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About me

I’ve been an actuary all my working life. It wasn’t my original plan, but having run out of options at the end of my university degree, I assumed my second year room-mate had done his research and followed him into the actuarial profession.

The work was fairly mundane until at Bacon & Woodrow (now Aon) I came into contact with Andrew Smith in 1998 and then Mercer’s Jon Exley, from whom I learned that important aspects of finance had either been omitted from the actuarial syllabus or distorted in their presentation by – what seemed to me at the time to be – a reactionary profession. In an effort to address this, I spoke at sessional meetings, published papers and even ended up getting elected to the Council of the Institute of Actuaries. I was in excellent company with Andrew, Jon, Cliff Speed, Charles Cowling and the evergreen John Ralfe (who has summarised those times here).

For about a year, I was seconded to our investment team – I assumed to help bring some of these ideas into practice – but what was emerging, namely ‘LDI’, was a long way away from what we had advocated.

I then did a stint of corporate actuarial consulting (before it was called that) and, given what I perceived to be a relatively complacent attitude to pension plan deficits, raised awareness of the importance of monitoring the pension plan sponsors’ own financial condition.

After a short break, I spent the 15 years to the end of 2023 as head of what is now Demographic Horizons at Aon, focussing on forecasting pensioner longevity for defined benefit pension plans. Along the way, I advised on the largest longevity transactions in the UK, the US and continental Europe and chaired the UK’s Continuous Mortality Investigation and, in particular, its Mortality Projections Committee. (If you’re interested in a little more detail then see this LinkedIn post.)

I’m currently working on some things that I’ve wanted to do for a long time but not had the chance.

If you want to get in contact then please DM me on LinkedIn.