Top 10 podcasts for 2020

The Actuaries Institute’s podcast channel was not exempt from the grasp of COVID-19 in 2020. After recording the first two episodes of the year in the usual surrounds of Institute HQ, the team pivoted to the uncharted, yet exciting, foray of remote recording. Members and subject matter experts were able to record podcasts from across Australia and around the world via Microsoft Teams.

Despite the challenges of a COVID world, the Actuaries Institute podcast channel continued to enjoy great success in 2020, with 25 new episodes released. On average, the number of listens per episode is 350.

With the podcast channel now boasting a catalogue of 86 episodes and more than 35,000 downloads, here are the 10 that our audience listened to the most this year.

#10: Intergenerational Equity Index explained

The launch of the Australian Actuaries Intergenerational Equity Index (AAIEI) and the ensuing launch of the Green Paper Mind the gap – The Australian Actuaries Intergenerational Equity Index represented an important contribution to the debate about how to treat generations ‘fairly’ by examining structural factors that have been changing over time. In this podcast, two of the the Green Paper’s authors, Ramona Meyricke and Hugh Miller, joined Christa Marjoribanks to discuss the key details and importance of the research. Read the summary article.


#9: Actuaries Institute’s response to COVID-19

In response to the outbreak of coronavirus, the Institute formed the COVID-19 Working Group to assist business, government and the broader community understand the nature and impacts of the pandemic. Jennifer Lang leads the Working Group, unlocking the profession’s skillset to bring objectivity to the discussions and debates stemming from COVID-19. In this podcast, Jennifer joined Institute Head of Public Policy, John McLenaghan, to discuss the basis of forming the Working Group, its key areas of focus, and how Institute Members can contribute. Read the summary article.

#8: Spending in retirement and the taper rate

Following the successful launch of the Dialogue Paper Spending in retirement and the taper rate, author Andrew Boal joined John McLenaghan on the podcast to discuss the key points and recommendations of the paper. In the paper, Boal, who is also Convenor of the Institute’s Retirement Strategy Group, argues that the asset test ‘taper trap’ encourages some retirees to spend their savings quickly, and risk living on the Age Pension alone. Read the summary article.


#7: Modelling COVID-19 infections – lessons and reflections

Actuaries Institute Fellow Martin Mulcare interviewed Matthew Tiong, Senior Consultant at NMG Consulting, on his role in creating a predictive model to help guide the Institute’s COVID-19 Working Group, and the profession, in tackling the challenges posed by coronavirus. In their virtual catch-up, Matthew talked with Martin about the key findings from his modelling research and some ideas for modelling a potential second wave of infections. Read the summary article.

#6: Interview with Jennifer Lang, 2020 Actuary of the Year

Fresh off being awarded the prestigious 2020 Actuary of the Year Award, Jennifer Lang joined Ian Laughlin to discuss her journey to becoming an actuary, her message to young women entering the profession, and where she sees the future of the actuary. Read the summary article.

2020 Actuary of the Year, Jennifer Lang.


#5: The role of actuaries in crunching COVID-19 numbers

Senior Pricing Actuary Shannon Lin interviews Dr. Achim Regenauer, Global Chief Medical Officer for PartnerRe, on the role of actuaries in monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the possible unknown cases actuaries need to be aware of when modelling data. Dr. Achim Regenauer, who joined the podcast from Germany, outlined how PartnerRe rely on actuaries and to channel his medical experience on the likelihood of a second wave of infections, easing restrictions, and social distancing. Read the summary article.


#4: Insurers brace for further COVID-19 impacts

Liesje Jansen van Rensburg, Senior Pricing Actuary at Gen Re, joined Yan Sun, Business Development Director – APAC at Axa, to discuss and compare the impact of COVID-19 on insurance businesses in Australia and throughout Asia. With Yan joining the podcast from Singapore and Liesje tuning in from Sydney, the benefit of virtual recording is on show throughout this podcast. Read the summary article.


#3: How deeply is COVID-19 impacting insurers?

Actuaries Institute Councillor Iris Lun interviews Greg Solomon, Head of Life and Health at Peak Re, to discuss the ongoing impact COVID-19 is having on the global insurance industry. With more than 25 years reinsurance industry experience, Greg Solomon oversees the expansion of Peak Re’s Life and Health insurance portfolios. Greg joined Iris virtually to discuss the challenges insurance companies face in adjusting risk models in the volatile coronavirus climate, why it’s important for countries to release accurate mortality and morbidity data, and some thoughts on insurers need to do to ensure the mental wellbeing of their clients. Read the summary article.


#2: Alyssa Dai’s actuarial journey

Beneath the simple description of actuarial science – assessing, evaluating and managing financial risks – are a multiplying number of career choices available to today’s university students, as recent graduate Alyssa Dai told Actuaries Institute student member Bob Shipway in this Actuaries Institute podcast. Read the summary article.

Alyssa Dai.

And the winner goes to…

#1: RMPC takes proactive approach to tackle industry challenges – Practice Update Podcast

Liz Baker and Susan Looi’s update about the activities of the Risk Management Practice Committee (RMPC) claims the title of most listened to podcast of 2020. After a busy year in financial services, our RMPC revisit the major emerging trends of 2019, and how the RMPC is meeting the challenges head on. Susan Looi, the then Convenor of the RMPC is joined by the then Deputy Convenor (and now Convenor) Liz Baker. Together they talk about the legislative changes arising from the Financial Services Royal Commission last year, emerging risk management practice issues, and what’s in store for 2020. Read the summary article.

Liz Baker (left) and Susan Looi recording the podcast at Institute HQ.

To listen to more Actuaries Institute podcasts, visit our podcast channel. It is also available on Apple Podcast App and on any Android podcasting app.

CPD: Actuaries Institute Members can claim two CPD points for every podcast listened to.