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The SOA's Reinsurance Section Council Announces Newsletter/Podcast Winners and Looks Forward to 2021

By Michelle Lerch

Reinsurance News, February 2021


Many are likely excited to finally be able to bid farewell to 2020 and greet 2021 with open arms. 2020 posed many challenges to the insurance industry, the economy, and every aspect of our daily lives. It also brought with it great transformation that makes us stronger and more resilient. Enhancements to underwriting and risk assessment processes were developed for us as an industry to continue to deliver on providing insurance coverage. These transformations developed stronger relationships between insurers and reinsurers to ensure that our industry could deliver, and do so in a controlled manner, with the focus on being able to adjust quickly. Professionally and personally, it brought us closer together leveraging video communication technology to make communication more personal while being apart. It was also a true testament to appreciating the spectrum of options available that permit us to be productive. 

Many of these positive contributions will reach into 2021. The Reinsurance Section Council plans to do just this and continues to look forward to determining how to best serve our members and expand our membership. Here are some of the important changes and updates that we have planned.

Newsletters: We expect a total of seven reinsurance newsletters produced in 2021. These articles will continue to be available digitally. We are excited to share the article that has been chosen as “Best Article” in 2020: “Non-guaranteed Reinsurance Under Principle-based Reserves,” by Dylan Strother (Oliver Wyman) and Katie van Ryn (Oliver Wyman). Congratulations and thank you to all of our authors in 2020!

Podcasts: In 2020, “Meet Five Diverse Actuarial Leaders!” featuring Karen DeToro (CNO Financial), Tony Johnson (Deloitte), Amanda Hug (Mass Mutual), Jing Lang (iptiQ by Swiss Re) and James Miles (retired) received the “Best Podcast” award for having the most downloads. Congratulations and thank you to all of our podcastees! In 2021, we expect to continue collaboration with other sections and deliver high quality content. If you have a topic that would be of interest, please reach out to Jing Lang.

LEARN: Life Education and Reinsurance Navigation (LEARN) initiative supported by volunteers on the SOA Reinsurance Section Council and Friends of the Council. It is an education program with a primary focus on providing reinsurance knowledge to state regulators. In the past, sessions have been in person and focus on key topics such as types of reinsurance (for example, coinsurance versus YRT), reinsurance treaty terms, credit for reinsurance and risk transfer. COVID-19 impacted our ability to meet with regulators. We are excited to begin meeting with both domestic and international regulators virtually in 2021. Dates are being set up for 2021 and states will be contacted directly, or if you are interested in a session, please contact Dale Hall at

REAL: The Reinsurance Education and Learning Symposium is the rebranded Life and Annuity Reinsurance Seminar that started in 2013. REAL is designed to give life, health, and annuity practitioners an in-depth view of important reinsurance topics. In 2020, we rolled out the REAL webcast series covering topics including pharmacy benefits, strategic use of reinsurance, mortality, and regulatory updates. We look to offer more sessions in 2021 as the reinsurance solutions continue to evolve with the regulatory and compliance framework.

Research and collaboration: Research is a value-add to our members and to the SOA. It will continue to be a focus for us. We are exploring avenues to better collaborate with other sections to provide high quality research to you.

Member survey: Your feedback is important so that we can focus on the areas that are of most interest to you. This is planned to be sent to you in the first quarter. We encourage you to participate as it is a key way for us to better serve you.

Webcasts: We anticipate creating four webcasts this year and your participation in the member survey is a way that we can learn more about your reinsurance interests. The feedback will assist in guiding the content of our webcasts. Please take the opportunity to fill out the survey and let us know about topics that are of interest to you. In addition, we will continue to work collaboratively with other sections to partner on subjects where we share mutual interest.

New SOA structure: The SOA is evaluating a new strategy to change the current section model to a new community approach. In 2021, the section will continue to offer the same valuable content and resources. We will closely monitor the evaluation of the new strategy and proactively prepare members for any potential changes. 

2020 was a year of many firsts. Some challenged our resilience and others made us better prepared to be ready for the future. We look forward to 2021 and the continued transformation. Our members and volunteers help us make the research, education, and other opportunities possible. If you are interested in volunteering or have questions, please reach out to me or any of the Reinsurance Section Council members for more information.


Statements of fact and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Society of Actuaries or the respective authors’ employers.

Michelle Lerch, FSA, MAAA, is vice president, marketing actuary for SCOR Global Life Americas. She can be contacted at