Tribute to Mark Mitchell

We remember with much fondness the life of Mark Mitchell, who died on 19th June 2021, age 43, just a few weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. Mark was an ActEd tutor par excellence, able to impart the intricacies of annuities, stochastic calculus and Markov processes to students in an exceptionally intelligible and enjoyable way. Hundreds, if not thousands, of actuarial students studying Subjects CM1, CM2 and CS2 (and the equivalents in previous regimes) have gained enormous benefit from his caring and creative tuition.

Mark graduated from Cambridge University in 1999 with a degree in Mathematics. He spent the early part of his career at Mercer in Leeds, qualifying as an actuary in 2003. Subsequently, he worked at Scottish Widows in Edinburgh, where one of his main roles was making sure the computer systems were correct from an actuarial point of view, so that letters to policyholders always had the right numbers in them. That same immaculate attention to detail continued in writing actuarial learning materials when he joined ActEd in 2007. He had a passion for excellence which was evident in all the authoring work he carried out as well as the outstanding feedback he always received from the students he taught.

Outside of work, Mark loved a good puzzle, travelling, Eurovision, watching tennis at Wimbledon and a glass of Cockburn's. There was delight to be had in the smallest of things, and a wry humour that would brighten up any encounter.

Happy memories of his teaching abound. For example, Mark taught proportional hazard models via a pie-eating competition, with contestants succumbing either to the hazard of feeling full, or exiting the event due to a number of other imaginative reasons. And when explaining 'select' mortality in tutorials, he would jump jovially into a notional set of square brackets on the floor, explaining to students that he was currently 'a select life age X'.

Mark was certainly a select life, carefully chosen as being one of the absolute best. Much sympathy goes out to Lee, Mark's husband, and all of Mark’s family and friends for the loss of such a shining light. Mark died in Isabel Hospice, and was overwhelmed by the care and support provided. If you would like to support that in his memory, you can do so at