Walter Saxer-Versicherungs-Hochschulpreis (Insurance prize)
Towards the end of the 1960s, insurance companies in and around Zurich felt the need to increase the visibility of the actuarial profession for mathematics students. As a result, the idea of an insurance prize was born.
On November 6, 1969, representatives of Fortuna, Rentenanstalt, Schweizer Rück, Union Rück, Vita and Winterthur-Leben in coordination with the Department of Mathematics of ETH Zurich and University of Zurich created the association "Versicherungs-Hochschulpreis".
The first recipient of this prize - on February 11, 1971 - was Heinz Müller for his Diploma Thesis "Der Markt - ein Verkäufer - zwei Käufer" written under the guidance of Prof. Hans Bühlmann of ETH Zurich. In 1976 the prize was renamed "Walter Saxer-Versicherungs-Hochschulpreis" in recognition Prof. Walter Saxer.
Today, the prize is given for excellent master as well as PhD theses from the broader field of insurance. Its recipients typically pursue actuarial careers, mainly in Swiss insurance companies, but in some cases go for an academic career.
At the yearly prize ceremony, besides the honouring of the prize winners, a lecture is given by an established personality on a topic of broader actuarial interest.
For more historical details, we refer to the contribution "20 Jahre Walter Saxer-Versicherungs-Hochschulpreis" by Prof. Josef Kupper in the Bulletin of the Swiss Association of Actuaries, no. 2 (1991), 167-169.