GIRO – bigger and better


Catherine Drummond, Chair of the IFoA’s GI Lifelong Learning Committee, tells us about the success of GIRO this year and how this success will be used to help plan and shape next year’s event.

I’m proud to announce that this year’s GIRO, which was delivered virtually for the first time, was the biggest ever, with more than 1,200 people tuning into one or more sessions.

I wanted to share some of the highlights from the feedback we have received so far, which will help to shape our events going forwards.

  • The webinars received an average score for content of 4.13 out of 5, with 68% of sessions getting an average content score of 4 or more out of 5.
  • The presenters received an average score of 4.32 out of 5, with 77% of presenters getting an average score of 4 or more out of 5.

These are excellent scores and testament to the hard work of the presenters, the webinar chairs and the IFoA team, who all did an incredible job of delivering high-quality presentations to delegates.

The following webinars were rated highest in terms of average content and presenter scores:

  1. Hot Topic: How to be fully inclusive and prioritise mental health: Jenn Barnet – Grant Thornton
  2. Applying skills in a changing world: Profs Rebecca Shipley and Tim Baker – UCL
  3. Generational change: Dr Paul Redmond
  4. Capital Session: How is the evolution of cyber threats impacting the insurance market?: Visesh Gosrani –Medical Protection Society, Richard Campanha and Simon Cartagena – SCOR and Justyna Pikinska – Capsicum Re
  5. Capital Session: Capital modelling - When we're not talking about Covid: Tom Durkin, Neil Gedalla, Laun Middleton – LCP
  6. IFRS17 Mythbusters - The return!: Graham Oswald and Susan Dreksler – PwC
  7. Reserving Session: Making better reserving decisions using data science techniques: Charlie Stone, LCP and Philippa King, Ageas
  8. Race – A risky business: Chika Aghadiuno and Owen Morris – Aviva and Ugo Okpewho – BDO
  9. Panel discussion on reserving: Seema Thaper – Enstar, Catherine Barton – Talbot Underwriting, Emma Stewart – Lloyd’s of London and Helen Cooper – Hiscox
  10. Reserving Session: The actuary and IBNR techniques: A machine learning approach: Ronald Richman and Caesar Balona – QED Actuaries

I would like to pass on my thanks to everyone involved. Remember: if you missed any of the sessions, don’t forget you can register to watch them on demand.

Looking ahead to next year’s event, we asked delegates to provide feedback on their preferred format. Only 27% of respondents said they wanted a live event, with the remaining 73% favouring either a virtual or hybrid format going forwards. 

A key reason for this is the significant level of flexibility a virtual or hybrid format offers, allowing international delegates and those who would be unable to attend an in-person event to join. Others noted the lower price tag meant that companies were able to let more team members sign up, and allowed more flexibility to tailor the experience to a wide range of budgets. This has made GIRO far more inclusive and is an aspect that I am passionate about maintaining for our CPD future offering.

That said, I do recognise that many people missed the networking side of GIRO, which is a key part of the in-person experience. Regardless of the final format of next year’s event, I am keen that we work hard to increase and improve networking opportunities going forwards. Breakout sessions, chat rooms and using virtual roundtable formats were great suggestions to develop the virtual experience further.  

Other comments and suggestions that really help the GI Lifelong Learning committee ensure that we continue to improve events included:

  1. Ensuring there is a greater consistency between the headline summaries sessions and the actual content delivered
  2. Allowing more time for Q&As
  3. For virtual events, enabling delegates to be able to ask questions themselves over video
  4. Including more polls to increase audience interaction

My thanks again to everyone involved. I’m so proud of what the GI Lifelong Learning committee achieved, and am looking forward to working with them and the wider IFoA events teams on next year’s events programme. 

I’d love to hear from anyone who has any additional feedback – please direct message me or email