April 2014

48th Annual Actuarial Research Conference

By J. David Cummins and Krupa Viswanathan

Temple University was thrilled to host the 48th Actuarial Research Conference (ARC). Held from July 31 to Aug. 3, 2013, the conference attracted professors, practicing actuaries, and graduate students from around the world. The conference program included a mix of research presentations, actuarial education forums, and panel discussions. The 48th ARC attracted 156 registrants, including 76 academic registrants, 50 students, 26 general registrants, and four Society of Actuaries and Temple staff members.

Moshe Porat, dean of the Fox School of Business at Temple, gave the opening remarks on August 1, welcoming the attendees. It was noted that this is the first time Temple has hosted the ARC. Steven Haberman of the Cass Business School kicked off the conference with a keynote presentation on the topic of longevity risk. The keynote was followed by a panel discussion of actuarial education, moderated by Stuart Klugman. Other plenary sessions during the conference covered timely topics such as lessons from Hurricane Sandy, systemic risk analyses of the insurance industry, predictive modeling techniques, and the state of the insurance industry. Altogether, there were four keynote plenary presentations and three plenary panel discussions.

During the concurrent sessions, 92 research papers were presented. The papers addressed a variety of topics such as modeling, pricing, and operations. Paper presentations represented all major areas of actuarial theory and practice. Research was presented covering all major types of insurance, including life insurance, annuities, and property-casualty insurance. Several papers were devoted to issues in health actuarial science. These paper presentations invited lively feedback from the audience. Of note were the numerous presentations by doctoral students. The sessions on actuarial education also generated spirited discussions, with professors sharing initiatives at their institutions and learning more about changes in the professional examinations.

As with prior actuarial research conferences, attendees could choose to stay on campus in a dormitory or stay in a conference-arranged hotel. This charming hotel in Center City, Philadelphia was also the site of the evening receptions and dinners. Given its location, attendees could also experience historic Philadelphia.

The Organizing Committee of the 48th ARC appreciates the financial and administrative support provided by SOA staff and sections. The organizers gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the Casualty Actuarial Society. Temple also thanks the ACE Group, Ezra Penland Actuarial Recruitment, Milliman, Munich Re, and the Travelers Companies for their generous financial assistance.

During the lunch on Friday, Aug. 2, conference attendees were treated to a presentation from colleagues at the University of California - Santa Barbara, the host of the 49th ARC in July 2014!

J. David Cummins, PhD, is professor, risk, insurance and health care management at Temple University in Philadelphia, Penn. He can be reached at cummins@temple.edu.

Krupa Viswanathan, ASA, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, Penn. She can be reached at krupa@temple.edu.