Program Snapshot

TuESDAY 8 December 2020

9:30am Plenary 1: A high-level update on COVID-19 impacts on the insurance industry

Scott Duncan, Kevin Zhang, Michael Rice

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the insurance industry in Australia. Almost all lines of business have been impacted to some degree, some more so than others. While we are now more than half a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still significant uncertainty around how the pandemic will progress. This plenary brings together three experienced practitioners from general insurance, life insurance, and retirement incomes to provide insight into how COVID-19 is impacting these areas, and the areas of uncertainty that remain.

Young actuaries will have the opportunity to learn how experienced practitioners deal with situations of significant uncertainty for which limited to no historical data is available to inform assumption setting.

Plenary 2: The Ever-Changing Industry

Richard Trendall, Ward Sutcliffe, Rachel Keaney

Over a relatively short period of time, the type of work actuaries are involved in and the way we work has dramatically changed. From punch cards and financial calculators to machine learning, the role of the actuary is like a long-distance locomotive – it’s the same vehicle with the same goal, but its environment and surroundings keep changing over the journey. Recent events including COVID-19, the Royal Commission and changes to accounting standards mean some significant changes will be seen over the next year or so, which raise some big questions to the role we will play as Actuaries. How are customers affected? How will banks and insurers adapt? As young actuaries, how can we drive change in our organisations?

This plenary will cover some of the big changes being seen in the industry and how young actuaries can ‘step up’ to make an impact to their organisation, their profession and their own careers.


Plenary 3: Emerging opportunities and risks for actuaries

Abhijeet Agarwal, Andrey Ponomarev, Murray Goldschmidt, Hugh Miller

As the world we live in continues to change and technology advances, the non-traditional areas in which actuaries can practice in are expanding. Naturally, with new practice areas there are new opportunities but there are also new challenges and risks.

Some of these includes natural language processing and computer vision, focusing on how computers can understand digital images, videos, and words. With the continued growth of data and reliance on cloud computing, another emerging area is managing cyber risks and responding to cyber incidents.

Actuaries are also increasingly playing a role in the social sector, providing detailed analyses and considered solutions to policy makers. 

In this plenary, delegates will learn more about how actuaries are making positive contributions and what the key considerations would be for anyone interested in working in these areas.

1.00pm Plenary 4: Broadening the horizons of your career

Martin Mulcare, Sam Zheng, James Collier

Actuarial training gives you the opportunity to craft a career of your choosing. With valuable technical skills and considered judgement, the skillset is  extremely transferable.

For this career focussed panel discussion, the Organising Committee have invited James Collier, national leader of KPMG’s Finance and Risk Professionals, Martin Mulcare, non-executive director and skilled adviser and facilitator, and Sam Zheng, co-founder of tech start-ups Curious Thing and HyperAnna.

The three panellists will share their personal journeys, providing some advice they would give to their younger selves. Their stories will include challenges they faced on the way and their opinion on what the future of actuarial careers might hold.

2.00pm Virtual Networking 
3.00pm Virtual Conference Finish