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Cass MSc students awarded annual SCOR UK actuarial prize

Eva Richardson and Jia Cheng recognised by global reinsurer for their dissertations

For the sixth year running the SCOR UK actuarial prize has been awarded to Cass MSc students.

Eva Richardson and Jai Cheng who both studied on the Cass MSc in Actuarial Science have been awarded the prize for their dissertations.

The SCOR awards aim to promote actuarial science, to develop and encourage research in this field and to contribute to the improvement of risk knowledge and management.

Eva was awarded the 'non-life' prize for her paper on the 'Application of standard actuarial pricing techniques for health microinsurance'.

Eva said: "I chose to write my paper on microinsurance because, as a fairly new field, there were many topics that might be interesting to explore.

"It highlights the issues that actuaries face in pricing some microinsurance products. I also tried to illustrate some of the solutions such actuaries might use.

"I feel honoured to receive the prize especially as the topic was not a traditional general insurance one. I hope the prize encourages more people to do research in microinsurance.

"I would like to thank Cass for providing such great support throughout my dissertation."

Dr Ben Rickayzen, Head of Faculty of Actuarial Science and Insurance, who supervised Eva's paper said: "Eva produced a terrific dissertation in a relatively new and expanding area of insurance. I was delighted that the quality of her work was recognised by SCOR. It's great to see the calibre of students we are able to attract to our actuarial MSc programmes at Cass."

Jia Cheng was awarded the 'life' prize for the paper 'The cohort effect in cancer incidence'.

Jai said: "I had a few years of work experience in life insurance pricing so it is natural for me to be interested in mortality and morbidity.

"Since cancer is the second most common cause of death in the UK, it is logical to question whether the cohort effect observed in the UK population mortality can also be seen in mortality due to cancer, and furthermore whether it exists in the cancer incidence rates.

"I was really excited when I heard that I had been awarded the SCOR UK prize. It feels great when your hard work gets recognised. What's even better is that I got to fly to London for the prize ceremony as I'm working in China now."

Senior Lecturer in Actuarial Science, Dr Jaap Spreeuw, who supervised Jia's dissertation, said: "Changes in causes of death are drivers of changes in mortality, which is a very topical issue. Jia investigated cohort effects of some types of cancer - which is still a main cause of death - and performed the research using statistical tools and software. She showed a great degree of commitment to and independence in her work."

Dr Spreeuw also supervised Gaurang Mehta's dissertation who was awarded the SCOR UK actuarial prize last year for his dissertation on Solvency II.

Gaurang studied on the MSc in Actuarial Management programme at Cass.

Dr Spreeuw added: "It is a great honour to supervise a prize-winning student for the second year in a row."

Eva and Jia received their awards at a ceremony at Trinity House, Tower Hill where Alistair Darling was the guest speaker.

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