The ICIR Experience

I started as Doctoral Student and Research Assistant at the International Center for Insurance Regulation (ICIR) in October 2012. I arrived at the center just few years after its foundation and it felt like joining a start-up, with a reputation and a prestige yet to be built. Joining at that time was on the one hand a great opportunity to be part of such a unique venture, but on the other hand it gave my colleagues and myself a great responsibility. Looking at the ICIR now, we can be proud of what has been achieved thus far.

I recall my early days with great excitement: the environment was superb and the opportunities to get in touch with policy makers, industry experts and high caliber researchers were countless. The center quickly gained attention within the insurance community: the combination of cutting edge research and the involvement in the policy debate were key to the success. In addition, the close cooperation with EIOPA in the organization of the “Global Insurance Supervision” conference made the ICIR an absolute reference institution in the debate on insurance regulation.

My little contribution to the success of the ICIR came mainly from my research: right at the beginning of my doctoral studies, I worked together with Prof. Gründl on the effects of low interest rates on life insurers. The analytical framework we developed attracted some interest from supervisors and central banks. Thus, few years, I developed a similar framework for the financial stability division of the ECB. Through this experience I realized how much sharp research can help in dealing with real life problems.

The time I spent at the ICIR was intense but at the same time enjoyable. I learned a lot as a student and I grew enormously as a professional. The ICIR provided me with a unique platform to develop my ideas and to participate to the policy debate in insurance. Now in my new career as insurance professional I will continue to be an ambassador of the ICIR in the world.


Asset & Liability Management in Life Insurance
Systemic Risk & Financial Stability
Solvency Capital Requirements
Corporate Finance


Published Work:

Berdin, Elia and Helmut Gründl (2015). The Effects of a Low Interest Rate Environment on Life Insurers, The Geneva Papers, advance online publication

Financial Stability Review - Special Feature: Euro area insurers and the low interest rate environment (Berdin, Kok, Mikkonen, Pancaro,  Vendrell Simon), European Central Bank - November 2015:

Working Papers:

Insurance Activities and Systemic Risk (2014, with Matteo Sottocornola)

Work in Progress:

The Effect of Interest Rate and Longevity Risk on the Solvency and the Risk Taking Behavior of Life Insurers

Research Projects

The Impact of Interest Rate and Mortality Risks on the Solvency Situation of Life Insurance Companies, sponsored by the German Association for Insurance Science (Deutscher Verein für Versicherungswissenschaft)

Conference and Seminar Participation


Seminar on Quantitative Techniques in Financial Stability for Insurance, EIOPA, Frankfurt a.M.
2015Seminar on Insurance, European Systemic Risk Board, Frankfurt a.M
2015Stress Test Seminar, EIOPA, Frankfurt a.M., Germany
2015Systemic Risk Workshop, Temple University, Philadelphia (PA), U.S.A.
2015Annual Congress of the German Insurance Science Association, Berlin


Systemic Risk and Regulation Seminar, L’Autoritè de contrôle prudentiel et de rèsolution, Banque de France, Paris, France

2014Roundtable on Low Interest Rate Environment, OECD Insurance and Private Pensions Committee, Paris
201441st Seminar of the European Group of Risk and Insurance Economists, St. Gallen, Switzerland
2014Annual Meeting of the American Risk and Insurance Association, Seattle, U.S.A.
2014Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Risk and Insurance Association, Moscow, Russia
2014Generali Group Internal Seminar, Trieste, Italy
2014Annual Meeting of the German Association for Insurance Science, Stuttgart, Germany
2013Bundesbank Lunch Seminar, Frankfurt a. M., Germany
2013Doctoral Workshop Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
2013Center for Quantitative Risk Analysis CEQURA Conference, Munich, Germany
2013Annual Meeting of the German Association for Insurance Science, Berlin, Germany
Lectures Assisted
Winter TermRisk Management in Insurance Companies (Bachelor Seminar), TA for Mr. Tom Wilson, PhD (CRO Allianz Group)
Summer TermRisk Management and Insurance (Master Course), TA for Prof.Dr. Helmut Gründl