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4th edition of the European Actuarial Journal Conference

26 September 2018

Last September, the 4th edition of the European Actuarial Journal Conference was held in Leuven, Belgium. The conference has been hosted by the Insurance Group of the Faculty, in collaboration with LRisk, the Leuven research Centre in financial and actuarial risk analysis, with Alumni & Friends Actuariaat Leuven, and with KU Leuven’s Congress service Centre.

The conference covered the wide field of actuarial science, pension fund matters, insurance and reinsurance, mathematical finance and analytics, risk management and solvency. The aim of the conference was to present cutting-edge research on these topics and to bring together researchers and practicing actuaries to discuss current topics in insurance. Most presentations focused on the core business of the actuaries, with innovative algorithms on investment and risk calculation in life and non-life business.

Two days of deep dive into how the new technologies (machine learning, graph networks for fraud detection and so on) and new studies can radically innovate and automate the insurance business.

Ageas and KBC CEO’S, Bart de Smet and Johan Thijs were awarded the title of Distinguished KU Leuven Actuary by the rector of KU Leuven, prof. dr. Luc Sels. In a panel discussion led by prime-time news anchor and journalist Wim De Vilder, both captains of industry reflected on how their actuarial studies influenced their career.


Both shared their vision on the hot topics in the financial industry. Increasing regulation and the risk of overregulation, where people focus on filling the right templates instead of focusing on reducing business risks. Apparently already a reality in banking, but with insurance closely following.

The most important topic remains digitalization of the industry. Interaction with customers remains a people-oriented activity, more so than in banks. Given the complexity of the insurance product, the fact that it must be sold to customers rather than customers buying it spontaneously and the number of interactions between an insurer and a customer is low. The latter is the main reason for the lack of popularity of insurance apps in comparison with banking apps. This doesn’t mean digitalization is not important for insurance. The last decade a lot of progress has been made in automating processes and introduction of Artificial Intelligence will only fasten the pace.

Nowadays, the forces of digital disruption continue to impact organizations of every size and in every industry, as consumers, employees, and partners expect everything to be on demand and fully connected. At a business level, there is now growing impatience to make digital transformation a reality.

In his keynote “Enhancing digital capabilities across the insurance life-cycle”, Bart van Bowel, Managing Partner at CDI-Partners, with more than 25 years of experience in Insurance, defined digital transformation as the integration of digital technology with all areas of business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to the customer”.

“Insurers can’t fake to be digital anymore”, Bart said, “they cannot act as if they are digital to the outside world, if they’re not fully digital internally”.


Internal digitalization includes enterprise content management, as this is lagging far behind compared to transactional processing. Here is where Xenit, as Alfresco certified partners and experienced information management solution and products provider, makes the difference.

Xenit has helped insurers of all sizes re-architect their organizations to be more agile and innovative, to reduce total cost of operations and ownership, implement automated security and compliance protocols, and improve the entire insurance lifecycle – including underwriting, policy, billing, and claims.

Successful companies, like P&V and Ethias, well-known Belgian insurers, have implemented multimillion archives, using the highly scalable architecture of Alfresco, moving documents into the cloud and integrating their applications in a secure and reliable environment.

Having control over enterprise content is important, not only for digital transformation, but also for security and data protection and other relevant legislation. Indeed, almost two thirds of all GDPR breaches are related to unstructured data


Today, companies face a time of tremendous change, thanks to shifting economic circumstances, changing customer expectations, and increased competition from new players in the market. To meet these challenges and barriers, the insurance industry is turning to digital transformation.

Insurance is looking for more than just modernization of core systems. They expect a successful digital, analytics, and organizational transformation that can enable them to unlock the full potential of a core transformation has provided to them.

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