The award was given in recognition of his outstanding leadership, pioneering research in the field of actuarial mathematics and quantitative risk management and his contribution to higher education.
Professor Embrechts is Professor of Mathematics at the ETH Zurich, specialising in Actuarial Mathematics and Quantitative Risk Management. As the Director of RiskLab at ETH Zurich, an interdisciplinary research centre, he leads a team focusing on cutting-edge research on statistical modelling and quantitative risk management in insurance and finance.
Born in Antwerp, the son of a policeman, Paul was the first in his family to go to university. He credits his school maths teacher, Omer Wyenberg, with fostering his early passion in mathematics and setting him on the path to academic success.
After school, Paul read Mathematics at the University of Antwerp, specialising in probability theory and actuarial mathematics. After the award of his PhD in 1979, at the University of Leuven, he headed to Westfield College, which was then part of the University of London. It was the start of a varied and rewarding international academic career which has included positions at leading research institutions including the Universities of Leuven, Limburg and Imperial College London.
Today he is recognised as a leader in the field of mathematical actuarial research and throughout his career has built a strong global network of colleagues and collaborators across academic institutions and industry. He has published over 200 scientific publications to date and has co-authored seminal books such as Modelling of Extremal Events for Insurance andFinance and Quantitative Risk Management: Concepts, Techniques and Tools.
Paul has held numerous visiting professorships at international universities including the Scuola Normale in Pisa, the London School of Economics, the University of Oxford and Hong Kong University. He is an elected Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association, Honorary Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, UK, and Institut des actuaires, France and Member Honoris Causa of the Belgian Institute of Actuaries.
Professor Marianne Lewis, Dean, Cass Business School said:
“Those nominated for our honorary doctorates have achieved high professional or academic distinction in their fields and are considered outstanding role models for our students. Today, we are delighted to confer the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science on Paul Embrechts.
“At Cass we are proud of our Faculty of Actuarial Science and Insurance, one of the leading Actuarial Science departments in the world. Paul has a long association with the Faculty and we are delighted that he will now be formalising his relationship with us in this way.”