Prof. Kahane igniting the Economic Circle at the 2nd Global GameChangers Impact Lab, San Diego, June 2016
Yehuda Kahane (born August 4, 1944) is the 2011 recipient of the highly prestigious award of the International Insurance Society (John S. Bickley Insurance Founders Award) for his pioneering and lasting contribution to the theory, practice, and education of insurance and risk management (see sidebar).
Kahane is active in both the academic and business areas. He is a professor (emeritus) of Coller School of Business and the Porter School of Environmental Studies and the former head of the Institute for Business and the Environment, Tel-Aviv University. He founded and served as dean of the first academic school of insurance in Israel (now a part of Netanya Academic College). At Tel Aviv University he directed the Erhard Insurance Center, the actuarial studies program, and coordinated the Executives Development Programs. He is a life and non-life actuary (Fellow of the Israel Actuarial Assoc. and other international actuarial associations).
His studies in risk management, and his practical business experience, led him to realize the importance and urgency of environmental risks issues. In the last 20 years he has focused on environmental and societal risks that threaten humankind survival on Planet Earth. And had suggested practical solutions for mitigating the environmental threats, financing $trillions per annum to combat these risks, while reducing the employment and retirement insecurity of the Millennials. YKCenter is a brand name that is used as a framework that includes many activities aimed to these directions: educational activities, Trans-For- Nation models, preparing organizations for the new economy, identifying and supporting game-changing ideas and organizations, promoting the new SDGs in several countries (in collaboration with UN organizations), and helping large projects of impact investments and social innovations. Kahane is often using insurance related mechanisms as a leverage for handling major large scale challenges in seemingly unrelated areas.
Since 1966, Kahane has taught at universities around the globe, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Florida, the University of Toronto, and others. He founded and directed the Israel CLU Program. He has organized and lectured in hundreds of seminars and conferences. Kahane, the author of several books and numerous articles, was ranked among the most prolific researchers in insurance (JRI, June 1990). He served on the editorial boards of the leading journals in his area.
He helped at the beginning of the 1980s he helped a project to increase food production in Latin American countries. The pivot to the plan was developing the then practically non-existiant agricultural reinsurance plans, that enabled to supply insurance protection for the farmers’ crops. The coverage was then used to guarantee the financing that was needed for acquiring better agricultural technologies. This helped to drastically increase the agricultural output of the entire continent, to better feed hundreds of millions people, and at the same time to increase the agricultural reinsurance market from about $15 million to multiple billions,
Kahane has a rich entrepreneurial experience. He started his business career in a large privately owned multinational corporation (United Development Inc) that operated mainly in East Asia. He consulted some of the largest corporations in Israel (such as Israel Aircraft Industry, Israel Chemicals, Major banks, IMI, Port Authority, Israel Railways, Maman, El Al, Health organizations, etc.) on a variety of risk management and insurance related issues. He is a co-founder, director, and major shareholder in Ituran Location and Control (NASDAQ:ITRN). He was a co-initiator of the concept of “new” balanced pension funds in Israel, At the end of the 1980s he co-founded Teshura – a pension fund (that was later adopted by the government as a model to most pension funds in Israel).
He is highly involved in the formation and management of start-up companies and technological incubators, in a variety of advanced and high-tech areas. He owned the Weizman Hi-Tech Incubator, and is a a major shareholder and director of Capital Point Ltd. (TASE: CPTP).He had been a director since the establishment of the New Dimension Software (then Nasdaq DDDDF) – a company that developed the software needed to run large computer centers – until it was merged in 1999 into BMC (now the 5th largest software company in the world).
In addition he is involved in many voluntary NGOs activities (e.g., Chairman of the Association of Visually Impaired People in Sharon District, Director in the umbrella organization for visually impaired people Israel, the PIBF – Palestinian International Business Forum,Israel-Brazil Chamber of Commerce, etc.).
He is an honorary member of the Marco Polo Society, and of Israel – Brazil Chamber of Commerce.
Kahane has served on the Israeli Insurance Council and on several government committees on a variety of insurance topics. He was a member (and sometimes chaired) a variety of governmental and public committees related to social security, natural risks in agriculture, earthquakes, war risks, pensions and savings, traffic accidents. In 1975 he was among the driving forces in a national reform of motor car insurance in Israel.
Kahane earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and statistics in 1965, a master’s degree in business administration, cum laude, in 1967, and a PhD in finance in 1973, all from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has served as an associate editor of the leading journals on risk and insurance. He has taught courses in technological forecasting and long range planning(the first teacher of this subject in Israel), finance, insurance, risk management, and actuarial topics. His research focus is on the portfolio implications for insurance, rate-making, automobile insurance, natural hazards, pension and life insurance, reserving, and environmental risks.
Kahane is married to Rivka Kahane (Formerly the head nurse of Hematology dept. in a major Israeli hospital). Father to three and grandfather to seven (great) grandchildren.
Contribution to the Insurance and Risk Management Industry
Prof. Kahane’s activities have had a substantial impact on the insurance industry, both in Israel and globally.
His main contributions lie in the following areas:
Pension Plans in Israel. He was involved in reforming the capital markets in Israel, which had a great impact on pension funds and providence funds. He was among the first to draw attention to the accumulating actuarial deficits of the pension funds, and to show ways to solve the problem. Following that, he was among the initiators of new non-union pension schemes for large segments of the population (e.g., for self-employed and the members of the kibbutz movements). This led to the establishment of the new concept of “balanced pension funds.” Kahane was a co-founder and owner of the first managed balanced pension fund (“Teshura”) at the end of the 1980s (this fund became the fourth largest fund in Israel in 1995). The idea had been copied by other newly formed funds, and was adopted by the Commissioner of Insurance as the leading model for the post-1995 pension reform in Israel.
In the late 1960s, H. Levy and Kahane were among the pioneers who applied multiple regressions for insurance rate-making. He later used Data mining methods, and also simulations and bootstrapping models.
In the early 1970s, he developed the concept of balancing assets and liabilities of financial intermediaries, in works that are still quoted 35 years later. These studies laid the foundations of theories of insurance rate making, solvency, insurance regulation, and to the vast area which is now known as ERM – Enterprise Risk Management. He has made major contributions to the theory and practice of loss reserving, agriculture and crop insurance, and the use of data mining in insurance.
Location and Prevention of Car Theft. He co-founded Ituran Location and Control, a firm that uses cellular communication technology to track any object (e.g., car) or person. Its products are used to prevent car theft and hijacking, and to locate people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The firm was established in 1995, and is now traded on the major list of Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and on Nasdaq (ITRN). The system is used in Argentina, Brazil, Florida, and Israel, where it has been a major factor in fighting auto theft.
No Fault Automobile Insurance. He had been among the driving forces in the introduction of a pure no-fault automobile insurance system (for bodily injuries only) in Israel (1975), Kahane conducted the first feasibility study and the setting of the initial rate structure for this line of business, and provided counsel to a parliamentary committee that was studying the topic. Later, he was in charge of determining the loss reserves for this line by employing modern and sophisticated actuarial techniques that have been the key for setting no-fault automobile insurance rates in Israel for three decades.
Natural Risks in Agriculture. He served as a consultant in a large project to increase food production in Latin America in the 1980s (in IICA Costa Rica, financed by the US AID). Part of the project involved insurance that enabled farmers to obtain financing for improved agricultural technologies. A key issue was to set up national agriculture insurance companies in most Latin American States, and to obtain reinsurance (at the undeveloped agriculture reinsurance market in those days). Besides its impact on food production, this led later to the development and growth of the world agriculture insurance and reinsurance markets. Through his activities at the PIBF (Palestinian International Business Forum) Kahane initiated the adoption of a similar approach for the Palestinian Authority, and this project is now in its implementation stages. He had a substantial impact on the setting of rates and terms of the insurance coverage for IFNRA (the Israeli Fund for Insurance of Nature Risks in Agriculture – now named “KANAT”) – for the entire agricultural sector in Israel – as a director for 10 years, and as a consulting actuary since then.
Shaping the Israel Social Security System. Kahane twice served as the chairman of strategic committees for the National Insurance Institute (Israel’s social security), which determined the financing of the social security system.
Membership in National Committees.
Israel Insurance Council (a statutory appointment)
National committee on earthquake risks
National pension policy committee (Shtessell Committee)
Research and database committee for the prevention of traffic accidents.
Committee on the status of the Israeli Social Security System (Brodet Committee)
Winner of the John S. Bickley Founder’s Award
On November 17, 2010, The International Insurance Society (IIS) has announced that Dr. Yehuda Kahane, Tel Aviv University, Israel, is the 2011 winner of the John S. Bickley Founder’s Award. Prof. Kahane was honored during the gala dinner at the IIS 47th Annual Seminar, which took place at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Canada, June 19 – 22, 2011.
The prestigious Founder’s Award was instituted in 1972 and is named in honor of the founder of the International Insurance Society, the late Dr. John S. Bickley, Emeritus Professor of Insurance at The University of Alabama, who served as IIS president from 1965 to 1989. The award honors individuals who have made a significant and lasting contribution to insurance thought, product, practice or education. The Founder’s Award recipient is elected by secret ballot by the IIS Honors Committee, a body of senior insurance executives and leading academicians. Committee members are appointed by IIS Board of Directors and represent all sectors of the industry and regions of the world.
Since 1966, Kahane has taught at universities around the globe: