IFoA Middle East Conference 2024: Dubai

Please note

All times are GST (BST +3 hours)

Booking for the Dubai stage of the conference is now closed.

Wed 15 May 2024, 17:00 -
Thu 16 May 2024, 18:10

Welcome to the inaugural IFoA Middle East Conference, where industry leaders, aspiring professionals, and experts converge to shape the future of actuarial science in the region.

Join us in Dubai for dynamic discussions, insightful sessions, and unparalleled networking opportunities. Watch this space for the full list of speakers and topics.

It’s an opportunity to:

  • gain valuable insights into emerging trends and developments in actuarial science, risk management, and financial services
  • network with fellow professionals, thought leaders, and key decision-makers from the Middle East and around the globe
  • explore innovative solutions, best practices, and case studies presented by renowned speakers and industry experts
  • elevate your career prospects, expand your knowledge base, and stay ahead of the curve in today’s rapidly evolving landscape


Activity Time Details
IFoA new qualifiers ceremony 16:15 - 17:00
Conference registration and networking reception 17:00 - 19:00
Activity Time Details
Registration 08:00 - 08:45
IFoA President update 08:45 - 09:00 IFoA President update Read more

IFoA President Kalpana Shah

Kalpana brings 30 years of business experience in the insurance and investment industry. She was longstanding Group Chief Actuary and Partner at Hiscox until 2016. She is now one of a handful of female Chairs in the insurance industry, a non-executive director of several organisations and a member of the Capacity Transfer Panel for Lloyd’s of London.

She is also a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Insurers and member of Court of the Worshipful Company of Actuaries. She has Chaired and contributed to committees for the IFoA, Bank of England, Lloyd's of London and the Bermuda Monetary Authority. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kalpana headed the first voluntary team of actuaries helping the UK’s National Health Service with emergency analytics and planning.

Kalpana is a regular judge for the Women in Insurance Awards and a frequent speaker on insurance and diversity related topics. Over the years she has been recognised for her work by organisations including the Institute of Directors, Financial Times, Cranfield University, Insurance Insider and Brummell Magazine.

Keynote and CEO panel 09:00 - 10:00 Keynote and CEO panel Read more

Keynoter speaker: Ian Johnston, CEO of the Dubai Financial Services Authority

CEO panel:

  • Moderator: Omer Morshed - CEO, SHMA
  • Mohamed Seghir, CEO, Hayah
  • Owais Ansari, CEO, Munich Re
  • Walter Jopp, CEO, Salama
  • Dr Abdul Zahra A Ali, CEO, National General Insurance (NGI)
Regulatory panel 10:00 - 11:00 Read more
  • Moderator: Priyank Gupta, Principal and Consulting Actuary, Lux
  • Jaffar Iqbal, Actuary and IFRS 17 Lead, QFCRA 
  • Hany Helmy, Senior Manager, Supervision, DFSA
  • Falak Soomro, Advisor Insurance, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan
Refreshments and exhibition 11:00 - 11:30
Transfer time 11:30 - 11:40
Workshop A1 11:40 - 12:30 Pricing: beyond GLM, leveraging machine learning Read more

Accurate technical pricing is of critical importance commercially and, in many instances, the regulatory responsibility of actuaries. There are significant opportunities to enhance technical approaches we use for pricing. This interactive workshop introduces common machine learning techniques increasingly used in developed markets to supplement GLM. It presents analysis and results based on (anonymised) market data to ensure this is relevant and recognises the realities of the local market.

Hasham Esmail Piperdy, BADRI

Workshop A2 11:40 - 12:30 Are state sponsored pension systems in the GCC sustainable? Read more

This session explores the pressing issue of sustainability in state-sponsored pension systems in the GCC. It examines common challenges, demographic changes, recent reform initiatives, and areas for further improvement.

The talk is designed for pensions actuaries and investment professionals. It provides valuable insights based on Mercer Middle Eas’s involvement in the 2023 pension reforms in the UAE and data from the Mercer CFA Global Pensions Index 2023.

Qamar Shazad, Mercer Middle East

Lunch and prayer time 12:30 - 14:10
Transfer time 14:10 - 14:20
Workshop B1 14:20 - 15:10 Solvency II: a useful background to risk-based capital and ORSA process Read more

Risk-basked capital and own risk and solvency assessment (ORSA) are matters of current interest in the Middle East with regional implementations underway. Some overlaps exist with the requirements of the EU’s solvency regime for insurers and reinsurers (Solvency II), which has been in effect since 2016.

This presentation provides a theoretical background to Solvency II and highlights some practical considerations in relation to its application by actuaries.

It covers the aims and pillars of the regulation (quantitative requirements, qualitative requirements, and reporting and disclosure), and how the pillars interact.

The presentation is tailored for a wide audience and is:

  • a refresher for actuaries who work in areas other than risk-based capital
  • an essentials guide for non-actuarial senior executives in insurance companies
  • a technically accessible introduction for actuarial students

By the end of the presentation the speaker aims for the audience to have an understanding of the purpose, structure, and outputs of each pillar of Solvency II (for example solvency capital requirements, ORSA, and public and private reporting).

Yasmeen Husain

Workshop B2 14:20 - 15:10 Actuaries in banking: opportunities in quantitative risk management Read more

Historically, the actuarial profession has been synonymous with the insurance and pension industries. However, the technical skillsets and professional standards offered by the profession can be applied across diverse industries and sectors. Banking and finance is one of the prominent industries where actuaries can add tangible value by undertaking non-traditional roles.

This session is aimed at spreading awareness about opportunities for actuaries in the banking and finance industry considering several recent developments in the industry which have led to an exponential increase in use of quantitative and forward-looking models for risk management.

Yash Ratanpal and Abhinava Bajpai, Acies Consulting LLP

Transfer time 15:10 - 15:20
Workshop C1 15:20 - 16:10 Exploring the future of general insurance pricing in the Middle East Read more

Amidst a dynamic landscape influenced by factors like inflation, shifting regulations, and competitive pressures, general insurance pricing continues to evolve, presenting intriguing opportunities for actuaries.

This session presents an insightful session tailored for the Middle East insurance markets. It delves into the exciting prospects shaping the future of general insurance pricing.

Among other topics, the talk covers:

  • real-time portfolio monitoring: stay ahead of the curve by leveraging cutting-edge techniques to monitor risk outliers seamlessly
  • machine learning applications: discover how machine learning algorithms can revolutionise non-risk models, from predicting propensity-to-buy to clustering vehicle brands for targeted segmentation strategies
  • AI-assisted modelling: overcome resource constraints without compromising regulatory compliance; explore the integration of AI-assisted functionalities into traditional GLM/GAM modelling processes for enhanced efficiency

Dawid Kopczyk and Mikołaj Skraburski, Quantee

Workshop C2 15:20 - 16:10 Public and private partnerships: climate change Read more

Gallagher Re has been working with government entities across the MENA region to create CAT pools to enable protection for an increasing amount of CAT events in the region. It has set up CAT pools in Algeria and Morocco and is working to do so in Oman and Egypt.

The presentation covers:

  • the basics of CAT pools
  • the role of actuaries in the helping this
  • the impact on the reinsurance industry
  • examples of public and private partnerships and recent events in Morocco

Reena Gandesha, Gallagher Re

Refreshments and exhibition 16:10 - 16:50
Transfer time 16:50 - 17:00
Professionalism 17:00 - 18:00 Read more

Imran Haider

Chair’s closing remarks and conference close 18:00 - 18:10

Featured Speakers

Chief Executive, Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)

Ian Johnston was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA in 2022, a position he previously held from 2012 to 2018.

From 2018 until his reappointment, Mr Johnston provided advice and consultancy to a number of regulatory bodies across the Middle East, Europe and Asia, including on projects funded by the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Originally a lawyer, Mr Johnston held a number of senior positions within the financial sector, including as CEO of one of Australia’s major trustee companies. In 1999, Mr Johnston moved into regulation joining the Australian Securities and Investments Commission as Executive Director, Financial Services Regulation, and spent several terms as an Acting Commissioner. He served as a Special Advisor with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission from 2005.

Mr Johnston’s impact extends globally as he chaired the Joint Forum, which comprised representatives of major international regulatory standard-setters such as the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), and the Basel Committee.

Currently, Mr Johnston serves as Vice Chair of the IOSCO’s Africa and Middle East Regional Committee and as an IOSCO Board member. His wealth of experience and commitment to regulatory excellence positions him as a distinguished figure in the global financial landscape.

Mr Johnston is a Board member of two non-profit organisations, the Fred Hollows Foundation (HK) and Opera Scholars Australia.

Thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors


Shangri-La Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, United Arab Emirates

Events Team

Contact our Events Team for more information.