Published on 13 Feb 2023

In Memory of Professor Tan Ken Seng

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Professor Ken Seng Tan, a cherished friend and colleague, a renowned mentor, and a tireless advocate for educational reform, on 1 January 2023.

Prof Tan Ken Seng

Prof Tan joined Nanyang Technological University (NTU) as a full professor in 2019 and had been a key member of the Nanyang Business School (NBS). He was the Director of the Insurance Risk and Finance Research Centre (IRFRC). He took charge of the actuarial science, risk management, and insurance section after being named the Division of Banking & Finance's Deputy Division Head in November 2020. In 2021, he was awarded the President's Chair in Actuarial Risk Management. Prof Tan was elected Chair of the 8th Senate for NTU in September 2022. 

Before joining NTU, Prof Tan held the Canada Research Chair Professor in Quantitative Risk Management in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo, Canada, and the Associate Director of the Waterloo Research Institute in Insurance, Securities and Quantitative Finance (WatRISQ). He was also affiliated with the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE), Beijing, China, as the Honourable Director of the China Institute for Actuarial Science, where he had made significant and long-lasting contributions to Chinese actuarial education and research.

Prof Tan worked hard to improve the undergraduate actuarial science and insurance programmes at NTU. He successfully pushed the NBS Actuarial Science (ACS) programme's application to the Centre of Actuarial Excellence (CAE), recognized by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) in the United States in May 2022, making our ACS program the first and only programme in Singapore to be accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), UK, and recognised as a CAE by the SOA. Additionally, he updated the Risk Analytics (RA) specialisation from the original Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) programme. The updated specialisation was launched successfully in 2021, and in the second year, the number of students doubled. In order to promote NBS programmes and fortify the industrial links, Prof Tan established relationships with several industry partners, including Manulife, SCOR, Prudential, and Munich Re.

Prof Tan Ken Seng

Prof Tan was also a valued member of the Global Asia Insurance Partnership (GAIP). In collaboration with GAIP, he used his expertise to advance research projects that address issues with substantial societal implications and develop new talent by offering a variety of scholarships and career opportunities. His excellent temperament and upbeat outlook enhanced the impact of the energy, drive, and passion he brought to his work. Prof Tan’s contributions to actuarial science research and instruction will be greatly appreciated by the community.

Globally known as a scholar and educator, Prof Tan was adored by his pupils and peers alike. He created a lasting impression on the academic community and the business world by encouraging countless students to pursue their interests in actuarial science, quantitative finance, risk management, and related subjects. He served as an active member of the editorial boards of numerous important actuarial publications and authored more than 140 research papers and book chapters. Numerous awards were given to Prof Tan, including the 1996–1997 Redington Prize, and the 2001–2003 and 2012 Charles A. Hachemeister Awards from the NAAJ. Based on his years of leadership in enterprise risk management, the SOA selected him as one of the twenty-four inaugural Chartered Enterprise Risk Analysts (CERA) in 2007.

Prof Tan Ken Seng


In addition to his scholarly accomplishments, Prof Tan was renowned for his generosity and kindness. Whether it was a student having trouble with their coursework or a fellow employee in need, he was always prepared to provide a helping hand. He had a profound impact on the lives of many and consistently prioritized the well-being of all, especially his students. For tens of thousands of pupils across the world, he served as an inspiration. All who knew him will sincerely miss his compassion and generosity.

A memorial service will be held in honour of Professor Tan on 8 March 2023. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.