Martin Clarke CB FIA, former Government Actuary (2024)

The former Government Actuary Martin Clarke CB FIA, who passed away on 5 June, was a lifelong advocate of the importance of the work of actuaries. He believed their skills and work can help people and governments make better decisions.

Martin will be sadly missed by his friends, former colleagues and contemporaries. He made a huge contribution to the industry and in his 9 years as Government Actuary.

Fiona Dunsire, who took over the role of Government Actuary following Martin’s retirement in 2023, said: “It was a great shock to us at GAD to hear the sad news of Martin’s death and his loss will be felt by everyone who knew him in the profession. Martin was a leader and innovator here and we see his legacy every day in our work with clients.”

Early years

Martin grew up in Salford and attended Canon Slade Grammar School in Bolton and then read mathematics at Jesus College, Cambridge.

He gained the fellowship of the actuarial profession in 1982 and was an alumnus of the General Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2003.

Public service career

Following an extensive actuarial and general management career within the retail financial services industry, Martin began his public service in 2006 at the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). As Executive Director of Financial Risk, he led the actuarial, investments and financial risk functions as the PPF grew to manage funds of £30 billion during that period.

He moved to GAD in 2014 and in an interview before his retirement, he spoke about his role: “I had a little idea of what to expect when I joined. I just didn’t then fully appreciate the extent, nature and reach of the department’s work.

“One of the great pleasures of my role has been seeing and enabling potential to be turned into reality. Be that a project that evolves from a blank sheet of paper to a stunning bit of work for our clients or seeing colleagues develop and flourish in their roles. To be involved with those things is a real privilege and they are what I will miss the most.”

Martin Clarke CB FIA, former Government Actuary (1)

Memorable leader

During his time as Government Actuary Martin changed the structure and focus of GAD, emphasising excellent client service as well as laying the foundations for our future technical capability through the development of the Analytical Solutions Team (AST) - an in-house function which consolidated our data analysis skills.

Chris Daniels, Head of AST recalls its creation: “I found Martin to be very supportive of efforts to evolve AST while also offering valid challenge to those efforts. He was constantly enthusiastic about the potential of AST, and GAD, to improve the Civil Service.”

Matt Gurden, Deputy Government Actuary, added: “Martin encouraged GAD to make an even bigger difference supporting government to address big issues. Over the last decade, I’ve seen that interest and enthusiasm lead to whole new areas of work such as supporting government risk pools, providing pensions administration support and developing climate change analysis.”

Dave Johnston, Actuarial Director said: “Martin was truly invested in GAD’s development and our success. His tenure at GAD resulted in a blossoming of our talent pool and opportunities for our people to work in areas beyond traditional actuarial domains.”

People from client organisations and former colleagues have also expressed their condolences.

Helen Vernon, Chief Executive, NHS Resolution: “Martin’s integrity and wisdom shone through in his distinguished career in public service. He was incredibly modest but had a tremendous depth of knowledge and insight and a unique talent for de-mystifying the complex and helping others to learn. He was a wonderful and wise colleague and will be greatly missed.”

Colin Wilson, former Deputy Government Actuary: “He was intelligent, hard-working, supportive, wise, sometimes blunt and with huge integrity. He modernised the way the department works, embracing the appropriate use of AI, and encouraged us always to look forwards rather than back. He will be sadly missed.”

Broader contribution

Throughout his career, Martin had wider interests in other organisations. He was a non-executive director of the Civil Service Insurance Society and of Congregational and General Insurance plc.

He was also a trustee of the Lankelly Chase Foundation. He was Chair of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, which was significant, because at the time he joined, there was less focus on the importance of sustainability.

Recognition and retirement

Martin steered GAD through a notable period of modernisation, growth and diversification as well as the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. He left the department in a strong position, delivering more work, across more areas and public sector clients than ever before.

Before his retirement in 2023, Martin was recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours for his work to the profession by being named a Companion to the Order of the Bath for public service.

Martin Clarke passed away on 5 June 2024 after a period in hospital. He is succeeded by his wife Julia, his 3 children and 3 grandchildren. The funeral will be held in Lincolnshire.


Martin supported the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries Foundation, and a fundraising appeal has been set up by his family for donations to The IFoA Foundation, in his memory.

Martin Clarke CB FIA, former Government Actuary (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Terrell Hackett

Last Updated:

Views: 6594

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (52 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Terrell Hackett

Birthday: 1992-03-17

Address: Suite 453 459 Gibson Squares, East Adriane, AK 71925-5692

Phone: +21811810803470

Job: Chief Representative

Hobby: Board games, Rock climbing, Ghost hunting, Origami, Kabaddi, Mushroom hunting, Gaming

Introduction: My name is Terrell Hackett, I am a gleaming, brainy, courageous, helpful, healthy, cooperative, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.