It’s a wrap – 2017 ‘most read’ articles

2017 was a great year for Actuaries Digital. HQ Editor Stephanie Quine shares the top five ‘most read’ articles from each quarter in 2017.

The start of 2017 saw renewed energy within the Actuaries Digital Editorial Team with several new recruits on board. The team set about sourcing and reviewing articles on everything from the gender pay gap, to underwriting in life insurance, and even an actuarial-look at love. Actuaries working across a wide range of fields submitted reports, columns and comment on topical issues across the nation, Asia Pacific, and closer to home.

Page views
I am an Actuary 
Coordinated by Martin Mulcare
Is there really a gender pay gap for actuaries?
Julia Lessing and Jennifer Lang
7 things insurers should be doing to improve the underwriting process
Angat Sandhu
Mindfulness and meditation for actuaries,
Milton Lim
Love: the numbers game
Victoria Gao


Once again the popular ‘I am an Actuary’ series took the number one place, by number of page views, in Q1. The series features short career profiles from new graduates of our Professionalism course throughout the year. A big thank you to Martin Mulcare, the Professionalism Course Facilitator, who also coordinates these profiles.

Readers spent an average time of 5:47 minutes per page during Q1. Some were perusing Julia Lessing’s analysis of the statistics on remuneration for actuaries, others pondering Milton Lim’s lessons on mindfulness and emotional intelligence from his year spent travelling:

“Mindfulness can be seen as the equilibrium resting point of all emotional energies and gives rise to the self-awareness that holds everything together.” 
Page views
Analysts at Atlassian and LinkedIn take out Actuaries Kaggle Competition
Coordinated by Martin Mulcare
Equity Risk Premium Survey
David Carruthers
5 minutes with Kitty Chan, Asia Liaison Manager
Kitty Chan
Normal Deviance – getting started in analytics
Hugh Miller
An introduction to the social insurer icare
Jamie Reid


The ‘most read’ article in Q2 was the report on the Institute’s 2016 VicRoads Kaggle Competition. Geoff Sims, Joel van Veluwen and Luke Heinrich created the winning predictive model for the competition to predict the cost of motor vehicle accidents on Victorian roads, relating to the “road infrastructure” where each accident occurred. The trio outlined their model’s featured engineering, model training and interesting findings in the article:

“Road crashes are the biggest killer of young people worldwide and cost 2-5% of GDP,” said competition sponsor iRAP’s CEO Rob McInerney. “Innovative new ways to model this unacceptable risk and help target action and save lives is so important. The Actuaries Institute Competition has opened that door and has so much potential for the future.”
I am an Actuary
Coordinated by Martin Mulcare
Are women less confident than men?
Nicolette Rubinsztein
Bringing analytics to life
Basem Morris
Jobs for Actuaries past present and future
Elayne Grace 
General insurance the wide-ranging implication of IFRS 17
Alice Boreman and Laura Barella


Once again ‘I am an Actuary’ took out first place.  Q3 had the highest number of page views overall at 45,012.  This was a 20% increase from Q3 last year (37,224 page views).

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Workplace rehabilitation services need shake up
John Nagle
A not-so-actuarial look at the Marriage Equality Ballot
David Kwak
Under the spotlight – Queenie Choi
Queenie Choi
Under the spotlight – Rene Essomba
Rene Essomba
I am an Actuary
Coordinated by Martin Mulcare


Q4 saw our Injury and Disability Schemes Seminar Plenary Speaker John Nagle take the top spot for most read article of the year on Actuaries Digital with his reflection on the transformation within schemes and icare’s focus on the needs of the injured worker. This was a hot topic following #IDSS2017 – our major biennial event which was held in Brisbane.

The nation voted ‘YES’ in the monumental ballot on same sex marriage on 15 November, making David Kwak’s investigation into the demographics underpinning the votes another great read:

“A quick calculation of average voter age for each FED suggests that the older the voter, the less likely they were to vote yes”

Q4 also saw the popular Under the Spotlight series extended into Asia, where readers heard about Queenie Choi’s unusual passions. We look forward to featuring lots more members based in Asia in 2018!

Other highlights

In Q1, Taylor Fry’s Scott Duncan and Editors, Victoria Gao and Danielle Di Sano went Under the Spotlight, the Institute unpacked it’s Pre-Budget Submission, and Chief Editor Trang Duncanson presented the results of the Magazine Survey. Senior Consultants at Rice Warner outlined the significant analysis underway by superannuation funds and their insurers (and reinsurers) around disability insurance, while readers were introduced to new Institute President Jenny Lyon’s career journey and ‘passion for people’ in her first Presidential columns of the year.

We heard about the actuarial profession in both Zimbabwe and South Africa; a new Actuaries Climate Index; and kicked off another year of The Critical Line Puzzle challenges with Numbered Cones and Magic Squares. 

The ‘Beat the Geek’ competition pitted NRL and AFL tipsters skills against the expert modelling power of an actuarial and analytics firm while Valentines Day saw us investigate how maths can decipher the unruly patterns of love, with Editor Victoria giving us three top tips:

  • #1: How to win at online dating – Don’t be very attractive
  • #2: How to pick the perfect partner – Reject the first 37% of your dates
  • #3: How to avoid divorce – Argue a lot

Q2 saw Managing Director at CommInsure Helen Troup, and Pacific Life Re’s Tyson Johnston go Under the Spotlight, while the Institute’s new Asia Liaison Manager, Kitty Chan, was also introduced.

Editor Hugh Miller penned the first instalment of his series Normal Deviance on Data Analytics while Macquarie Uni actuarial student Abhishek Maran explored the role of data tracking in Netflix’s creative success in the first of the Student Columns for the year. 

Jamie Reid reported on an informative Insights session about the largest general insurance service provider in Australia – icare, while Rickie Fong and Anna Byrne recapped the popular ‘War Stories from Life Insurance Actuaries’ Insights presented by Greg Martin, Richard Lyon and Grant Peters.

Editor Suba Chelva also shared key takeaways from a Melbourne seminar on the Use of Drone Technology in the General Insurance industry. If you missed the Actuaries Summit, Young Actuaries Conference, Future of Health Seminar and/or inaugural Volunteer of the Year Awards – the Magazine had you covered with articles on the key highlights of these major event in the actuarial 2017 calendar.

In Q3 the  ‘Ask an Actuary’ column was resurrected (since Bruce and Gae went underground) with our anonymous actuary and resident mystery writer answering your burning question: will there still be actuaries in 2049? If you are interested in getting involved as a writer or contributor to this popular column in 2018, please get in touch with us at

July, August and September saw monthly updates delivered by the Institute’s IFRS17 Implementation Taskforce. These valuable updates continued monthly to December.

Professors at Bond University’s Actuarial Science program Dr David Lau and Sean Elliot went Under the Spotlight as did new Banking Practice Committee Convenor – Jason Slade, and we heard about actuarial activities in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Shanghai with Kitty Chan’s report on the Institute’s Asia Tour.

Nicolette Rubinsztein reflected on her experience of confidence as a career mum, following two women’s networking events (Sydney event pictured above) at the Institute and Rice Warner’s Richard Dunn shared lessons from the 2017 ‘Actuaries as Leaders’ Forum, especially on challenging your views:

“In exposing yourself to diversity – even when this diversity is uncomfortable – you engage in a process of reflection and improvement which may provide the impetus for positive change.”

Editor Angat Sandhu outlined the varied success of robo-advice and face-to-face propositions in local and international markets while Acting CEO Elayne Grace shared results from a comprehensive

 survey of members education, employers and job functions. Basem Morris revealed some fascinating insights at the intersection of predictive analytics and behavioural science while Geoff Atkins explored the escalating costs in CTP and Mark Baxter discussed the potential consequences of APRA’s extended powers around senior banking executives in the BEAR.

Q4 saw the strong pipeline of content continue – a very encouraging sign for the New Year.

Actuary John De Ravin – a member of the Institute’ Retirement Incomes Working Group (RIWG) – published five articles. The first detailed the findings of a survey of 65 financial planners, and the following four formed a series on personal finance strategies: extracts of top tips from his new book.

We previewed some interesting sessions at the November Injury and Disability Schemes Seminar, before posting a wrap up of highlights from the event. The sold out Data Analytics Seminar, ERM Seminar and ASOC Actuarial Pathways Networking Event were covered in depth.

Readers were introduced to ‘meetups’ – a social platform that is the basis for Zeming Yu’s new column on Data Analytics as well as for gatherings of the Institute’s new Social Networking Group (pictured below).


Under the Spotlight featured Asia based members Queenie Choi, Louis Lee and Holly Ou; and our Mental Health and Insurance Green Paper launch with National Mental Health Commission Chair Lucy Brogden was covered, along with the new SWWS campaign and Peace of Mind podcast that support this important piece of policy work by actuaries.

APRA’s paper on the “Review of the role of the Appointed Actuary and actuarial advice within insurers” was explored by different authors; and, the results from a recent Member survey on the level of interest in an actuarial hackathon were also covered.

Thank you to all contributors and our great Editorial Team for a fantastic year – we’re looking forward to delivering more great content in 2018.

CPD: Actuaries Institute Members can claim two CPD points for every hour of reading articles on Actuaries Digital.