Will you enter The Frank Redington Prizes?

Quote from Frank Redington

With just a month to go until the competition closes, Immediate Past President Tan Suee Chieh blogs on the inspiration behind the Frank Redington Prizes and calls on the profession to step forward with innovative thinking.

One of the most enjoyable responsibilities during my presidential year was the establishment of the IFoA’s Thought Leadership Programme. In my presidential address, I signalled that one of my priorities was to revive the spirit of a learned society and bring thought leadership to the foreground. Since January 2021, the IFoA has hosted a swathe of online events focussing on issues from Covid-19 and the climate crisis, to how we can reform our financial system for the better.

The programme has helped to bring the thought leadership capabilities of actuaries to the fore and reposition the IFoA at the centre of key societal debates. It provides a forum and a voice for actuaries in addressing not only pressing and public interest social problems, but also the strategic issues confronting the IFoA and the profession.

Renowned British actuary Frank Redington has often been the inspiration behind the reinvigoration of thought leadership within the profession. Redington was brilliant in identifying our four quintessential values as actuaries (accuracy, cautiousness, consistency and reticence) so comprehensively – but he asked us to create room for impulse and imagination too. For me, this means taking measured risks and doing things that we do not dare to because of our innate cautiousness. Through the thought leadership programme I have seen more and more colleagues pluck up the courage to take a stand on the many social issues of our time. It’s great to see our profession being bolder and not converging on consensus positions. It was therefore only natural that we name the IFoA’s inaugural thought leadership essay competition after Redington himself.

The idea for the Frank Redington Prizes grew out of the IFoA’s Finance in the Public Interest series in March 2021. This competition is the natural next step, allowing us to continue the conversation on some of the key debates raised during those discussions and those within the current series.

The Prizes – sponsored by Milliman and Punter Southall - invite entries from strategic thinkers who are not afraid to challenge orthodoxy and put forward radical ideas in a way that supports our public interest commitment. It seeks views on two subjects:

  1. What would be a sustainable economic and finance system for the public interest?  First prize sponsored by Milliman
  2. What would be a sustainable and effective UK pension system for the people? First prize sponsored by Punter Southall 

Our esteemed panel of judges includes: Sir John Kay (Chair of the Judging Panel and Economist); Torsten Bell (Chief Executive, Resolution Foundation); Hon Group Captain Sally Bridgeland FIA (Chair and Non-Executive Director at asset management and insurance companies); and Rt Hon David Heath CBE (Chair, IFoA Policy Advisory Group).

With a month to go until the competition closes, I’m calling on our profession’s thought leaders to step forward and enter these Prizes as I believe this is an invaluable opportunity for entrants to shift the policy dial and move the debate on in a thoughtful but ambitious way.

If we continue to celebrate and bring thought leadership to the foreground, and change the way we think about ourselves, we will begin to change and extend our influence.

Entries close on 13 May. Terms and conditions can be found here.