September 27, 2012, by Fraser

Remembering Nottingham’s Professor Bob Carter

Emeritus Professor Robert Carter OBE BSc(Econ) DPhil FCII FIRM FRSA – the UK’s first pioneer of university teaching and research in insurance and risk management – has died.

Career highlights 

Bob Carter started his career with Norwich Union in Birmingham, later transferring to the Home Fire Underwriting Department at Norwich. He became one of the youngest ever to achieve the fellowship of the Chartered Insurance Institute and was awarded the Institute’s Morgan Owen medal — the insurance world’s most prestigious essay prize — soon after.

In 1957 he left Norwich to become Assistant Insurance Manager at Dunlop Rubber in Birmingham. After obtaining his external BSc (Econ) degree from London University, he began teaching some CII subjects at what was then the Birmingham College of Commerce.

Bitten by the teaching bug

Bob later wrote, “The teaching bug bit me. So when Brighton College of Technology advertised a Lectureship in Economics and Insurance I applied, was successful and moved to Brighton in 1963”.

Bob joined The University of Nottingham in 1969 as Senior Lecturer in Industrial Economics.  In 1975, he was appointed as the first Norwich Union Professor of Insurance Studies, and remained in post until 1990 when he retired early because of ill-health. During his tenure at the University, Bob developed some of the UK’s first undergraduate and diploma courses in insurance and risk management, and travelled extensively both nationally and internationally to promote the academic study of insurance.

Impact at Nottingham

Bob’s collation of insurance statistics laid the foundation for the use of such data by a generation of insurance researchers at Nottingham. His textbook on reinsurance has also been an important source of reference for students and industry practitioners.

He played a large part in instigating the UK Insurance Economists’ Conference at The University of Nottingham, which was first held in 1979 and has since run annually, as a forum for academics and practitioners to meet and discuss the latest insurance research. Bob himself presented five papers to the conference, from 1984 to 1998. The range of topics he covered was wide – from the London market to the US and UK insurance markets, together with a paper on the environment and liability insurance. Bob continued to attend conferences thereafter, and took an active part in the event in 2012.

Bob was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1991 for services to the UK insurance industry.

Later years

After his retirement, Bob continued to write prolifically on insurance, reinsurance and risk management, and to act as editor of three well-regarded practitioner handbooks. His books include Economics and Insurance (PH Press), British Insurance Industry: A Statistical Review (Springer), The Handbook of Insurance (Kluwer), and Reinsurance (Reactions). Success in Insurance (John Murray), written with Stephen Diacon, was a widely-read introduction to the subject. His last book, published in 2009 and co-authored with Peter Falush was “The British Insurance Industry since 1900: the era of transformation” (Macmillan). He also acted as a member of the CRIS Advisory Board until 2002.

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