All professions build mystiques. It’s intellectual protectionism. Lawyers use Latin a lot (not as much as they used to but their replacement phrases are almost as incomprehensible), accountants create impenetrable legislation and rules. You will have your own lists and examples.

Actuaries, statisticians and modellers don’t really have to. They already have Numerophobia or, if I may, “Maphobia” on their side. Faced with anything remotely mathematical, even in insurance (which has a fair bit of use for numbers, let’s be honest) a lot of people simply say “I was never any good at Maths”.  You then show them the distribution function for the Gaussian:

and almost everyone else falls over. The few who are left are those geekish folk who spent years doing a quantitative degree, possibly a few earning further qualifications and then more actually playing with formulae.

Some years ago, a long-term friend and colleague (Peter Hughes of Litmus Analysis) and I thought that too many people in (re)insurance were finding themselves in the difficult position of progressively being in a mathematical universe of statistics and models they didn’t understand and with nowhere to turn for help.

Embarrassment is a good and common reason for not asking the questions. Not popular with professional pedagogues but a bitter reality in a harsh and competitive commercial environment. So, Peter and I reasoned, why not set out a forum that can introduce the jargon, look at the concepts and where they came from and show some examples of how they might be used?  It is not “modelling in a day” but hopefully a basis of understanding that could promote dialogue and help the trader understand what the statistician and or modeller is trying to do.

We assume that you stopped your formal Maths studies at age 16 (GCSE, year 11). However, you might (like one of our past delegates) have studied Pure Maths at University and never seen a probability distribution so it was equally new to him!

In the first session we look at probabilities and how they can sometimes be counter intuitive. In Session II we look at the formal aspect of three distributions very common in our work: the Gaussian (or Normal), the Poisson and the Pareto. Session III is a quick review of the elements of many issues that you might need to be aware of (such as finance and annuities). Finally, in the last session we return to our three key tools and explain how we can use these in a Stochastic Model (Monte Carlo process, if that’s more sexy!)

This is all set against the background of a long career in the industry with many appropriate anecdotes that are hopefully an aid to retention after the course has concluded.

You meet new people, maybe even make friends, and leave with much to ponder at your leisure. Possibly even a thirst for further reading and experimentation! Do join us!

Richard King

April, 2018

£750 +VAT per delegate.
Discounts are available for more delegates from the same company.

Click here to book your space now

If you would be interested in running this course in-house please contact John Walsh at

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