Investment Symposium

Event Home  | Agenda  | Attendees | Registration | Hotel Information  | CPD  | Additional Information


Day One | Day Two | Day Three


The MP4 audio recordings synchronized with the presenter slides are available to purchase for the entire meeting through the SOA store. The MP4 downloads provide excellent training, are eligible for fulfillment of your CPD requirement and allow you to view sessions you may have missed. View the sessions online anytime or download the MP4 files to your mobile device for portable listening.


  SOA Member Nonmember
Complete Meeting Compilation$0$249


Purchase the Complete Meeting Compilation

Once your order has been processed, a confirmation email will be sent with the instructions for accessing the recordings you purchased.

Thursday, March 9
7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
7:00 – 8:00 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
8:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Steve Levitt Keynote Speaker: Steven Levitt
Steven Levitt will discuss Freakonomics and the power of incentives.

Steven Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics
Steven Levitt is a much-heralded young scholar, who studies the riddles of everyday life - from cheating and crime to sports and child rearing - and whose conclusions regularly turn conventional wisdom on its head. He is the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he directs the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory. Levitt was named one of  Time  magazine's "100 People Who Shape Our World." 

9:15 – 9:30 a.m.
Refreshment Break
9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Presentation(s): View Presentation

Credits: 1.50 Noncore EA

Moderator(s): Erik J. Thoren, FSA, CERA, MAAA

Presenter(s): Dariush A. Akhtari, FSA, FCIA, MAAA; James G. Stoltzfus, FSA, CERA, MAAA

The future of interest rates is uncertain. Rates may remain low for an extended time period or may rise precipitously. What is the impact of future interest rate movements on an investment portfolio? What is the impact on ALM practices? Presenters will discuss future interest rate scenarios and potential implications on a portfolio, including ALM considerations.


Experience Level: Intermediate

Session Coordinator(s): Kelly Lynn Featherstone, FSA, ACIA

Presentation(s): View Presentation

Moderator(s): Warren A. Manners, FSA, MAAA

Presenter(s): Robert Anderson; Gautham Sastri

There's no question that Big Data is the new engine driving innovation in the insurance industry. This includes improved customer service to reduced incidence of fraud, target marketing and more efficient pricing. But What about the investment space? Can the boundless reservoir of information help insurance investment professionals find alpha, generate extra yield or reduce investment risk? Does social media open up new horizons and offer an alternative to the daily barrage of ubiquitous market data that has fed the investment industry for the last half century? These are just some of the Big Data questions that will be discussed at this year's Investment Symposium.


Experience Level: All

Session Coordinator(s): Warren A. Manners, FSA, MAAA

10:45 – 11:00 a.m.
Refreshment Break
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m

Presentation(s): View Presentation

Moderator(s): Larry Zhao, FSA, CERA

Presenter(s): Aaron Joseph Sarfatti, ASA; Kai C. Talarek; Peter Qi Ning Tian

After the NAIC enacted C3 Phase II in 2006 and AG43 in 2009, the interplay of these standards injected tremendous complexity into variable annuity statutory balance sheet and risk management, prompting the use of captive reinsurance across the VA writers. In 2015, the NAIC commissioned a Quantitative Impact Study (QIS) to examine how to mitigate the incentives for insurers to engage in captive reinsurance. Oliver Wyman led the studies and recently published their recommendation. The Oliver Wyman proposal, if fully adopted by NAIC, including aligning economically-focused hedge assets with liability valuations, reforming Standard Scenarios (AG43 and C3P2), revising asset admissibility for derivatives and Deferred Tax Assets (DTAs), as well as standardizing capital markets assumptions, will have a far-reaching impact on how VA writers hedge their liabilities and how they invest assets backing liabilities. Given the $125 to $150 billion VA sales per year and the two to three trillion dollar market, this has the potential to be a game changer.

The session will cover the most recent developments and discuss hedging and investment strategies.

Experience Level: All

Session Coordinator(s): Larry Zhao, FSA, CERA

Credits: 1.50 Noncore EA

Moderator(s): Stephen G. Smith, FSA, CFA, MAAA

Presenter(s): Jason Pratt; Alex Veroude

Brexit, Italian banks, Oil, European elections, Fed tightening/ECB easing and even Trump. This session will explore the implications of exogenous shocks as they relate to recent international events. How have insurance portfolios and pension funds reacted to such events? Will these events change how portfolio managers think about and prepare for the future? Operating within a global economy and global capital markets that are at historically high levels of integration, portfolio managers and strategists will benefit from having a thoughtful framework within which to think about international events.

Experience Level: All

Session Coordinator(s): Stephen G. Smith, FSA, MAAA

12:15 – 1:45 p.m.

Presentation(s): View Presentation

Moderator(s): Suhrid Swaminarayan, FSA, FIA

Presenter(s): Werner DeBondt, Ph.D.

As we learn more about how our brains work and how humans make decisions, we gain insights that can enhance our perspective on markets and our own investment decision making. Understanding the emotional and cognitive biases that impact all of us is becoming more and more important. This session will cover new thinking on behavioral finance, based on recent academic research.  

Experience Level: All

Session Coordinator(s): Evan Inglis, FSA, FCA, EA, MAAA

1:45 – 2:15
2:15 – 3:30 p.m

Presentation(s): View Presentation

Credits: 1.50 Noncore EA

Moderator(s): Kevin McLaughlin, FIA, CFA

Presenter(s): Yang (Russell) Gao, FSA, CERA, MAAA; Jeffrey G. Passmore, FSA, CFA, EA, FCA

The speakers will discuss the roles and interactions of pension hedging benchmarks, custom investment guidelines and portfolio management. The pros and cons of using publicly available indices vs. a Custom Liability Benchmark (CLB) will be explored. Presenters will discuss the search for a win-win proposition as benchmarks track liabilities while also creating opportunity for portfolio managers to add value. This session is intended to have, and will encourage, significant audience participation through audience questions and/or the sharing of experiences.

Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Session Coordinator(s): Thomas J. Egan Jr., FSA, EA, FCA

Presentation(s): View Presentation

Moderator(s): Peter H. Sun, FSA, MAAA

Presenter(s): Zachary Zunker Brown; Svein Floden; Jonathan Bruce Glowacki, FSA, CERA, MAAA

This session discusses alternative investment options for insurance companies, as more and more companies become interested in broadening their investment universe in the current low interest rate environment. The presenters will share their experience in providing alternative investments for insurance companies via several case studies. The conclusion of this session will result in attendees will being able to be more aware of alternative investment options available to insurance companies and their advantages and constraints.

Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Session Coordinator(s): Peter H. Sun, FSA, MAAA and David Schraub, FSA, AQ, CERA, MAAA

Presentation(s): View Presentation

Credits: 1.50 Noncore EA

Moderator(s): Erik S. Troutman, FSA, CFA, MAAA

Presenter(s): Michael Ashton; Stephen Kroah, CFA; Allan Mark Levin, FSA, CFA, FIA, MAAA

We thought inflation may have been dead. But could talk of fiscal stimulus be stirring fears of inflation? Will these fears be realized and, if so, is it good or bad for the economy? Could this just be a blip in the long-term downward trend, and the Fed will never reach their 2% optimal inflation target? What are the likelihood and implications of these scenarios, and how can individuals and institutions protect themselves or benefit?

Experience Level: All

Session Coordinator(s): Allan Mark Levin, FSA, FIA, MAAA

3:30 - 3:45 p.m.
Refreshment Break
3:45 – 5:00

Presentation(s): View Presentation

Moderator(s): Binita Pradhan

Presenter(s): Kate Kleeman; Michael McClary; Charles Nevins; Binita Pradhan

This session will discuss professionalism in the insurance company investment setting and practices which are most conducive to professionalism. This session will take a case study approach by seeking feedback and participation from the audience in an exchange of ideas. 

Experience Level: All

Session Coordinator(s): Peter H. Sun, FSA, MAAA

Presentation(s): View Presentation

Moderator(s): James A. Kosinski, FSA, MAAA

Presenter(s): Deep M. Patel, FSA, MAAA; John Wiesner

Variable annuities and fixed indexed annuities pose complex management challenges. A proliferation of features and optional benefits make VAs and FIAs very appealing for retirement planning, but also brings significant risks. The speakers will discuss practical techniques for managing the risks of these products.


Experience Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Session Coordinator(s): James A. Kosinski, FSA, MAAA

Presentation(s): View Presentation

Credits: 1.50 Noncore EA

Moderator(s): Jodan H. Ledford

Presenter(s): Rene Martel, FSA, CFA; Rick Ratkowski, CFA

The usage of derivatives in pension investment strategies continues to expand. The speakers will present practical examples of how derivatives can be used to manage risk in ways that cannot be achieved in the cash market alone. This session is designed to encourage audience participation in exploring the advantages and disadvantages of alternative derivative strategies. 


Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Session Coordinator(s): Thomas J. Egan Jr., FSA, EA, FCA

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Networking Reception




Demonstrating the listening, writing and speaking skills required to effectively address diverse technical and nontechnical audiences in both formal and informal settings.

Professional Values

Adhering to standards of professional conduct and practice where all business interactions are based on a foundation of integrity, honesty and impartiality.

External Forces & Industry Knowledge

Identifying and incorporating the implications of economic, social, regulatory, geo-political and business changes into the design and delivery of actuarial solutions.


Initiating, innovating, inspiring, creating or otherwise acting to influence others regardless of level or role toward a common goal.

Relationship Management & Interpersonal Collaboration

Creating mutually beneficial relationships and work processes toward a common goal.

Technical Skills & Analytical Problem Solving

Applying the actuarial knowledge, skills and judgment required to provide value-added services.

Strategic Insight & Integration

Anticipating trends and strategically aligning actuarial practice with broader organizational business goals.

Results-Oriented Solutions

Providing effective problem solving that addresses relevant interests and needs.