Chief economist Peter Praet of the European Central Bank (ECB) made some remarks that received a lot of attention earlier this month at the 31st International Congress of Actuaries (ICA) held in Berlin. Praet outlined the ECB’s response to different phases during the steady decline of short- and long-term interest rates and added that low interest rates create challenges for many business models of insurance companies. Praet revealed ahead of a policy meeting later in the month that discussions in this meeting would be key in determining when to end ECB’s bond-buying program.
Praet made these statements during a session at the ICA on the future of the low interest rate environment. Milliman’s Ken Mungan, in that same session, moderated a panel on the macroeconomic aspects and impacts on the insurance sector, which included Praet, Stephen O’Hearn, global insurance leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Klaus Wiener, chief economist of the German Insurance Association.
Masaaki Yoshimura of Milliman’s Tokyo office, who is president of the International Association of Actuaries, opened and closed the event. Over 100 countries were represented and there was a record number of attendees, with just under 3,000 participants, including more than 50 Milliman consultants.
The event covered a variety of content encompassing all areas of actuarial work, and there were a number of perspectives about that work—including from insurance actuaries, regulators, consultants, and academics. This year, there was a strong focus on potential changes to the industry due to technology and the risks this could introduce to companies and to policyholders. Actuaries were encouraged to think carefully about these emerging risks.
Milliman was well represented, with eight consultants speaking on various topics relevant to the global attendees.
Milliman speakers and their topics were:
• Alexandre Boumezoued. “Individual Claims Reserving: Opportunity as a Challenge.”
• Zachary Brown. “Improving Actuarial Communication.”
• Joanne Buckle and Chris Bristow (Institute and Faculty of Actuaries). “Life Long Learning in the IFoA.”
• Joanne Buckle and Didier Serre. “Alternative Payment Models for High Cost Creative Therapies.”
• Naoufal El Bekri. “Mortality Tables Update Through Multi-Population Models: Application to Longevity Risk Transfer and Shock Computation.”
• Tigran Kalberer. “Architecture of Internal Models.”
• Allen Klein. “Long-Term Drivers of Future Mortality.”
• Allen Klein. “Underwriting Around the World: An Update.”
• Noriyuki Kogo. “Predicting Incidences of Acute Myocardial Infarctions: Are Big Data and Machine Learning Algorithms Useful for Predictive Models?”
• Bridget MacDonnell. “Recovery and Resolution Plans in Banking and Insurance.”
• Pat Renzi. “New Developments in Insurance IT.”