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Mack Awarded 2009 Hachemeister Prize

Thomas Mack has been honored as the 2009 prizewinner of the Charles A. Hachemeister Prize for his paper, “The Prediction Error of Bornhuetter-Ferguson.”
Thomas Mack
Thomas Mack

Designed to promote property/casualty-oriented papers published in an international forum, the Hachemeister Prize was created to honor Charles Hachemeister’s many contributions to Actuarial Studies in Non-Life Insurance (ASTIN) and his efforts to establish a closer relationship between the CAS and ASTIN. As a result, eligible papers for the prize must have appeared in the previous year’s ASTIN Bulletin or been presented at the previous year’s ASTIN Colloquium.   

A new CAS Research & Development committee, the Hachemeister Prize Committee, was created in 2008 to oversee the selection of the prizewinner. Under the guidance of chairperson Atul Malhotra, the committee culled one winner from a list of nearly 100 eligible papers to one winner by way of a systematic process conducted over a two-month period earlier this year. Criteria considered when judging papers includes impact to the industry, practicality of application, originality, readability, and completeness.   

“The Prediction Error of Bornhuetter/Ferguson” effectively describes a formula for calculating the prediction error for one of the most popular claims reserving methods—something that had been missing in actuarial literature up to this point. Therefore, the paper definitely filled a gap. Also, the approach described was very practical and implementable. The committee concurred that Dr. Mack’s paper would have a decided impact on the work of casualty actuaries in North America.   

Dr. Mack was honored at the 2009 ASTIN Colloquium in Helsinki, Finland in June. He has also been invited to present his paper at the CAS Annual Meeting in November in Boston, MA.   

Three papers that scored well in the review process were acknowledged with an “Honorable Mention.” Those papers are: “Allocation of Capital between Assets and Liabilities” by Yingjie Zhang; “Credibility for the Chain Ladder Reserving Method” by Alois Gisler and Mario Wüthrich; and “Robust Bayesian Analysis of Loss Reserves Data Using the Generalized-t Distribution” by Jennifer S.K. Chan, S.T. Boris Choy, and Udi E. Makov.   

These three papers provide excellent educational value.   

Dr. Mack also won the first ever Hachemeister Prize in 1994 for his paper, “Which Stochastic Model is Underlying the Chain Ladder Method?”

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