Cass PhD candidate wins 2019 SCOR Actuarial Award

Vaishno Devi Makam receives prestigious actuarial science prize for her dissertation on sensitivity analysis

Cass Business School PhD candidate Vaishno Devi Makam has been awarded the 2019 SCOR Actuarial Award for her paper ‘Sensitivity Analysis: A weighting approach for ranking the order of model inputs’, which develops a method for analysing the sensitivities of simulation models used in insurance risk management.

Vaishno, a second year PhD student in Actuarial Science, wrote the dissertation while studying for her MSc Actuarial Science postgraduate degree at Cass. The dissertation presented a method that can help insurers identify their potential sources of vulnerability and act upon this information.

The SCOR Actuarial Awards aim to encourage innovation by supporting the teaching of actuarial science, and reward students who demonstrate innovative ideas and projects in the risk management field.

Speaking about her award win, Vaishno said:

“I feel truly honoured and thrilled to receive this award, which is so highly recognised by the actuarial industry. It means a lot to me.”

Vaishno and her supervisor Dr Andreas Tsanakas, Reader in Actuarial Science at Cass, attended a special Chairman’s dinner at London’s Trinity House to collect the award. Vaishno also received a grant of £3,000.

“It was a fantastic evening,” Vaishno continued. “I was able to meet a lot of top-level actuaries, the Managing Director, CEO and Chairman of SCOR, and many distinguished professors. It was particularly pleasing when the judges pointed out specific aspects of my paper that they found interesting.

“I have received excellent support from Dr Tsanakas as my advisor, and I am so grateful for his continuous guidance.”

Dr Tsanakas said:

“In addition to her technical competence, Vaishno has impressed me with her commitment, enthusiasm and engagement with the project and is very deserving of this accolade.

“We are proud of this award, as it reflects our focus at Cass on producing actuarial research that, through rigorous methods, addresses real problems that the insurance industry faces. We are grateful to SCOR for offering these research prizes, not just for fostering the links between academia and industry but also for specifically recognising the achievements of young and promising researchers.”

three men and a woman standing alongside each other

Vaishno is the latest in a long line of SCOR Award winners from Cass. Last year saw Luo Pengziwei collect the award for her MSc paper, while in 2016 the same prize was presented to Ree (Yongqing) Chen.

Read more about the MSc Actuarial Science programme at Cass.

Find out more about PhD programmes at Cass.