covid-19 pandemic might affect longevity for pension schemes and annuity portfolios. At that early stage of the pandemic, it was unclear how many excess deaths we might see. We can now look at how the position has changed, with two weeks’ more data. Public Health England (PHE) publishes the number of reported deaths of those hospitalised and with a positive test for Covid-19. READ MORE
Covid19 assessing Life Insurers financial strength ratings DBRS Morningstar published a commentary titled “Assessing the Impact on Life Insurers’ Financial Strength Ratings as the Coronavirus Crisis Unfolds,” which discusses some of the challenges in assessing life insurers’ ratings during the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and the potential rating implications. The key highlights include: (1) The global economic downturn and low-interest
rate environment, as well as the heightened equity market volatility, credit default risk, and product risk, could all adversely affect life insurers’ ratings. (2) In the short term, we are reviewing the factors in the building blocks that assess the risk profile, earnings ability, and capitalization scores. READ MORE
NEWS IASB Insurers looking down the barrel at class action remains committed to June 2020 release of final IFRS17
True UK COVID19 deaths likely to be now over fifty thousand
The IASB staff have provided a verbal update to the Board on the initiatives in progress leading to the release of the final IFRS 17, anticipated in June 2020.
True deaths from COVID-19 are currently likely to be around 50,000, almost double the number being reported on a daily basis. This is due to delays and omissions according to Club Vita
Ralph Ovsec, Senior Director, Insurance Consulting and Technology, at Willis Towers Watson, said: “In spite of the challenges posed by COVID-19, the implementation of IFRS 17 remains urgent, as entities need certainty of the amendments to IFRS 17 to avoid unnecessary and undue costs and disruptions in its implementation.” A pre-ballot draft of IFRS 17 has been circulated to the Board and to a select group of SMEs, and many comments have already been received. The IASB staff is reviewing those comments to confirm whether any further READ MORE
The insurance industry is under fire for failing to pay business interruption claims, says Jonathan Compton, partner at law firm DMH Stallard. Jonathan Compton said: “We are being approached by an increasing number of SMEs for advice in how to deal with insurers who are not paying out on business interruption claims. “These inquiries stem from the plain fact that with the Covid-19 crisis, the level of business interruption claims have risen. “Hiscox, noted for its high end high risk market, is now looking down the barrel of a class or group action. They released a statement last week (15th April) to justify its position, saying its business interruption
exposure was limited due to the Covid-19 emergency.” The statement from Hiscox was in response to a threat of legal action from the Hiscox Action Group (HAG). What is a business interruption claim? “Business interruption” or “BI” insurance is designed to insure the purchaser for income lost during the period of interruption or the period necessary to repair physical damage to insured property. Jonathan said: “The recent threats from HAG and indeed others, will do nothing to improve the reputation of insurers. “All too often, the insured, having paid no shortage in premiums, will experience a reluctance on the part of READ MORE
Douglas Anderson, Founder of Club Vita, comments on the figures: “Analysing the range of data across each of the four UK nations we expect the increase in deaths to be over 60% higher than the numbers that have been quoted by Downing Street. But that is only part of this depressing story. Deaths which do not mention Covid-19 on the death certificate have also risen sharply in recent weeks, suggesting material underreporting. As a result, we sadly expect that the true number of deaths to be attributed to COVID-19 READ MORE
MOVERS & SHAKERS The latest moves and appointments from the actuarial marketplace Actuary Jude Bennett joins Barnett Waddingham
Mercer appoints Actuary James Actuary Ben Riley named as Stone as Partner the new President of the SPP
Barnett Waddingham has hired Jude Bennett. He brings with him an array of expertise on all aspects of investment strategy. With over 20 years of experience as a pensions and investment actuary, Jude will provide investment advice to trustees and employers of defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) pension schemes, as well as providing advanced skills to support Barnett Waddingham’s growing Fiduciary Manager Evaluation (FME) services. Jude will focus on advising trustees of DB schemes on all aspects of investment strategy by reviewing the full context of the scheme, the nature of the employer covenant and its funding position. He will provide direct and clear advice on areas that have the greatest impact on a scheme’s position by avoiding unnecessary complexity. Joining from BBS Consultants & Actuaries where he led the... READ MORE
PMI announce first accredited professional trustee in the UK
The Society of Pension Professionals (SPP), the representative body for the wide range of providers of advice and services to work-based pension schemes and to their sponsors, is pleased to announce that James Riley has been elected as the next Society President. The two-year term takes effect from 1 June 2020. Mercer has announced the appointment of Ben Stone as a Partner in the Risk Transfer team. In his new role, Mr Stone will advise clients on how to most effectively manage their pension risk, either through bulk annuity, member option exercises, longevity swap, migration to a master trust, or other alternatives. Based in London, Mr Stone will report to Andrew Ward, Partner and Risk Transfer and DB Journey Planning Leader.
James Riley succeeds Paul McGlone, Partner at Aon, who has been President since 1 June 2018. Over the last two years, Paul has led the Society through a period of significant change both within the pensions industry and within the Society itself. Most notably, this has included the creation of a new CEO role and in March this year, the SPP announced Fred Emden as its first CEO. READ MORE
Mr Stone joins from PwC where he led the Pension Risk Transfer team, advising trustee and corporate clients on 30 buy-in, buy-out and longevity READ MORE
The Pensions Management Institute is pleased to announce that the first fully accredited professional trustee in the UK. Gareth Tancred, CEO, Pensions Management Institute said: “On behalf of the PMI Board and
Advisory Council I would like to offer our congratulations to Michael Clark on becoming the first fully accredited professional trustee in the UK. The independent accreditation by the PMI, the body officially mandated by the Professional Trustee Standards
Working Group to make this award, marks a new chapter in professional trusteeship in the UK. “While many trustees hoping to complete the accreditation will have seen the process hampered READ MORE
CITY DEALINGS Keeping up to date on acquisitions, mergers and the dealings of companies in the city
Swiss Re announces a strategic alliance with Microsoft Swiss Re and Microsoft have announced a strategic alliance to further advance insurance innovation and extend financial protection to more people globally. The centrepiece of the strategic alliance is the launch of Swiss Re’s Digital Market Center, which will help develop next-generation, large-scale tools to transform the way the insurance industry predicts and manages risks, as well as how the industry creates tangible products based on Swiss Re’s risk knowledge. READ MORE
COVID19 response guided by lessons learned from 2008 crash
SMARTERLY ACQUIRES SALVUS MASTER TRUST READ MORE
Lessons from the 2008 crash urge long-term view to M&A deals in response to coronavirus As the world faces an unprecedented crisis, lessons learned twelve years ago, when the global economy faced a bursting housing bubble, collapsing financial systems and rapidly spreading fear, prove a valuable guide to M&A dealmaking. The performance of the global M&A market has been in steady decline since a 2015 peak, with buyers now having failed to add value for ten consecutive quarters, according to the latest data from Willis Towers READ MORE
Thierry Léger, CEO Swiss Re Life Capital, said: “Swiss Re’s alliance with Microsoft will help accelerate the digital transformation of the insurance industry, with benefits across all lines of business. By building digital markets and not just isolated products, we aim to transform the way businesses approach the risks they face. The alliance between Swiss Re and Microsoft presents an exciting opportunity for the insurance industry.”
River and Mercantile complete mandates from Smurfit Kappa UK River and Mercantile Group PLC (R&M) is set to complete the transition and onboarding of £1.16bn of mandates from the Smurfit Kappa UK Pension Fund (Smurfit Kappa UK). Smurfit Kappa UK awarded the mandates, which comprise a fiduciary management mandate of c.£630m and an LDI allocation of c. £530m, in January. Smurfit Kappa UK was one of the earliest adopters of Fiduciary Management (FM) in the UK. READ MORE
SOLVENCY II & BEYOND
WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR INSURERS TO BE ON THE WINNING SIDE OF THIS CRISIS?
The Covid-19 crisis has many angles and presents innumerable challenges. Insurers had to quickly grapple with the operational challenge of moving their workforce to remote working, whilst dealing with a great volume of queries, claims and complaints. Most firms also worked hard to understand and quantify the impact of the crisis on exposures and coverage and this work will continue to evolve as more information is available. Although the first phase of the crisis is over, I believe the hardest part of the path lies ahead of us still. One of the key questions is about not just surviving through the crisis but what lies at the other end of it and how will our customers feel about the role we played. In the past two years regulators have been focusing more and more on values and purpose. This crisis will test firmsâ€™ ability to live up to their stated ambitions and core values. Now, more than ever, winning or losing may depend on whether you were able to
do the right thing at the right time for both your employees and your customers. How can insurers get their actions right? And what lies in the way to a good response to the crisis? To get the customer response right there are three key challenges to focus on: First, insurers are businesses and their own financial and solvency needs take a central role in securing their survival. Even for mutual insurers the need to safeguard financial stability is at the heart of decision making. This also means that the need to do what is right for the customer and acting in their best interests tends to be in tension with the financial stability and security objectives. In this crisis, both PRA and FCA have clearly set out their expectations from firms and increased interactions to understand how firms are rising up to the challenge. Opening up the communication with regulators and pushing
for a more coordinated approach between FCA and PRA can lead to better conversations and outcomes plus a better understanding of the drivers of decision making. Governance structures and decision making processes should reflect this tension. Firms need to make sure that the right people are seated around the table when making key decisions. The second key challenge relates to products. First, many insurers have identified serious issues with their T&Cs, from ambiguity, and out of date terms to widespread inconsistency. In some cases firms found as many versions of certain key clauses in T&Cs as products available for not discernible reason. This is an issue that goes to the heart of Product and oversight processes but also pricing and underwriting. It is a customer issue when customers expect to get something that is not actually clearly covered or excluded but it is also a prudential issue if reserves donâ€™t actually reflect exposure.
claims frequency increase the prospect of profits but most have taken the avenue of no action. However, this is where your values can be put into action, it does not necessarily mean giving money back but at the very least communicating your plans to dealing with the windfall and how your values guide the action. Identifying key areas where customers might come to harm through buying products that canâ€™t meet their needs should be top of the agenda now or it will be forced into the agenda by the regulator in a few months.
Finally the third challenge is possibly the hardest. Even in normal circumstances the ability of insurers to make changes quickly and adapt their responses is significantly constrained by IT limitations and numerous legacy systems. Any response will be limited by the art of the possible and for many the art of the possible is very narrow. This can cost some insurers their ability to respond in the right way, make a Secondly, another key product challenge difference to their customers and live up to the relates to selling and renewing in the current core values and purpose they set for themselves environment and the lack of flexibility of as corporate citizens. insurersâ€™ offerings. Some insurers have stopped selling certain products like travel whilst some Winning and losing, enhanced or flattened have gone on to automatically renew travel reputations will be built or destroyed responding policies that customers are unable to actually to these three challenges in a coherent and bold use. Motor insurers are seeing the decrease in way.
by Kareline Daguer, Financial Services Regulation Director, PwC page 11
HOW SHOULD INSURERS ADDRESS CYBER RISKS A FRENCH PERSPECTIVE
Cyber risk is insurable, but using cyber risk insurance policies is particularly difficult. With this in mind, the need to offer appropriate solutions becomes increasingly evident.
unidentified risk. Unless cyber related damages are excluded, such policies should be triggered in the event of a cyber incident.
Apprehending cyber risk: the current state of available policies Traditional policies Cyber risk is not a new risk. Common consequences include business disruption, loss of data, loss of profit and material damage. Insurers are familiar with such losses and are covered by traditional insurance policies.
Thus, damages caused by a cyber incident could be covered by traditional policies. This renders the analysis of each insurance cover’s extent trickier and leads to an entanglement of several policies: a hurdle for both the insurer and the insured. Cyber policies: Due to the complexity, some insurers have chosen to offer cyber risk insurance policies.
There are multiple scenarios where traditional insurance policies will cover cyber risk:
Historically, such policies are usually intended for big companies. But, cyber policies for SMEs are on the market as standardised offers.
• A cyber incident will be covered if it was not identified under the policy’s scope, even if not taken into account when the contract was priced, or if the insured party bought new policies in order to increase their guarantee. This is the “silent cyber” issue.
Generally, cyber policies are three-fold: civil liability, damages and support. These policies will cover crisis management expenses, investigations fees, notification fees, data recovery fees, operating losses and third-party losses.
• Insured parties will also be able to add clauses to their traditional policies in order to cover cyber risk. • Some businesses, in particular SMEs, tend to buy “all risks apart from exclusions” type policies, when they are unable to properly analyse their exposed risks. Others simply forget to buy cover against an
Their strength lies in the support provided to the insured and determining the protection level before a crisis is discovered. When the crisis hits, the policies also help with crisis management: often putting in place an emergency number with a minimal response time, including the possibility to dispatch experts.
It seems inevitable that cyber insurance’s development must not solely rely on demand, but also improve the offered benefits.
One can also ponder the extent insurers can legitimately rely on their customers. The insured are required to update and protect their systems, but it is difficult to precisely define the extent of their due diligence. For example, how much time must have elapsed since the last update for cover to be denied?
The essential adaptation of cyber risk insurance policies Cyber covers’ content and the covered damages must be clarified. Companies still question whether the purchase of a specific policy is necessary. The contracts’ lack of clarity and inclusion of sub-limits guarantees do not help. Usually, reputational damages are excluded, despite them representing significant losses for the victim of a cyber incident. Insured companies are thus often unable to compare available cyber policies, and their willingness to subscribe becomes paralysed. Similarly, when a company’s guarantees overlap, insurers must clarify their position and the interaction between the subscribed policies so that a cyber incident is efficiently managed. Cyber risk’s technicity requires insurers to develop expertise and create specialised teams. This will benefit both the insurer and the insured. Such expertise will also prove invaluable in assisting cyber covers’ auditing process, exposure evaluation and identify potential gaps in guarantees. Insurers are increasingly becoming aware of the importance in offering bespoke cyber insurance products to meet businesses’ diverse needs. Insurers are discussing the potential benefits of specialising in certain types of cyber incidents or a specific industry’s cyber risk, rather than offering one-sizefits-all products. Due to the actuarial system’s cyber risk deficiency, insurers should develop new risk assessment methods whilst retaining identified cyber incidents. This includes developing a bespoke profile. Reinsurers will play a significant role and will require their customers to give them a detailed analysis of their cyber risk exposure before accepting to reinsure them.
Moreover, many companies are reluctant to share confidential data or data indicating what protection level is required for their systems with their insurers. Today, a company’s cyber risk exposure is not always properly valued, and premiums do not always corelate risk: cyber insurance premiums were three times higher than civil liability and six times higher than property insurance premiums for the same coverage value. However, this may change in light of GDPR and national regulations’ duty of care regarding data security and incident notification requirements. Inevitably, we must consider the State’s role in evaluating this risk and collecting cyber incident data. Data collected through these notifications should be communicated to insurers as it would enable them to conduct a thorough risk analysis and offer true bespoke policies. Unlike the Club des Juristes’s Cyber Risk Committee recommendations regarding a cyber risk management insurance fund, the appropriate first step is data sharing between the State and insurers. Conclusion Insurers are a natural and vital partner for companies in terms of support and risk prevention and must remain so for cyber incidents. Cyber risks coverage may be useful in developing new insurance products for other emerging risks. It is also important to consider that insurers are not the only organisations who could cover cyber risks. Some companies, including publicly traded companies, have made plans to create a cyber risk prevention and management parallel market. In order to limit parallel markets, insurers must, at all costs, adapt their products to the cyber market.
1. Enhancing the role of insurance in Cyber Risk management, OECD Publishing, 2017 .
By Emmanuèle Lutfalla, Partner, Deborah Azerraf and Alice Decramer, Associates and Simon Fitzpatrick, Trainee, all from the Paris office of Signature Litigation
The rise of the video call There has been a lot of advice in the media about how hard it is to keep ourselves busy and entertained during lockdown, all of which has passed me by for the simple reason that I am just as busy, if not more so, than I was before COVID hit. The fact is that I can still do everything my job requires without ever being in the office. I am not alone in this discovery and several commentators have speculated about whether financial services will – or in fact should – ever return to the preCOVID world where a physical presence is always seen as the best way in which to deliver advice. 2020 BC (before COVID)
• Clients might find it less easy to ask questions and provide information Some of these fears have proven to be valid however they are not unmanageable and there have been some unexpected upsides which have led me to the conclusion that a greater reliance on on-line working may well be here to stay even when it is no longer necessary. What’s changed? I am not going to get into the different technology providers, but I will start by saying video conferencing is a gamechanger. Prior to lockdown we used video conferencing occasionally with clients and an audio conference call facility whenever attending an internal face to face meeting was not possible, however it was considered as a fallback and very much inferior to the ubiquitous department meeting. Multiple callers all trying to put their point over at the same time coupled with natural tendency to ‘zone out’ when there is nothing to look at do not lead to an enjoyable or productive experience.
From an employer’s point of view, it is fair to say that the old-fashioned idea that if someone is not at their desk from 9 to 5 they are probably not working hard enough is still strong enough for working from home to be considered a perk, and only suitable in certain agreed circumstances. Field-based advisers fell into this category, everyone else was expected to not only Lockdown has forced us to bite the bullet do their work but to be seen doing it. and invest in video systems and to our surprise it works very well. Being able to The push back against delivering on- actually see the other person/people on line advice came largely from the clients the call allows you to gauge their reactions themselves who were used to face to and anticipate when they want to speak. face meetings and the strong personal There have been some connection issues, relationships this can deliver. As advisers but these have been fewer than expected we knew that on-line meetings would and partly down to the fact that our create cost savings, however we did not systems, like many others, were never want to force our clients to move out of designed to accommodate the entire their comfort zone and we had a number workforce at one time. of other concerns on top of this: More importantly we’re all getting more • It was felt that the income analysis used to the technology. Clients have and cashflow modelling we use was too seen or experienced their families using detailed to carry out on-line zoom or Facebook to maintain regular • Certain aspects of pensions planning contact with each other, TikTok videos were also thought to be too complicated abound and TV programmes are being transmitted from the presenter’s living to explain rooms. Situations which were awkward at • It is less easy to gauge client understanding first are becoming normal as people get and response to the information given to used to keeping the children out of the them background and muting themselves when they need to sneeze. page 15
Doing hard sums Far from being too difficult to run analysis on-line we have actually found that it can help to concentrate the client’s mind on the issues they need to know about. Using screen sharing means the cashflow model can be put right in front of them and it is more likely to be the only thing they are looking at. Sitting next to a client with your laptop means attention can often be dragged away from the screen during the surrounding conversation, especially where there is only a side-on view. Being able to switch between screen sharing and a video view allow the adviser to focus the client’s attention on the relevant figures when it is most necessary. It also means we can use slides and charts to illustrate technical concepts such as the taxation of pension death benefits, and to help clients understand and compare the options they have available to them. Ultimately there will still be a lot of clients, and employers, who prefer to deal in person with their advisers and staff but I very much hope that the experience and skills that we, and our clients’, have gained during lockdown may continue to be used.
by Fiona Tait Technical Director Intelligent Pensions
PENSION PILLAR VALUE OF PENSION SAVING IN THE CURRENT CLIMATE? by Dale Critchley Policy Manager Aviva I think it’s fair to say that the Coronavirus crisis has changed the value of things in ways that no-one would have imagined. We saw the value of basic essentials of food and household necessities spike a few weeks ago as the UK spent £billions on stocking their larders. As we’ve moved on, things like sports equipment have soared in price on a well-known e-retailer’s site, while crude oil’s value has turned negative. The clear focus is on the here and now, making sure your family is looked after today, while everything else can wait. It’s hyperbolic discounting gone into over-drive - if it’s something for now, then it has value, if it’s something in the future it can join the line behind more pressing priorities. So where does that leave pension contributions? Do they still class as “essential items” when it comes to our monthly expenditure? I think it’s fair to say it’s a mixed message from government and the regulator. While the ultimate step of allowing a contribution holiday from automatic enrolment contributions wasn’t taken, there’s been a clear signal to those employers having to put employees on furlough - anything above automatic enrolment minimum contributions can be considered non-essential, This is after businesses were told they could reduce pension contributions to the lowest, legal level. At the same time, defined benefit scheme trustees have been encouraged to consider contribution holidays, at least in terms of deficit recovery payments, as cash becomes the most precious commodity in a business. All of this makes sense of course. Corporate income in some cases is at zero, furloughed workers may only be receiving 80% of pay and those who are self-employed may have to survive of savings or a job in a supermarket until June. For most commodities supply and demand will ensure that post Covid-19 values will get back to normal - oil
won’t be worthless for long. We have to make sure the same happens with pension contributions. The fact that the regulator only relaxed consultation requirements in respect of a temporary change means there will be a regulatory imperative for employer contributions to return to normal. When it comes to individual decisions around pensions, I think we’ll see an inevitable lag as human nature comes into play. Loss aversion and procrastination will need to be overcome through careful communication to get people saving again. Re-enrolment will ultimately pick up workplace savers who choose to stop contributing, but a period of three or more years could have passed before that happens. We need to make sure that the immediate need for a pause in contributions doesn’t turn into an unbridgeable gap in pension saving. The Coronavirus has also shown us the positive side of pensions, which should reinforce their value. Although pensioners have been impacted most in terms of the threat to their health, they’ve probably suffered least in terms of their income. Pension incomes from annuities and defined benefit pension schemes have continued to be paid. The value of saving to provide a pension income, and a guarantee, is there to see, even if it’s been masked by the immediate issues facing the recipients. The value of advice too has probably risen, although it may be less obvious. Those pensioners in drawdown who have been well advised and have a portfolio and disinvestment strategy designed to withstand short term downturns may be reflecting on the wisdom of their decision. The lasting effect of the crisis might well be positive for the value of pensions as we get back to ‘normal’ and reflect on what’s actually going to be valuable in the future.
THE POWER OF THE ECOSYSTEM
During the current crisis with most countries being in varying states of lockdown, digital commerce has come to the fore as the primary means that the majority of the worldâ€™s population can purchase goods and services. These changed habits for many, driven by necessity, are likely to be maintained after the crisis subsides. For consumers, the effect of the lockdown has been to massively accelerate the move to a digital-only approach for large sections of the population whose online shopping habits have been limited to date. Now the demand for all services to be provided digitally has rocketed and those businesses that do not have the capability to provide a completely digital experience for their customers have been left struggling to adapt to the new reality. Once the lockdown is lifted, it is unlikely that the world will ever return to the way it was before and, given the likelihood that the social distancing requirements will be extended for quite some time, it means that customers will want to utilise technology anywhere they can rather than return to the face to face retail approaches utilised before.
Whilst many life and pension providers now allow their customers some degree of digital interaction, most of this is in strictly defined areas and the process falls back to a more manual approach at key points. This is no longer going to be sufficient to satisfy the needs of millennials who naturally live on-line and the new cohort of boomers who have become far more internet-savvy during the crisis. The challenge in this new world for financial service providers is to stand out as a supplier of financial services in a digital environment. For this to happen, providers must ensure that their digital offering is satisfying to the enduser. And what is emerging as key to achieving this is the ability to fulfil customers wishes by moving from a pure retail focus to a customercentric approach i.e. looking to ensure that the customer can fulfil all their related needs as part of a singular, compelling experience. Providers need to look not just at the products and services they provide but the manner of their delivery and the ecosystems in which they operate. Partnering with related service and product providers enables a much more fulfilling experience to be designed, which in
turn leads to higher levels of customer trust and satisfaction. Providing this more fulfilling experience means ensuring that the provider is using a platform which allows the building of complex services utilising providers of complementary services to focus on the broader range of customer needs – for example, customers who need medical reports should be able to arrange and manage the visits for these reports from the providers portal. A one-stop-shop for all customers’ financial needs is the ideal goal, but a pre-requisite of this is the use of a platform which not only can access the provider’s legacy information but also can seamlessly link with providers of complementary services to allow the design of sophisticated financial offerings driven by customer needs, not by what the companies provide. In short, digital lifestyles presuppose a customer focussed offering rather than a supplier focussed offering. Partnerships are vital to the success of this approach, which is predicated on enabling the rapid development of sophisticated services to end consumers. By utilising platforms that have a broad ecosystem of service providers related to life assurance, providers will be able
to transform their offerings and provide the high-level digital experiences that the consumer is demanding. Although the temptation is for life and pension providers to restrict spending in this challenging economic environment, they run the risk that by doing so, they abandon the growing section of the consumer base that demands digital interaction. The danger for companies here is that it leaves the digital field completely open to Insuretech companies, who are already in a position to reach out to the locked-down masses and build new relationships. A platform with a broad ecosystem enables existing providers to market the strength of their brand whilst creating a far greater range of digital experiences to move into new markets of the post-virus world. This is not the time to be seeking to just tread water until business gets back to normal – it never will. Instead, life and pension providers should be investing in the acceleration of their digital strategies and seeking to build broad ecosystems to meet the needs of the accelerated digital environment that the crisis has brought about. Those life and pension providers who don’t will be left behind in the post-Covid19 world.
by Tom Murray Head of Product Strategy LifePlus Solution, Majesco page 19
RETIREMENT PUZZLE HOW TO PREPARE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE In challenging periods such as these, it remains just as important as ever for pension schemes to take a balanced view on the long-term risks ahead. So even in these difficult and volatile times, one of the most common questions we are asked is how to prepare a portfolio for climate change. As is the case with most investment challenges, the best place to start is by taking a step back and reviewing it in a slightly wider context. There are broadly two things a scheme might be looking to do when preparing a portfolio for climate change, and thatâ€™s reducing risk or making an impact on the global problem.
such as battery storage (or other green tech), will be more like far-out-the-money options, in that many will probably prove to be dead ends, but one or two may have an enormous impact. Alternatively, engagement and lobbying can cause companies to change their behaviours, and investors can use their position as shareholders or creditors to bring about change this way. It is often difficult to take any ethical position with an institutional portfolio, as any actions have to be compatible with fiduciary duties. But climate change can be the exception here for two reasons.
Firstly, the direction of regulatory change seems to support more action.
This can be complex, as not only is there the physical risk (e.g. buildings being flooded), but also the transition risk (e.g. carbon taxes). A coal plant on top of a hill may be well placed to provide power after a flood, say, but it would be a poor investment if carbon taxes were introduced.
Secondly, the stakes are so high that a scheme could argue it was within fiduciary duty to act to mitigate the risks posed by climate change not just to the portfolio, but to the world. Put crudely, keeping the world habitable is likely to be in the beneficiariesâ€™ interests.
But in general, most generic forms of risk mitigation will reduce both types. For example, moving from equity into credit, or from longer duration to shorter duration credit will reduce the exposure to physical and transition risk simply by reducing exposure more generally. Making an Impact on the Global Problem This is arguably much harder. Some investments, such as renewable infrastructure, are likely to lead to a relatively quantifiable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Other investments,
However, there are certain barriers to bear in mind. Firstly, global warming and greenhouse gas emissions will either be solved globally or not solved at all - it is a global, rather than local problem. The UK represents only around 1% of global emissions, so a total regulatory or societal solution in the UK would still be negligible on a global scale, though a technological solution might be transferable. Secondly, the biggest reductions to be had are on the sources of the highest emissions. The
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that natural gas contributes about half as much greenhouse gas emissions as coal , with other sources of energy producing much less greenhouse gas. There is currently no viable method of generating power that actively reduces levels of greenhouse gases. There are some with very low emissions and some with very high ones, so switching can reduce future emissions, but none yet exist with mathematically negative emissions. This means that switching from the most polluting source to the second most polluting source reduces emissions by more than any other single action, at least in the short to medium term. Nonetheless, financing renewable infrastructure to help the transition from fossil fuels (especially from coal) is still better, and should have a reasonably significantly-sized and
direct impact on carbon reduction. Putting this all together Climate change is a complex, global problem, with no easy solutions. Preparing a portfolio for climate change is simpler, but still not straightforward. If you want to protect against risk, itâ€™s possible to shift a portfolio away from the most exposed assets, or simply transition into generally safer assets. Those wanting to make an impact can look to finance assets (such as renewable infrastructure) which reduce carbon emissions. But before making any allocations, it is vital to be clear on whether the goal is to mitigate climate change itself, or just to limit the damage it might do to a portfolio.
1. Roughly 1000 C02-equivalent g per kWh for coal against 500 for gas (source IPCC)
by Alex White, Head of ALM Research, Redington page 21
PREDICT CANCELLATIONS AND CLAIMS USING POLICY HISTORY
The use of industry contributed motor policy history data in insurance risk assessment is not a new concept. The market has been accessing No Claims Discount data at the point of quote for the past six years – vastly improving the validation process for insurance providers and their customers and identifying any misstatements in entitlement. However, it is only recently that the breadth and depth of policy history data shared by the market has reached the critical mass to enable a much wider understanding of risk related to an individual’s prior car insurance history. Today, over 80% of the motor insurance market – insurers, brokers, MGAs - are sharing policy history data, creating a comprehensive record going back looking at years of key events in the lifetime of a policy. The value of this data goes beyond operational savings and is now proven to help address application fraud, understand claims risk and the possibility of future cancellations to assist understanding and pricing at point of quote. In analysing the data held today, there are immediate opportunities to refine pricing, retention and underwriting strategies based on an individual’s previous cancellations, NCD entitlement, vehicle
cover and gaps in cover. For example when we ran a piece of analysis we found: • Past cancellations can equate to 70% higher loss cost, a person with two prior cancellations are more than twice as likely to cancel again. • An individual with more than one NCD entitlement at any one time has a 33% higher loss cost and those who have had a NCD downgraded in the past are 60% more likely to cancel. • The more often people switch vehicles the more likely they are to cancel. • There is a 50% higher loss cost when a customer has previously had a gap in cover and one gap in cover in the last 5 years means they are 55% more likely to cancel. Loyalty rules, cancellations cost millions Policy history data is a true measure of cancellation relativity across the market. Based on our analysis of this data, 15% of new business is cancelled on average across the motor sector and most of these policies - 13% - are cancelled after the cooling off period, incurring significant cost for the market in fees, potential bad debt and loss future custom. In cancellations alone, we have calculated the cost to an insurer or broker is over £1.2m per annum.
Understanding the cancellation risk in relation to other factors is crucial so that a decision can be made about the risk rather than a straight accept or decline. For example, lower risk customers may be offered a discount to encourage loyalty whereas up-front payment may be needed from higher risk applicants.
of named driver risk. From our analysis we can see 42% of policies in our database have a named driver present, and there are 4,500 policies with 5 or more named drivers . Our data science team has already uncovered that named drivers on cover that had two prior cancellations lead to 40% higher loss cost and are also twice as likely to cancel in the future.
Risks related to switching behaviour
By applying policy history to the named driver as well as the proposer at point of quote, it will be possible to identify gaps in cover and cancellations that may impact the risk of the policy. There is also the opportunity to use the data to help identify a genuine connection with the main proposer based on a shared prior policy. This could be particularly valuable at MTA when a named driver is added half way through a policy.
Building on these insights, we can start to dig deeper into the data and bring in quoting behaviour to understand risk. Motor insurance is the most ‘switched’ of all insurance products so the next step is to look at switching behaviour - how often and at what stage in the renewal cycle the customer switches and how that correlates to claims and cancellations. Our early analysis shows that 31% of motorists intend to switch at renewal. However what’s really powerful for insurance providers is the fact that when a quote is obtained for the same day cover there is a predicted 32% higher loss cost. Furthermore, there is a 91% higher chance of early cancellation. Named Drivers There is also a considerable opportunity to use policy history data to improve the understanding
360 Degree View Ultimately the best value from policy history data will be gained when it used alongside other data including quoting behaviour and public data to create a 360 view of the risk. This way the market can be in a stronger position to deliver fairer pricing to customers. Brokers may feel more empowered to pass on the right risks to their insurer partners, and the costs incurred through cancellations and claims losses can be reduced, while loyalty can be rewarded and promoted.
1. This article contains results of analysis carried out by LexisNexis Risk Solutions UK Limited on available data within the LexisNexis® Motor Policy History database.The analysis was completed within a fixed period and does not purport to represent the results of any identifiable customers.The statistical analysis reported is provided “as is”, nothing arising from the data should be taken to constitute the advice or recommendation of LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
by Martyn Mathews, Snr Director, Personal Lines, LexisNexis Risk Solutions page 23
search & selection
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTUARY!
Bolton Associatesâ€™ focus is specifically in the non-life actuarial space; the largest dedicated GI actuarial specialist in the market. Working throughout the insurance market, the consultants at Bolton Associates offer an exceptional service, managing the process with the utmost tact and respect for all parties. We are passionate about our market, taking great interest in the insurance world as a whole, keeping up with trends and changes, and maintaining our everexpanding network. We are good at what we do, because we enjoy what we do.
The next focus for Bolton Associates’ Spotlight page, is an interview with a leading actuary within one of the market’s MGAs. As the Lloyd’s and London Market has evolved, more and more new entrants are turning to the Managing General Agent set-up option. Many of these new businesses are sitting under umbrella MGAs, who have a number of individual underwriting teams, and assist with providing capacity. These MGAs understand the value of analytics and actuarial input, and for the next few months Zoe Bolton will be talking to the senior actuaries in these firms, getting a brief insight into their career paths and visions for the future. This month Zoe talks to Hazel Beveridge of Pioneer Underwriting
What is your current role, and how did you end up in it? I’ve worked as Pioneer’s Chief Actuary since autumn 2019. I joined from the Financial Reporting Council and shortly after completing my MBA at Cass Business School. I moved to Pioneer as I was looking for a role which had both actuarial and more general business elements. What is the defining moment of your career to date? A few moments stand out –living and working in Zurich, being Dual’s first actuary and persuading senior members the actuarial regulators to role play “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”. However, I’m sure that working through the coronavirus lockdown, assessing potential losses from Covid-19 and helping our companies and clients in the post-pandemic world will become the defining moment for many of us. In your opinion, what prepared you best to take on your current role? Working in an MBA group including a Russian lawyer, a Polish accountant, a Norwegian academic and a Swiss strategist make dealing with London Market characters seem like child’s play. What is the biggest challenge you face in your role within this market? The biggest challenge facing actuaries in MGAs is helping their firms identify profitable
opportunities to distribute products that meet insureds needs and match the risk appetite of their carriers. How does your actuarial training and background assist in your day-to-day role now? Actuarial training encourages you to be curious and analytical, both key skills when you are new in a role and need to understand what and why decisions have been made in the past. The actuarial profession also encourages strong networks and continuous learning both vital in the ever-changing market. When did you first join the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries, and what advice would you give to those students looking to emulate your career path? I joined the Faculty in 1995 after starting work at Lloyd’s Syndicate 362. I was moving to London for three years – many more years later I’m still enjoying the challenge. I would advise students to look for opportunities that stretch them and to find a good mentor. If you had your time again, what would you do, career-wise? I’d probably follow the same path again, though I’d try to find a way to fit in being a part-time ski bum too! Please share your favourite piece of trivia with our readers! I found out recently that horses can’t vomit!
RECENT TRENDS IN MORTALITY AND CMI 2019
by Natasha Hill, Senior Consultant, XPS Pensions Group It is of course too early to predict the impact COVID-19 will have on life expectancy, but it remains important for pension scheme trustees and their sponsors to consider the latest trends in longevity when setting assumptions in valuations and company accounting disclosures. The recent publication of CMI 2019, by the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI), showed that life expectancy continued to improve in England and Wales (E&W) to the end of 2019.
A large variation in both mortality rates and the trends of these over time has been seen between different groups of the population, and this needs to be considered when setting mortality assumptions. So, how should schemes tailor CMI 2019 for their valuations?
What you need to know The impact COVID-19 on future life expectancies will depend both on the number of excess deaths in the UK during 2020 and any secondary effects in succeeding years. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) are starting to publish data for 2020 and the impact of the pandemic will emerge over time, but this update focuses on long-term assumption setting.
The CMI published the 2019 version of their model in March 2020. The model is the same as CMI 2018 but allows for death data to the end of 2019. The CMI model projects life expectancy, also referred to as longevity, by using trends in past E&W population data to predict how it will change in the future. Future improvements start at the ‘current’ annual changes and are assumed to follow a path to the long-term rate (LTR) which has to be set by the user. The initial addition and smoothing parameters can be amended at the option of the user.
We saw a sharp drop in the number of deaths in 2019 compared to 2018 in E&W and in 2019 saw the lowest number of deaths there have ever been. This means that the improvement in longevity in 2019 was the highest it has been since 2011. This has led to life expectancies predicted by CMI 2019 to be longer than those predicted by CMI 2018. However, the core version of the CMI 2019 model is likely to produce lower life expectancies compared to earlier versions of the model, CMI 2017 and earlier.
The LTR is the annual rate of improvements in longevity that the model tends to in the longterm. The Pensions Regulator’s 2019 Scheme Funding Analysis survey showed that 66% of schemes in deficit that had valuations in the year to September 2017 used the CMI model with a LTR of 1.5%, with 83% using a value of 1.5% or above. However, the LTR should be specific to your scheme and, as seen in the past, the rate of improvement can vary across different subsections of the population.
The initial addition parameter was introduced in CMI 2018 to adjust the current level of improvements to reflect that life expectancy in some groups of the population may be increasing at a higher rate than the E&W population. Subsets of the general population, such as DB pensioners, have been shown to have had higher increases in life expectancy in recent years compared to the average general population. Therefore, it may be necessary to adjust this parameter above the default value of 0% to ensure that your assumption is sufficiently prudent. The CMI are urging users to consider adjusting this parameter to be suitable for purpose.
addition parameter should now be used to tailor the model for this purpose. What actions can schemes take? 1. Update to the new model for scheme funding valuations and company accounting disclosures. 2. Tailor the model to reflect the socio-economic characteristics of your scheme members. 3. Consider if the long-term rate of improvement you have previously assumed remains appropriate.
Life expectancy has continued to increase since 2011 but at a much slower rate compared to the early 2000s.Year-on-year mortality is volatile, therefore the particularly low mortality in 2019 The smoothing parameter was introduced in could be a â€˜one-offâ€™. Schemes need to consider CMI 2016 so users can put more, or less, weight these trends when setting their mortality on recent mortality experience. This parameter assumptions and choose suitable parameters was sometimes used to allow for differences for the CMI model to reflect their schemeâ€™s between groups of the population, but the initial membership profile.
search & selection ERM Analyst – General Insurance
General Insurance to £50,000 Per Annum London
General Insurance Up to £75,000 Per Annum City of London
Junior GI Actuary needed to join the ERM team of revered Lloyd’s insurer. Providing qualitative and quantitative analysis on a variety of work including risk exposure, model validation, ORSA, solvency II and special projects. To be considered you must have a minimum of 1 years’ experience with an understanding of Solvency II principles.
Leading global Reinsurer looking to hire a dynamic nearly/ newly qualified Actuary to join as Casualty/Specialty Analyst. International or London Market Casualty Treaty Pricing experience required. This opportunity involves looking at day to day pricing/deals, working on some of the largest and most complex transactions in the world whilst working closely with underwriters and with senior management.
REF: ZB 001402 PW
REF: ZB 001306 SC
Senior Broking Actuary
Interim Actuarial Function role
General Insurance £Top Quartile London
General Insurance Circa £1,000 Per Day London
Reinsurance broker, seeks a qualified actuary to join its expanding team. You will have worked in the Lloyd’s/ London Market and provided exceptional pricing skills and advice to your underwriters or clients. Experience in class products such as marine, energy, specialty are key, as is the ability to communicate with a wide range of stakeholders.
Lloyd’s Managing Agency are seeking a Senior Qualified Actuary, for a three to six month contract. Joining a small and existing team, you will hold the reins of the Actuarial Function, until a new Chief Actuary is appointed. Ideally from a reserving background - although capital actuaries will also be considered - you will have experience of managing a team, and liaising with Board and Regulators.
REF: ZB 001393 ZB
REF: ZB 001406 ZB
Head of Capital
General Insurance £Market RatesLondon
General Insurance £40,000 - £90,000 Per Annum London/Norway
Exciting opportunity to join a new managing agency as their head of capital. You will be a qualified actuary with capital experience looking to take on an all-encompassing capital position. Reporting into the Chief Actuary with one direct report, you must be commercially minded with the ability to present to key stakeholders as well as remaining hands on. .
Due to high business demand, a London market actuarial consultancy is seeking reserving specialists. Nonlife reserving background is essential and exposure to IFRS 17 and Solvency II is advantageous. They offer a fantastic work environment, providing a refreshing perspective on consultancy work. Work covers Lloyd’s/London market insurers and international projects.
REF: ZB 001373 CC
REF: ZB 001400 HT
www.bolton-associates.co.uk page 28 +44 (0)207 250 4718 Bolton Associates, 5 St. John’s Lane, London, EC1M 4BH
The NHS continues to be the shining light in this ongoing pandemic but as always at times like this, individuals such as Captain Tom Moore l...
Published on May 6, 2020
The NHS continues to be the shining light in this ongoing pandemic but as always at times like this, individuals such as Captain Tom Moore l...