Patrick van Beek
Patrick van Beek is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries employed in risk management for a large French multinational financial services provider. His professional work currently focuses on the implementation of new European solvency regulations. He is one of four people who’ve assisted me with the manuscript who also appear in it.
Until the late spring of 2009, Patrick was running the biggest risk management consultancy in the Republic of Guyana, on the Caribbean coast of South America. On 16 April 2009, a drug gang-hired hit man attempted to murder his wife (who, as Guyana’s insurance regulator, had refused to grant a licence to a company set up to launder drugs money) on her way to work.
Maria van Beek survived the bullet to the chest (fired at close range from a hand gun through the windscreen of her car), made a brief getaway in her Toyota Mark II, then walked into a local hospital and told the doctors to remove the round.
As a result of this failed assassination attempt, the van Beek family relocated to England’s West Country.
It was with Patrick that I held my final debrief and planning session, in the summer of 2007, when my pilgrim phase was about to end and the shed-living, thesis-creation phase was about to begin. He’s been on the team ever since, reviewing copy from the earliest drafts, through two stages of book plan, various incarnations of the manuscript and right up to the final polished chapters.
Patrick’s understanding of financial mathematics has been invaluable in providing guidance on the elements of the book relating to money, civilisational logistics and Planet Earth’s economic geography. He’s always argued for keeping the high-end material forthright and not to dumb down.
Patrick’s interests include photography, scuba diving, gaming, financial theory and his kids, of which Maria and he have three: Julia, Mathias and Anneke. They all live in the village of Thornbury, in the county of Avon, just to the north of Bristol.