Research Assistant (Environmental Risk Reporting Research)

Location
Working remotely
Salary
Competitive salary
Posted
19 Sep 2017
Closes
13 Oct 2017
Contract Type
Permanent
Hours
Full Time

Research Assistant (Environmental Risk Reporting Research) The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) is seeking a Research Assistant for a short-term project to assist one of its working parties, the Environmental Risk Reporting Working Party (ERR WP; chaired by Professor Paul Klumpes), which was established in early 2017.

Activities

The research assistant will be required to:

  • assist the ERRWP with the analysis of a chosen set of risk reporting disclosures by a sample of UK Listed firms and pensions schemes from their latest 2014 - 2017 Annual Report and Accounts; and
  • help prepare the tabulation of empirical results and findings of our analysis and the drafting of the final report.

It is anticipated that the work will require the successful applicant to provide up to 80 hours intense research work over a period of six weeks between 13 November 2017 and 5 January 2018.

This will allow the working party to finalise the substantive research needed to complete its discussion paper by the deadline of 31 March 2018.

Person specification Experience

  • A postgraduate qualification in reporting/actuarial science or a related discipline such as finance, business or management science.
  • Previous research experience in an academic or commercial environment. 
  • Familiarity with enterprise risk management frameworks.
  • Experience of report writing for a variety of audiences including academic and business.

Skills

  • Strong analytical skills and an ability to synthesise information.
  • Excellent communication skills including report writing and presentation skills.
  • Familiarity with MS packages such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
  • Time management and the ability to work to tight deadlines.

Eligibility

  • It is essential that the applicant is entitled to work in the UK.
  • The Research Assistant selected by the IFoA will be engaged as an independent contractor and not as an employee of the IFoA.

Background

The Environmental Risk Reporting Working Party (ERR WP) was set up to develop and refine further thought leadership on this subject area promoted by the IFoA, first with the Risk Reporting working paper published in BAJ Volume 19(3) and subsequently a joint working party paper concerning the impact of new Revised Corporate Code requirements for risk reporting, published in BAJ Volume 21(2). The ERR WP was established in the light of ongoing concerns about the impact of climate change on various aspects of actuarial work, ranging from pension fund valuation reports to general insurance pricing. The working party is wishing to undertake further research concerning the impact of these developments on environmental risk-related practices in reporting by a range of insurance companies and pension funds. It is anticipated that a final deliverable paper will be submitted for publication in British Actuarial Journal by the end of 2018.

Importance of topic

Environmental risk reporting is an increasingly important topic both for external reporting to shareholders (via disclosure of Environmental, Social and Governance information) as well as for regulatory purposes (e.g. the production of integrated and/or sustainability reports). The actuarial profession has a unique insight into this topic and it is important to get more research published; particularly in relation to the increasing role of narrative, sustainability and climate change issues. There are also UK-specific issues related to environmental risk reporting and the need for better explanation of risk tolerance and risk resilience information under the Corporate Code. The Financial Reporting Council has recently issued requirements for risk reporting in the Revised Corporate Code issued in September 2014. The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board issued guidance on these issues, while the Prudential Regulatory Authority has issued regulatory guidance and recommendations concerning the impact of climate change on the UK insurance industry.

Outcomes

The main outcomes from the ERR WP project will be a report that:

  • summarises the current and future guidelines, protocols, standards and rules in relation to the impact of climate change and environmental risk,
  • summarises the risk reporting of listed insurance firms and pensions schemes and, based on their disclosures, the risk management processes that they have adopted,
  • provides a view of differences in practice by size of firm and by type of company,
  • provides a view and examples of best practice (and potentially poor practice).

The paper will be disseminated through a number of channels within the actuarial profession and with other external interested parties such as the FRC, listed companies and in conjunction with other professional groups.

Applications

If you have any queries regarding your application please contact chiara.mccormack@actuaries.org.uk. Please note that this role will be advertised between 14 September and 13 October 2017.

To apply, please complete the following steps by 13 October 2017 at 12 noon at the latest:

  1. Complete the application form (https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EnvironRisk)
  2. Submit your CV to chiara.mccormack@actuaries.org.uk

Applicants will be notified no later than Friday 27 October 2017 if they are to be called for interview. Interviews will be held by phone between Tuesday 31 October and Friday 3 November 2017.

A fee of £1350 is payable on successful completion of the project and deliverables.

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