Members in the spotlight - Jan Dhaene & Steven Vanduffel


The American Risk and Insurance Association presents the Robert I. Mehr Award each year for the paper published ten years ago in the Journal of Risk and Insurance that has best stood the test of time. The evaluation of the articles is made by the editorial board of JRI.

The recipients of the 2022 Mehr Award are Jan Dhaene, Andreas Tsanakas, Emiliano Valdez, and Steven Vanduffel for “Optimal Capital Allocation Principles.”


Jan Dhaene                           Steven Vanduffel

Jan Dhaene                                              Steven Vanduffel


This article develops a unifying framework for allocating the aggregate capital of a financial firm to its business units. The approach relies on an optimization argument, requiring that the weighted sum of measures for the deviations of the business unit’s losses from their respective allocated capitals be minimized. The approach is fair insofar as it requires capital to be close to the risk that necessitates holding it. The approach is additionally very flexible in the sense that different forms of the objective function can reflect alternative definitions of corporate risk tolerance. Owing to this flexibility, the general framework reproduces several capital allocation methods that appear in the literature and allows for alternative interpretations and possible extensions.

Congratulations to Jan & Steven!