Norwich Union sponsors new chair at University of East Anglia

Article date: 3 December 2008

Norwich Union and The University of East Anglia (UEA) are announcing today a new chair within the University's School of Computing Sciences. The appointment, which is sponsored by the insurer, part of Aviva, will be the Aviva Chair in Insurance Statistics.

The initiative is designed to explore in depth the statistical nature of risk which is fundamental to the insurance business. It is at the core of calculating a customer's individual insurance premium, for example in determining the flood risk of a home or the theft risk of a car. Statistical analysis is also now being used to benefit customers coming up to retirement, examining how annuities are affected by external factors such as a customer's health, lifestyle and where they live.

The new arrangement will strengthen existing relationships between Norwich Union and the University, and will help to further advance the statistical capability within the business. The initial agreement is for three years.

Clive Bolton, director of annuity business and pricing for Norwich Union, says: "This is an exiting development for both parties. It will secure expertise that will give Norwich Union a real competitive advantage.

"By its very nature, insurance is founded on risk, so staying at the forefront of statistical developments is essential to the future of the business. This arrangement with one of the country's foremost academic institutions will help ensure that this objective is achieved."

Dan Pickens, personal lines director for Norwich Union, adds: "This is a great opportunity for academics and business people to work together. This exciting partnership will ensure that Norwich Union stays at the cutting edge of statistical development allowing Norwich Union and UEA to mutually benefit from the development and implementation of leading edge statistical techniques."

Professor Vic Rayward-Smith, head of the university's school of computing sciences, says: "We are delighted to receive this sponsorship. The funding of this chair will strengthen further the already strong relationship between two of Norwich's most important organisations.

"Statistical techniques are a major research area within the School and for many years, we have worked with Norwich Union helping them to analyse their own customer databases and to develop accurate pricing and marketing strategies.

"Norwich Union has also taken a keen interest in the University's new undergraduate degree in Actuarial Science and the new Aviva Chair will join academics in Computing Sciences, Mathematics and Business to provide an appropriate degree programme for the actuary of the 21st Century."

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For further information:

Norwich Union
Sarah Poulter
Telephone: 01904 452828 
Mobile: 07800 695 275

University of East Anglia
Annie Ogden          
Telephone: 01603 592764
E-mail: press@uea.ac.uk

Notes to editors:

About Norwich Union
Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer.  It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment products and one of the largest financial adviser (FA) providers. FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK.

Norwich Union is the UK's largest general insurer with a market share of around 14%, with a focus on insurance for individuals and small businesses.

Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media

University of East Anglia

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is an internationally-renowned, research-led university. Around 15,000 students from more than 100 countries and over 3,000 staff enjoy its architecturally distinguished campus on the edge of the city of Norwich. UEA is known for its pioneering and collaborative approach to teaching and research.    For more information, see: www.uea.ac.uk/

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