Category Archives: 2020 Workshops


David Schraub, FSA, CERA, MAAA
Melanie Sager, FSA, MAAA
Tom Edwalds, FSA, ACAS, MAAA

Participants will explore the importance and role that professionalism plays in the everyday life of an actuary through interactive discussions of brief scenarios. Participants will also gain awareness of the resources available to actuaries as they navigate professionalism issues.

David Schraub is Staff Fellow, Risk Management and Investment, at the Society of Actuaries.  He works to develop and support better risk management and investment efforts of actuaries. He directs volunteer activities in these two areas and also supports SOA sections and Actuarial Clubs.

Prior to joining the SOA, Schraub worked for life insurance companies and consulting companies in various risk positions, focusing on Solvency II, NAIC ORSA and risk reporting in general.

Schraub is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst of the Society of Actuaries, an Actuaire Qualifie of the Institut des Actuaires (France) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Melanie Sager is a Senior Actuarial Associate at Allstate Life and Retirement, where she works on product development, and modeling PBR reserves for UL products.  She came to Allstate in 2017 after 5+ years at Munich American Reassurance Company in Atlanta, GA.  Melanie earned her FSA in 2019.  She has an A.B. from Bryn Mawr College in math and chemistry and an M.A from Princeton University in chemistry.

Tom Edwalds is a Clinical Professor of Finance at DePaul University and the Executive Director of the Fred Arditti Center for Risk Management at DePaul.  He came to DePaul in 2014 with 36 years of diverse and substantive experience in the insurance industry.  He currently serves on several Society of Actuaries committees including the Committee on Life Insurance Research, the Committee on Living to 100 Research Symposia, the Reinsurance Section Research Team, the Research Communications Oversight Group, the VBT Calculations Subgroup, and several research project oversight groups.  He chairs the Taxation Section Council and the Committee on Knowledge Extension Research.  He is also the president of the Chicago Actuarial Association.  He was recognized for a decade of leadership in Society of Actuaries research initiatives with an Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2011.  Tom’s research interests and expertise include mortality risk, longevity risk, and extreme event risk.   He holds both B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Human Skills and Their Role in Future Success

Stacy O’Connell

As automation and artificial intelligence transform the industry, soft – or “human” – skills are differentiating the good from the great actuaries. Emotional intelligence, innovative problem-solving, negotiation, leadership and communication are just a few of the skills essential for today’s actuarial professionals. Individuals who possess these characteristics are better able to translate data, leverage new technologies and motivate their teams. This session will discuss the human skills relevant at each career stage, as well as how actuaries can develop new skills and refine existing ones for ongoing career success.

Learning Objectives

  • Emerging Trends: Understand how the insurance industry’s landscape is changing and the impact on actuarial talent.
  • Deep Dive into Human Skills: Learn what constitutes a soft or “human” skill and explore their role in career success.
  • Strategic Development: Uncover best practices and strategies for ongoing improvement and refinement of soft skills.

Stacy O’Connell is an Engagement Manager for The Jacobson Group’s executive search team, strategically engaging and assessing C-level, Vice President and other executive-level candidates for clients from all sectors of the insurance industry.

Stacy brings nearly 15 years of talent delivery experience to her role. She gained insurance-specific recruiting experience during her previous five-year tenure at Jacobson. After four years in our executive search practice, Stacy transitioned into a specialized role, focusing on actuarial consultants. Stacy then spent 10 years moving up the ranks at a generalist human capital consulting firm before returning to Jacobson in her current role.

Stacy attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., where she received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and criminal justice with a minor in business. She later received her Master of Arts in forensic psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Big Data and the Future Actuary

Mervyn Kopinsky, FSA, EA, MAAA

The amount of information available to actuaries from Big Data is increasing at a very rapid pace and affects many areas of actuarial practice.  We will look at the types and sources of information that are, and will, become available, how they will affect the profession, and consider what changes we need to make in order to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world.

Mervyn Kopinsky has been with the Society of Actuaries for 3 years, and prior to that was a consulting pension actuary with Willis Towers Watson for 28 years. In his role with the Society of Actuaries, Mervyn helps coordinate a number of research groups related to experience studies, accelerated underwriting and use of big data for life insurance purposes. Mervyn also assists the SOA with research related to the new Actuarial Innovation and Technology strategic research program, which focuses on how innovation and technology are impacting the actuarial profession. Mervyn is originally from South Africa where he graduated with an MSc. in statistics.

Actuaries with Non-typical Careers

Kassie Maroney, FSA, MAAA
Jennifer Galka, FSA, MAAA
Bob Meyerhoff, ASA, MAAA

Kassie Maroney is the Vice President of commercial actuarial at Health Care Service Corporation, including individual to large group pricing in Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Montana.

Jennifer Galka is Divisional CFO, Employer Solutions at Health Care Service Corporation.

Bob Meyerhoff is president of Information Logistics, Inc. which supports agents and unions that represent professional athletes.  Information Logistics helps clients address their data software needs, and has developed CRMs, reporting systems and discovery tools that allow non-technical sports agents to query and analyze complex playing and salary data.  A major focus of Information Logistics’ work is supporting player salary matters, including salary negotiations for free agents, arguments for salary arbitration eligible players, and analytics for collective bargaining negotiations.  Information Logistics works in a number of sports, but a disproportionate amount of its work is in baseball.

Prior to starting Information Logistics, Bob was a senior executive and board member at STATS Incorporated.  Under John Dewan (also an actuary) Bob was involved with STATS from its beginnings, helping STATS grow to become one of the largest, most innovative providers of sports information.

Prior to joining STATS, Bob was an actuary at AON and Capital American, working for about 10 years, primarily in supplement health pricing.

Bob Graduated from University of Chicago. He and his wife live in Deerfield, Illinois where they raised four children.

Mortality Patterns at Advanced Ages

Dr. Natalia Gavrilova, Ph.D.
Dr. Leonid Gavrilov

Session outlines results and conclusions for a project “Mortality of 1898-1902 Birth Cohort” sponsored by the Society of Actuaries. Project describes mortality after age 85 years by gender and geography based on data from the Social Security Administration Death Master File. Effects of errors in age reporting on late-life mortality are also presented. Project report is now available at  Mortality modeling, analyses of late-life mortality trajectories and testing the limit to lifespan hypothesis are discussed. New follow-up studies of late-life mortality recently published in peer-reviewed journals will also be presented.

Dr. Natalia S. Gavrilova, Ph.D., is an expert in demographic methods, biomarkers of aging and health and early-life effects on longevity and a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.  She received her Ph.D. in anthropology and population science at the Moscow State University in Russia and her master degree in computer science at the University of Chicago.  Her research projects were funded by international funding agencies, including the International Science Foundation, the European Union, and the National Institute on Aging (USA). She is a Principle Investigator of NIH-funded project “Biodemography of Old-age Mortality.”  She is an Editorial Board Member for international journal “Demografie” and grant reviewer for the National Institute on Aging and the Maurice Falk Institute for Economic Research in Israel. Dr. Natalia Gavrilova is currently working at the University of Chicago and the NORC at the University of Chicago.  She is a frequent speaker at the Society of Actuaries Living to 100 symposia and other actuarial meetings. Read more at:

Dr. Leonid A. Gavrilov is an expert in biodemographic studies of human aging, mortality and longevity and a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.  Dr. Gavrilov has over 30 years of professional experience in this area of research and related topics in collaboration with Dr. Natalia S. Gavrilova.  Their book ‘The Biology of Life Span: A Quantitative approach’ is cited as a recommended reference by Encyclopedia Britannica.

Dr. Gavrilov was a Principal Investigator of several award-winning research projects, funded by the Society of Actuaries, National Institute on Aging, European Union (INTAS program) and the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF). He was a Principal Investigator of the NIA-funded research project “Biodemography of Exceptional Longevity in the United States” and currently is a Co-Investigator of the project “Biodemography of Old-Age Mortality.” He was an invited speaker at the Annual meetings of the Chicago Actuarial Association and Living to 100 symposia organized by the Society of Actuaries. Dr. Gavrilov is an Editorial Board Member of the scientific peer-reviewed journals Journal of Gerontology Biological Sciences, Journal of Demographic Economics, Gerontology, Rejuvenation Research and others. Dr. Gavrilov is currently working at the University of Chicago. Read more at:

The Olympics of Retirement Markets: Who Wins the Gold Medal? and Post-retirement Risks—The Latest in SOA Research

Carol Bogosian, ASA

LIMRA and the SOA have recently looked at retirement risks and consumer attitudes in the United States, Canada, Asia Pacific markets, and Latin America markets.  How does the US market stand up against consumer sentiments, the use of financial advisors, and retirement product interests around the world?  Come hear about the product features and retirement desires of US consumers and see which other markets are contending for the race fort the Retirement Market Gold Medal.

This session will also present the latest results of Society of Actuaries research on the understanding and approaches for dealing with post retirement risks focused on the US market.

Dale Hall, FSA, MAAA, CERA, CFA is Managing Director of Research for the Society of Actuaries (SOA).  In his role, Dale coordinates the SOA’s strategic research partnerships, oversees SOA experience studies, coordinates research across the SOA’s wide variety of actuarial practice areas and markets, and directs the SOA’s data-driven in-house research initiatives.  He is a frequent speaker at insurance and retirement industry meetings to highlight SOA research, including presentations to the actuarial task forces of the NAIC and congressional committee testimony on pension plan mortality rates. He has appeared on behalf of the SOA in a variety of media outlets including coverage on C-SPAN and National Geographic’s BREAKTHROUGH television series, and hosts the weekly Society of Actuaries Research Insights Podcast.

Prior to joining the SOA in 2013, Dale spent over 20 years in the US insurance industry, primarily as Chief Actuary for the Life/Health companies of COUNTRY Financial. While at COUNTRY, he was active in industry as a member of the ACLI Actuarial Committee, and was an adjunct professor in the actuarial science program at Illinois State University.

Dale is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries, a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst and a CFA charter holder.  Dale earned his MBA in Finance from Capital University and his BS in Mathematics from John Carroll University.

Carol A. Bogosian, President of CAB Consulting, is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries and has over thirty years of experience as an actuary providing advice on defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans and retirement planning issues. Before starting her own firm, she was a principal in a major consulting firm as a senior actuary and consultant providing retirement services to individuals and corporate clients. She completed a financial planning certificate study program, gaining her perspective of the employee’s overall financial needs. Her current interests are in improving financial education and literacy in the U.S.

She has published articles for the Plan Sponsor Council of America and WISER and has spoken publicly at various professional associations on retirement and financial planning topics.  She currently serves on the Post Retirement Needs and Risk Committee and on the Aging and Retirement Strategic Research program committee of the Society of Actuaries providing guidance on research projects and public speaking or media engagements for the research. She also serves on the Chicago Bar Associations’ Joint Task Force on Women and Aging. Previously, she served on the Retirement Section Council of the Society of Actuaries and the Employee Benefits Advisory Board for The John Marshall Law School.

VA Reform Updates

Ryan Kiefer, ASA, MAAA
Thomas Chamberlain

This session will go over the changes the variable annuity statutory requirements that will be part of the 2020 Valuation manual. This session will cover the changes to both the statutory reserves and risk-based capital updates that are part of the VA Reform valuation manual updates for 2020. Even if you have adopted this guidance early for year-end 2019, stop by and discuss the changes and lessons learned based on early adopter’s hurdles.

Ryan is a manager at Deloitte Consulting and has over ten years of experience serving as a consultant to the life insurance industry.  His primary focus is financial reporting where he assists advisory clients seeking to enhance or improve their financial reporting processes, analysis, and financial controls.

Recently, Ryan has been working to interpret and evaluate the industry’s response to the new financial reporting requirements included in the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) long duration targeted improvements changes (“LDTI”) included in ASU 2018-12, as well as IFRS 17 and VA reform.

Ryan manages several of the firm’s largest external audits of GAAP, statutory, and tax reserves and intangible assets. He has also led Deloitte’s life actuarial center of excellence which is focused on efficiently executing detailed tests of policyholder reserves in support of external audits.

Tom is a managing director at Deloitte Consulting. Tom has over 20 years of experience in life and annuity actuarial valuation. His experience is from both within the industry and as a consultant. Tom assist companies in the interpretation and implementation of complex actuarial methods created by regulatory changes created by FASB, NAIC or the IRS. Tom supports consulting modernization procedures and attest work that alongside Deloitte & Touche and Deloitte Tax, respectively.

Tom also leads the internal Actuarial Technical Excellence group that helps evaluate new financial reporting and tax guidance on the potential interpretations, impact across the financial reporting process and the control environment updates required.

Purpose in Work and Life – Career and Personal Growth through Volunteering

Ying Zhao, FSA, MAAA
Kyle Stolarz, FSA, MAAA
Henry Chen, FSA, MAAA

Volunteering has been an essential factor for the success and growth of the Society of Actuaries, local actuarial clubs, as well as for our society as a whole. Volunteers commit their passion and energy to build better professional and societal communities. In return, they build connections and skills that benefit their professional and personal lives.

In this session, panelists will share their volunteering experience with and outside of the SOA, discuss how volunteering helps advance their careers and enrich personal lives, and provide insights into how to start with various volunteering opportunities.

Ying Zhao, FSA, MAAA, is a Senior Manager, Insurance and Actuarial Advisory Services (IAAS), at Ernst & Young LLP. Ying has been volunteering for the SOA for over 10 years and is currently the Chair of the SOA’s Leadership and Development Section council.

Kyle Stolarz, FSA, MAAA, is a Senior Manager, Insurance and Actuarial Advisory Services (IAAS) at Ernst & Young LLP. Kyle is an Executive Board member of PALS ( and the co-founder of its Chicago chapter.

Henry Chen, FSA, MAAA, is a Manager, Insurance and Actuarial Advisory Services (IAAS) at Ernst & Young LLP. Henry has taken on various volunteering roles with the SOA. Henry is a recipient of the SOA’s Outstanding Volunteer Award 2019.

Future of the Actuarial Profession

James Dunseth
Charles Deak, FSA, CERA, MAAA

The world is changing at an increasing pace and is disrupting everything from how one orders goods and services to how they take a taxi/Uber. Increasingly, this disruption is affecting the work of Actuaries. Moreover, Actuaries are being asked to provide more value-added services. Not only is this requiring Actuaries to leverage exponential technologies not traditionally used in the insurance industry, but it is also impacting the types of staffing and training models utilized by Actuaries. This session will outline how Actuaries and Actuarial functions can successfully prepare themselves for this change.

James Dunseth is a senior consultant in Deloitte Consulting practice in the US, and he has over 5 years of experience in the Life and Health insurance industries. A large part of his project work has been focused on actuarial modeling, model validation, and process improvement. James has lived the build of Deloitte’s Exponential Actuary™ solution which focuses on the future of the actuarial profession. He is also a core team member of the Deloitte’s global Exponential Professional team which helps other professions transform to the future of work.

Charles is a Manager in Deloitte’s Actuarial & Insurance Solutions practice and has more than 10 years of experience working in the life insurance industry. He specializes in Actuarial Modernization with an emphasis on actuarial systems and modeling. Charles has delivered for a variety of Actuarial Modernization initiatives across data, processes, actuarial models, governance, and overall operating model.

Currently, Charles is assisting companies with modernization and modeling efforts for PBR and LDTI. He is also exploring the future of the actuarial modeling function as companies transition to their future state as part of Deloitte’s Exponential Actuary™ solution.

Data Is Our Most Precious Asset

Gouri Kumaran, FSA, MAAA
Peter Gosnell

Data has defined multiple millennia of insurance activity. The availably and use of the data has changed over time, and as actuaries we must change with it. This session will trace the history of the insurance industry and how it has been utilizing data from the beginning, to current computing systems and how we use data. We then explore different possible futures of data and how different technologies are changing, and will continue to change our industry and the use of data in it.

Gouri Kumaran is a Manager in the Risk Consulting Practice at KPMG. Gouri is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA). She has over a decade of experience in the life insurance arena. She currently works with a team that helps clients with finance transformations, where she specializes in delivering modeling solutions for clients. Her prior consulting experience includes audit support and project management. Prior to being an actuary, Gouri has had several years of IT experience and brings with her that unique perspective.

Peter Gosnell is currently part of KPMG’s Risk Consulting practice. Prior to this, Peter worked with Brighthouse Financial supporting the creation and automation of data flows for various actuarial use cases following Brighthouse’s separation from MetLife. Since joining KPMG, Peter has helped various companies automate data flows, build predictive models, and develop risk metrics.