Presenters

Conference Chairman

Dr. K. (Ravi) Ravindran
President
Annuity Systems Inc. (ASI)

Dr. K. (Ravi) Ravindran currently spends much of his time lecturing, selectively consulting on VA-related issues and running a private equity fund. He also holds a visiting appointment in Haskolinn Reykjavik (Iceland) and National University of Singapore (Singapore). He is the author of the book titled The Mathematics of Financial Models.

As a pioneer to apply derivatives-based hedging techniques to manage market risks embedded in VAs, Ravindran’s experience includes:

  • Developing equity-based guarantee products and managing more than $100 billion in account value for insurance companies selling these products;
  • Running exotic derivatives desk globally at Toronto Dominion Bank;
  • Manning the CEO position at RGA Financial Products (a subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America);
  • Holding past adjunct professorships at several prominent universities.
  • Co-editing the well-received book titled VA: A Global Perspective;
  • Authoring the well-received book titled Customized Derivatives: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Exotic Options, Swaps and Other Customized Derivatives;
  • Serving as an associate editor of the well-received book titled Handbook of Derivatives; and
  • Editing/authoring papers of which some have formed, and continue to form, part of the professional exams in various societies.

Presenters

Shachar Gonen, CFA
Vice President – Senior Analyst
Moody’s Investors Service

Shachar Gonen is a vice president, senior analyst in the financial institutions group of Moody’s Investors Service. He is responsible for the credit analysis and the rating of a portfolio of U.S. life insurance companies, as well as structured insurance transactions. Previously, he was a member of Moody’s structured finance team evaluating and rating RMBS transactions as well as conducting financial and market analysis. Prior to joining Moody’s in 2003, Gonen worked as an associate at JPMorgan in the technology investment banking group. He also served in accounting and consulting roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Gonen holds a B.S. in accounting from Binghamton University and an MBA in Finance from the NYU Stern School of Business. He is a CFA charter holder.

Gordon Klein, FSA, MAAA
Associate Actuary
Transamerica

Gordon headed the VA experience studies team at Transamerica for three years, moving the team to a predictive analytics approach. He briefly headed experience studies and assumption review for all lines before moving into an ALM role at the company earlier this year. His 30+ year career has included insurance company and consulting work on annuity, life, health and pension products, as well as an entrepreneurial study manual and review course venture (How to Pass Exam xx). He also spent time on the faculties of the statistics and actuarial science department at the University of Iowa, the finance department at the University of Northern Iowa and the economics and business department at Cornell College. His degrees are in finance (Ph.D., Iowa), mathematics (M.S., Iowa), and computer science (B.S., Truman State). He has four children, three cats and one dog.

Taras Klymchuk, CFA
Director, Multi-Asset Group
Citigroup

Taras Klymchuk is a Director in Citi’s Multi-Asset Group as well as President of Financial Reassurance Company, Citi’s Bermuda-domiciled reinsurer, working on client solutions primarily for insurance companies. Prior to his current role, Klymchuk was a Director in Citi's Insurance Solutions Group structuring and originating client solutions for both life and non-life insurance carriers. He has also worked as an advisor on M&A transactions in the insurance space. Klymchuk is a CFA charter holder and holds an M.A. in Economics from Boston University and M.S. in Applied Mathematics and Physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics & Technology.

Ari Lindner, FSA, MAAA
Senior Vice President
Munich American Reassurance Company

Ari Lindner, FSA, MAAA, is senior vice president, U.S. financial solutions at Munich Re. He is responsible for development and growth of customized life and variable annuity guarantee reinsurance transactions that include material financial market risk, such as equity performance guarantees, interest rate exposure and foreign exchange risk. In his role at Munich Re, he works closely with insurers to identify and satisfy their strategic risk and capital management objectives.

Lindner has spent the last 20 years of his career focused primarily, but not exclusively, on variable annuity guarantee reinsurance. Before joining Munich Re last year, he spent 15 years at a major global insurance/reinsurance company where he was primarily responsible for building and managing the company’s variable annuity guarantee reinsurance business. In addition, he was responsible for overseeing risk, underwriting, and claims functions for the life insurance and reinsurance businesses.

Lindner holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

J. Adam Olive, Ph.D.
Managing Director, Market Risk Management
AIG Consumer Insurance

Adam Olive is the Director of Product Development and Strategy in the MRM Group. He joined AIG in 2014. Adam holds a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University in the UK and MBA with a Finance specialization from UCLA. He has over 25 years of experience in the investment management, investment banking and insurance industries. His roles have included senior quantitative analyst on exotic fixed income, fx derivatives and proprietary trading desks, head of an investment research group, and portfolio manager for both hedge funds and long only portfolios. Prior to joining AIG he was at HSBC Global Asset Management in London where he was responsible for “Smart Beta” investment strategies. In his current role he runs a team modeling retirement products at AIG.

Chris Onken, FSA, MAAA
Consulting Actuary
Milliman Financial Risk Management LLC

Chris Onken, FSA, MAAA, has been developing and overseeing variable and fixed index annuity hedging programs for over the past 10 years. Working with domestic and international direct writers and reinsurers, he is constantly striving to enhance effectiveness and efficiency. Recently, this has led to him to help companies develop managed risk funds and incorporate them into hedging strategies. Additionally, he provides support for scenario generation, financial reporting, and model development. Onken is also helping employee benefit plans utilize managed risk overlays as part of their investment strategy.

Timothy Paris, FSA, MAAA
CEO
Ruark Consulting LLC

Tim Paris, FSA, MAAA, is chief executive officer at Ruark Consulting LLC, which aims to be the platform and industry benchmark for principles-based insurance data analytics and risk management. He is a frequent speaker at industry events on the topics of longevity, policyholder behavior and dynamic assumption model development, product guarantees and reinsurance.

Peter M. Phillips
President, Pathwise Solutions Group
Aon Benfield

Peter M. Phillips has over 25 years of derivative trading, modeling and risk management experience in the banking and insurance industries. He is founder and president of the PathWise Solutions Group at Aon Benfield.

The PathWise Solutions Group provides clients with consulting services and software to manage life insurance risks, along with related investment advisory services through its registered portfolio and commodity trading manager. PathWise software is an award winning enterprise and high performance computing business solution to model, price, value, manage and report on the risks embedded in life insurance products. It is offered to clients either as a software-as-a-service solution in the cloud or as an on premise solution, where the client is responsible for the installation and administration PathWise system.

Phillips obtained an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago, a M.Sc. in finance from the London School of Economics, as well as a bachelor of commerce and economics with honors from the University of Toronto. He currently holds Series 7, 24, 66, 79 and 4 registrations with Aon Securities, Inc. and is registered as a commodity trader manager in Ontario and as a portfolio manager in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia in Canada.

Bryan Pinsky, FSA, CFA
Senior Vice President, Individual Retirement Products
AIG

Bryan Pinsky serves as senior vice president of individual retirement products for AIG. In this role, he is responsible for all variable, indexed, fixed and immediate retail annuities. Additionally, his team oversees the development and management of these products, including innovative product and investment creation, product implementation, distribution support, research, state filing, managing the investment platform and board oversight. He joined AIG in 2014.

Prior to joining AIG, Pinsky led the annuity product team at Prudential Annuities for seven years. In this role, he helped grow their variable annuities’ sales to number one in the industry via the development and creative adaptation of various lifetime income features, which included unique risk management techniques. Earlier, Pinsky spent 10 years at Allstate Financial where he held various positions with life insurance and annuity product development. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

Yajun (Alex) Zeng, Ph.D., CFA, CAIA
Assistant Vice President
Lincoln Financial Group

Dr. Yajun (Alex) Zeng is an Assistant Vice President at Lincoln Financial Group. He is part of Funds Management group that oversees more than $160B in assets, including $36B of risk managed strategies. In his current role, he is responsible for research, development and execution of quantitative/hedging strategies, volatility modeling, risk management, and manager oversight. Prior to joining Lincoln Financial, he worked on quantitative research for global equity markets and portfolio management.

Frank Zhang, CFA, FRM, FSA, MSCF, PRM
Global Pricing and Valuation Oversight
MetLife Global Risk Management

Frank Zhang works at MetLife’s Global Risk Management in Global Pricing and Valuation Oversight as Vice President.

He previously worked in his career at a few industry large insurers, consulting and investment banking firms in various hedging, ALM, risk management, model validation advisory services, pricing, valuation and derivatives solutions for annuity/insurance products.

Zhang has the CFA, FRM, FSA, and PRM designations and a degree in financial engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.