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Cory Zass

Cory Zass

Mr. Zass is a Bates Consulting and Testifying Expert and the founder, principal, and engagement coordinator for the actuarial consulting firm Actuarial Risk Management, Ltd., which has served as the internal actuarial group to several tier 2 and 3 regional and national accounting firms, including BDO USA through its membership in the BDO Alliance since 2006.

Mr. Zass, a trained life insurance actuary, has leveraged his extensive knowledge gained during his early career as a life insurance company corporate actuary to the consulting space where he has for close to 20 years assisted various sized life insurers on financial reporting compliance, product management and corporate expansion. His various actuarial roles – from appointed actuary positions to consulting actuary to buy-side/sell-side M&A actuary to that of the auditing actuary under those accounting & audit engagements – collectively provide him with a wide perspective that few actuaries have accumulated over their careers. His responsibilities over the years covered the forecasting of life, annuity, and health insurance programs along with recommending efficient means of capital management. Mr. Zass has aided life insurers on corporate forecasting of core insurance business, which included discussions of financial risk management, ALM, capital management, interest rate risk, and asset adequacy testing.  His insurance clients cover local and international organizations across the life insurance and health care sectors, which have included engagements for fraternal, mutual, and stock insurance companies acting in the capacity as direct carriers, reinsurers, and captives.

Mr. Zass has performed over 30 comprehensive M&A due diligence projects of target insurance blocks of business and/or companies while reviewing well over 100 appraisals. Mr. Zass has prepared and led the development of independent models that serve both sides of the M&A spectrum. He has also constructed PGAAP balance sheets and evaluated goodwill for impairment.

Mr. Zass’ past responsibilities cover the gamut of financial reporting related duties, include the preparing and reporting of statutory, GAAP/purchase-GAAP actuarial valuation reports, including the annual statement of actuarial opinion (SAO) and the supporting asset adequacy testing and supplemental memorandum.

His product knowledge stems from many years of developing several generations of products while leading the policy and rider forms state filing process as well as the administrative implementation of new products. The product experience includes participating and non-participating traditional life; UL and UL with secondary guarantees; deferred (fixed, indexed & variable) & immediate annuities; various supplemental health coverages such as LTC and disability income products. He has also drafted and been responsible for administration and valuation of reinsurance ceded and assumed treaties.

Over the last decade, Mr. Zass has advised many participants on the best practice of risk management within the broader insurance linked securities (ILS) market with a specific focus on longevity products, including life settlements and structured settlements.  He co-development a stochastic longevity forecasting model used within ARM’s life settlement practice and has authored many articles on this space.

Cory is a consultant and subject matter expert in these Practice Areas and Services:

Credentials

EXPERIENCE

Bates Group LLC, Consulting and Testifying Expert, 2013 – Present
Actuarial Risk Management, Ltd., Founder, Principal and Consulting Actuary
Actuarial Risk Management, Inc., Vice President and Consulting Actuary
Actuarial Risk Consultants, Inc., President
Wise, Mitchell & Associates, Consulting Actuary
FIC Holding Company, Chief Actuary

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Science (BS), Mathematics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Society of Actuaries, Associate

SELECTED CONSULTING PROJECTS

A sample of the various projects completed during his consulting career include:

  • Various financial reporting engagements, including Appointed Actuary duties
  • Many acquisition-related engagements, specifically
  • Due diligence for clients (reviewed 100+ appraisals over the last 10 years)
  • Overseeing full-blown appraisals / modeling assignments for insurance stakeholders
  • Led engagements with insurance departments during state examination projects
  • Numerous product development projects (life, annuity, and health forms)
  • Assisted two companies, in the late 1990s, comply with the IRS Correction Procedure (inadvertent modified endowment contracts under IRC Section 7702A).
  • Completed various cash flow testing and gross premium valuation
  • Provided extensive guidance on optimization of assets and liabilities along with implementation of sound ALM and efficient frontier modeling.
  • Co-led the demutualization of an insurance organization.
  • Assessed the reasonableness of assumptions used in insurers’ asset liability models and their economic scenario generators.
  • Constructed a number of investment banking models based on projects supported by life insurance collateral, including life and structured settlements.
  • Directed the development of a proprietary financial projection model for life settlements.

SELECTED AUDIT / VALUATION PROJECTS

A sample of specific audit / valuation type engagements:

  • Provided BDO and other regional accounting firms with actuarial audit support on 100+ U.S. and international insurance carriers across all insurance sectors
  • Provided SOX control testing and advisory support to accounting firms for their audit clients
  • Developed fully integrated business plans & corporate models (Statutory, GAAP) for various insurance companies and private investors
  • Between 2001 and 2006, led or co-led state examinations (audit & review of risk management processes within the actuarial areas) of the following companies: Two large subsidiaries of ING, Protective Life, Principal Life, Standard Life, AXA subsidiary, and Medicare Supplement company
  • Provided technical audit expertise to global investors as well as audit support to BDO in the insurance linked asset space (primarily but not limited to life settlements, and life securitizations)
  • Providing technical advisory in the interpretation of the new FASB rules governing long duration insurance contracts as well the forthcoming IFRS 17 insurance contract rules

LITIGATION SUPPORT

Mr. Zass’ experience in litigation includes the support on expert witness and arbitration engagements in the area of policy form interpretation, reinsurance treaty interpretations, product pricing and financial results of insurance carriers. Specific litigation focused assignments in which Mr. Zass served in a more prominent role are:

  1. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mr. Zass provided actuarial expert witness support to his former employer (insurance company) in the defense of class suits regarding universal life vanishing premiums. Mr. Zass provided analytics and a summary report used by the company in the suit against his former employer.
  2. In fall of 2009, Mr. Zass testified in the hearings at the District of Columbia Insurance Department to determine the reasonableness of CareFirst’s District of Columbia insurance subsidiary, GHMSI, surplus levels. Mr. Zass represented a non-profit organization in showing that GHMSI was holding more than optimal levels of surplus. Mr. Zass conducted quantitative analysis and co-authored a written report as to prudent levels of surplus in GHMSI.
  3. In December 2009, Mr. Zass began supporting a suit against a large life insurance carrier who mismanaged their capital requirements with respect to a misleading life insurance product at the center of a large market conduct investigation. Mr. Zass led the analytics and provided a written report to counsel on the results of the analysis.
  4. In spring of 2012, Mr. Zass began supporting the defense of a suit against a large bank acting as the trustee to a large life insurance organization caught up in an insolvency matter. Mr. Zass prepared expert analysis and written commentary surrounding the insolvency of Executive Life of New York. Mr. Zass was asked to testify but, in the end, did not have to.
  5. Since 2016, Mr. Zass worked with counsel on various cost of insurance lawsuits that dealt with the disputes between the insurers who raised their non-guaranteed universal life charges and the insureds (and investors) who owned such policies. Currently involved in two large cases as of early 2019 with work in the early stages following discovery.
  6. Provided counsel in 2018 with actuarial expertise relating to AIDS mortality and the forecasting of a portfolio of life insurance policies with the insureds having contracted HIV+/AIDS. Produced a report for the parties in the dispute.

PUBLICATIONS

  • Editor, ARM’s Newsletter “Risk Review” circa 2008-2010 for BDO USA (then BDO Seidman)
  • Featured in Forbes magazine September 30, 2008 edition
  • Co-Authored an article with BDO Cayman office on valuation of life settlements (2010)
  • Authored an article for BDO Healthcare sector on understanding an actuarial report (2012)
  • Co-authored an article for release in Dec. 2012 that discussed best practices of an actuarial valuation, regardless of valuation topic.
  • Authored the annual life settlement outlook for Financier Worldwide since 2013.

PROFESSIONAL SPEAKING EVENTS

Mr. Zass has presented to various professionals, including:

  • Do You Know What Your Company’s Actuary is Doing? (Oct. 2004). NALC Meeting
  • Introduction to ARM. (Nov. 2006). BDO Partner Meeting
  • Insurance Audit Group Introduction. (May 2007). BDO Alliance Meeting
  • Auditing Actuaries and Their Role. (Sept. 2007). BDO Insurance Training
  • Interacting with the Reviewing Actuary. (Nov. 2007). BDO Partner Meeting
  • Health Care Risks. (Nov. 2007). BDO Partner Meeting
  • Actuarial Appraisal vs. Wall Street Valuations. (Feb. 2008). SNL Financial
  • Benefits of Prudent Actuarial Risk Support. (April 2008).
  • Enterprise Risk Management Introduction. (May 2008). BDO Alliance Meeting
  • Actuarial & Insurance Spring Update. (May 2008). BDO Alliance Meeting
  • Actuarial Update. (Oct. 2008). BDO Insurance Training
  • Actuarial Appraisal vs. Wall Street Valuations, Take 2. (Oct. 2008). SNL Financial
  • Navigating Employee Benefit Valuations. (Nov. 2008). BDO Partner Meeting
  • Health Care and Actuaries – A Great Combination. (Nov. 2008). BDO Partner Meeting
  • Insurance Sector Deals with Financial Meltdown. (Nov. 2008). BDO Partner Meeting
  • Actuarial Appraisal vs. Wall Street Valuations, Take 3. (Feb. 2009). SNL Financial    
  • Health Care Actuarial Update. (2009 - 2016). BDO Partner Meeting
  • Insurance Sector Update. (2009 – 2018). BDO Partner Meeting
  • Actuarial Auditing. (Oct. 2012). BDO Insurance Workshop
  • Converging LEs & Investor Confidence? (April 2013). Deal Flow Media (Life Settlement)
  • Longevity & Life Expectancy Changes (October 2013). Deal Flow Media (Life Settlement)
  • Life Insurance Backed Lending (May 2014). LISA Organization (Life Settlement)
  • Life Settlement Mortality (October 2014). LISA Organization (Life Settlement)
  • Similarities between Mortality vs. Mortgages (September 2015). ABS East (investment conference)
  • Actuarial Update, DHG CFO Conference (2016)
  • SOA Valuation Actuary Symposium. Auditing Professional Judgment (2017)
  • Actuarial Update, DHG CFO Conference (2018)

PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

American Academy of Actuaries certified
Fellow, Conference of Consulting Actuaries (CCA)
Member, American Academy of Actuaries (AAA)
Member, Actuaries Club of the Southwest (ACSW)
Member, American Academy of Actuaries’

  • Life Reserve Working Group (AAA-LRWG)
  • Life Capital Adequacy Working Group (AAA-LCWG)

Member, International Association of Actuarial Risk Managers (INARM)
Member, American Society of Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM)
Member, American Association of Insurance Management Consultants (AAIMC)

Contact Bates Group

Bates Group is with you every step of the way. Contact us today for more information on how our End-to-End Solutions can help your firm.