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CAS Launches Monograph Series

This January witnessed the publication of the inaugural volume of the new CAS Monograph Series.

Several years ago a CAS publications task force recommended that the CAS embark on the path of producing a new publication of a series of monographs. The efforts of many people spanning a period of more than five years culminated at the end of 2014 with the publication of the inaugural volume of the new series.

Broadly defined, a monograph is an authoritative work on an important topic in the property and casualty actuarial field. A monograph is like a Variance article in that it is an authoritative, peer-reviewed work relevant to P&C actuaries. It is unlike Variance in that there is no length limitation and monographs will be published on an irregular schedule keyed to when monographs are produced. Submission guidelines can be found on the CAS website.

The first monograph, Stochastic Loss Reserving Using Bayesian MCMC Models, was written by Glenn Meyers, a regular contributor to CAS publications. Posted on the CAS website, the volume very briefly examines two popular loss reserving methods, develops an innovative validation methodology, uses the CAS database of loss development triangles to test the predictive power of these methods, identifies some unexpected tendencies and proposes ways to overcome those limitations using Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods. Supporting software, designed to enable users to apply the methodologies described in the monograph proper, is also posted on the CAS website.

The monograph publication process is managed by the Monograph Editorial Board (MEB) in close coordination with the CAS publications staff. At present the monograph pipeline is very well populated by several high-quality submissions in various stages of production on a variety of important topics. Moreover, the MEB, in conjunction with the Syllabus Committee, recently announced a call for Monographs on subject of “Predictive Modeling in P&C Insurance Ratemaking and Pricing.” This call is expected to generate several quality monographs on this important topic to supplement the CAS literature in this area.

The Monograph Series initiative fulfills the goal of creating an important addition to the existing body of CAS literature. Each monograph will enable the comprehensive treatment of a single subject. Monographs will also provide for the systematic archiving of the results produced by various CAS working parties and research groups. It is one of many new initiatives the CAS will be implementing as it enters its second 100 years.

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Note:  As the level of monograph activity increases, there is a greater need for interested volunteers. If interested in exploring these opportunities, contact the author or Donna Royston (

Stan Khury is principal for Bass & Khury in Las Vegas.