An article by Geraldine Kaye on FT Adviser


Actuaries should establish MPs expenses allowance

Actuaries have the skill set to establish an average expense allowance for MPs, believes Dr Geraldine Kaye, managing director of actuarial recruitment consultancy GAAPS Actuarial. “Based on past legitimate expense claims coupled with the size of an MP’s constituency and distance from London it should be possible to create a model which calculates what their individual expenses should be within a given range.

“With all the publicity and criticism surrounding MPs expenses this to me would make sense and settle public unease over this volatile issue. The actuarial profession looks at probability and developing statistical data from a long term perspective so is very well qualified.”

Actuaries calculating Bankers bonuses

“Actuaries should be involved in calculating banking bonuses as they are trained to determine where there are any unacceptable risks being taken. As actuaries it is the long term that concerns us,” says Dr Geraldine Kaye, an actuary herself and managing director of actuarial recruitment consultancy GAAPS Actuarial.

“Where there are enormous bonuses for profitable performance and with no downside for poor performance, you can only encourage risky and in some cases even irresponsible behaviour.

“With-profit life policies fell out of favour because non-actuaries could not understand the smoothing techniques that were used and required. A variation of those techniques, but with much better communication of what is being done, would be very well suited to smoothing bankers’ bonuses. Once bonuses are accurately spread over several years, then traders would have to be much more careful that the risks they take will not result in large or even catastrophic losses.

“All it requires is for a few actuaries to enter this area of work and to be seen actively involved in calculating banking bonuses, then others will be able to follow.”

Presentation by Dr Geraldine Kaye at the Regional ASHK ERM Conference Macau on 29th April 2013

Actuaries are absolutely suited for Chief Risk Officers (CRO) posts and analysing ‘Big Data’ according to Dr Geraldine Kaye, managing director of actuarial recruitment consultancy, GAAPS Actuarial.

At a speech given to The Actuarial Society of Hong Kong in Macao in April, Dr Kaye told delegates “For some time the newly introduced position of CRO was seen as requiring someone of qualitative mode. It is now more appreciated that it needs a more quantitative approach using the modelling skills of the actuary. I feel sure it will eventually settle somewhere in the middle. Similarly we are beginning to see the revival of actuaries as CEOs.

However, the greatest challenge to an actuary who aspires to be a high flyer, is that to succeed they must also be able to communicate their ideas at Board level and be able to zoom in and out effectively from one aspect to another when questioned. They must be able to distil issues and explain, and also convince the recipient why the point is important.

Similarly, in many of the actuarial consultancies we are seeing the merging of the actuarial and risk teams. But this is a two-edged sword for actuaries since although it provides greater breadth of opportunities for actuaries, it also allows those without the qualification to encroach on traditional actuarial territory.”

Turning to the vast increase in legislation with financial services, Dr Kaye feels abilities connected with risk management and governance are required, and in these areas is becoming more accepted that actuaries are ideal. She added “Changes in financial services regulation whether or not it is good or bad for Society in general, will always increase jobs for actuaries in the short to medium term.

As actuaries, it is the long term that concerns us. Over the past few years we have seen crisis after crisis increasing job opportunities for actuaries, but for the moment there appears to be a brake. Will the actuaries no longer needed for these regulatory and compliance roles find other roles more suited to their abilities and more productive to Society. The short answer is yes. A new area that is suddenly opening up and becoming fashionable is ‘Big Data’.

Actuaries talk about analytics and have not pushed the areas of use to its full potential and seem to be missing out to other professions such as statisticians who simply call it ‘Big Data’. What many insurance companies are beginning to realise is how important is the accuracy and accessibility of the data they retain. The more accurate the data, the less risk associated to calculations associated with it and therefore there is a knock on effect to solvency calculations and thus to level of reserves required under Basel etc.”

Dr Kaye concluded by telling delegates, it was heartening to hear from the consensus of speakers that the world is in recovery and she would like to concur with this message and add that jobs for actuaries are definitely on the increase.

Below are some of the pictures from the conference.

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Presentation by Dr Geraldine Kaye at the Regional ASHK ERM Conference Macau on 29th April 2013

Presentation by Dr Geraldine Kaye at the Regional ASHK ERM Conference Macau on 29th April 2013

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Increasing care provision would allow more family carers to work, boosting the economy according to report

A report by Cass Business School commissioned by Carers UK states that a fundamental shift’ in the adult care system would not only help to support struggling families, but would also add significant value to the UK gross domestic product (GDP).

Carers UK commissioned the report to examine the challenges families are facing and to give an independent view on how to improve the lives of family carers.

Leslie Mayhew who wrote the report believes that before the government can reform the current care system, they must understand ‘the economic costs of failures in care’.

More than half of the UK’s 6.4 million family carers attempt to juggle the demands of caring for a disabled or elderly relative whilst maintaining a job. According to the report, if external care was provided, these people would be able to work full-time, contributing approximately £47,800 to the GDP each year.

Chief executive of Carers UK, Helena Herklots said: ‘Too often the debate around reform of care for older and disabled people is framed as a drain on public finances. It is time we recognised that helping families to juggle work and care and stimulating a new generation of care services can act as an engine for economic growth.’

Car insurance prices ‘have fallen 10.3% in past year’

A report by Tower Watson and price comparison site has found that car insurance premiums dropped an average of 5.1% in the UK over the last quarter, meaning that rates have fallen by a total of 10.3% since September 2011.

The drop is the biggest since the index began five years ago. Duncan Anderson of  Towers Watson, said: ‘Despite this being the fifth successive quarter of flat or falling rates for comprehensive cover, I think the current scale of the annual and quarterly decreases will – and probably should – cause some pause for thought in the insurance industry.’

The survey also found that the largest decrease in rates was seen by young female drivers, suggesting that insurers are attempting to minimise the impact of the future price increases that will affect many women once the new legislation regarding gender pricing comes into effect on December 21st.

“We hear a lot in the media about high insurance premiums, particularly with the price increases scheduled for women drivers, so it is interesting to see that prices have actually fallen over the past 12 months,” comments Dr Geraldine Kaye of GAAPS Actuarial.

Dr Geraldine Kaye attends meeting of CPD Co-ordinators’ (of the Actuarial Profession)

Our MD Dr Geraldine Kaye (in front in an orange jacket) attending a meeting of  CPD Co-ordinators (of the Actuarial Profession) held  in London, in November this year. As you can see there was a great turnout and everyone had an enjoyable day.

Our MD Dr Geraldine Kaye (in front in an orange jacket) attending a meeting of CPD Co-ordinators’ (of the Actuarial Profession) held in London, in November this year. As you can see there was a great turnout and everyone had an enjoyable day.