Cory Zass

Cory Zass

Mr. Zass is the founder, principal, and engagement coordinator for the actuarial consulting firm Actuarial Risk Management, which has served as BDO USAís only affiliated actuarial group since 2006.

Mr. Zass, a trained life insurance actuary, has over the years aided various sized life insurers on financial reporting compliance, product management and corporate expansion. His roles span the appointed actuary position to consulting actuary to the position as the auditing actuary for those accounting & audit engagements. His responsibilities 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 clients cover local and international organizations across the 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 M&A due diligence projects of target insurance blocks of business and/or companies while reviewing 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, with respect to financial reporting, include the preparing and filing of statutory, GAAP/purchase-GAAP, and tax actuarial financial reports, including annual and quarterly statements and actuarial opinions. He completed many projections (using TAS) of the insurance operations, which covered a myriad of product types under GAAP/statutory/embedded value regimes. He also oversaw the completion of a massive GAAP restatement for a clientís FAS 60 & FAS 97 products over a 30-year look-back period.

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 for the asset (life insurance) backed investment market which encompasses the life settlement space and extends to other life insurance securitization initiatives. Areas of expertise include analysis of life expectancy assessments, quantification of impacts due to longevity extension, the pricing and valuation using probabilistic and stochastic methods, evaluation of hedging programs, and insightful approaches to accrete returns under an active portfolio management. He led the development of the ARM life settlement projection software while increasing his involvement in the design of sound investment structures.


Cory Zass

A Consultant and subject matter expert in these services:



Actuarial Risk Management, Inc., Vice President and Consulting Actuary

Actuarial Risk Consultants, Inc., President

Wise, Mitchell & Associates, Consulting Actuary

FIC Holding Company, Chief Actuary


University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, B.S. Mathematics

Society of Actuaries, Associate, 1993


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.

A sample of specific audit / valuation type engagements:

  • Provided BDO and other regional accounting firms with actuarial audit support on a number of U.S. and international insurance carriers across all insurance sectors.
  • Provided SOX support for a number of midsize insurance companies
  • Developed fully integrated business plans & corporate models (stat, tax, 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).

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Editor, ARM’s Newsletter “Risk Review” beginning 1/2008 for 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.


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 t`he 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. (Nov. 2009). BDO Partner Meeting
  • Insurance Sector Update. (Nov. 2009 – May 2012). BDO Partner Meeting

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)