Pinnacle U Continually Contributes to the Actuarial Profession
Joe Herbers

Pinnacle U Continually Contributes to the Actuarial Profession

Joe Herbers May 25, 2017 Posted in: Blog Posts, Self-Insured Entities

Pinnacle recently hosted the 4th annual Pinnacle U event in our Bloomington office. Pinnacle U is a collaborative effort between Illinois State University (ISU) and Pinnacle that provides a wide array of training and development opportunities for its participants. The event is also a tangible response to the strategic plan of the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), which lists improving communications and relationships with candidates and academics as a top priority.

Pinnacle Actuarial Analysts and interns pair up with ISU students with the common goal to prepare a 20-minute presentation on a topic of actuarial interest. Following each session, a panel of insurance company professionals provides feedback to the participants.

This year’s Pinnacle U topics included:

  • Marijuana legalization’s impact on insurance 
  • Risk transfer testing
  • Telematics and how data is used in pricing personal auto insurance
  • Auto warranties and extended service contracts
  • The assumptions, mechanics and strengths/weaknesses of various actuarial methods
  • Perspectives on the new sharing economy – transportation networks (Uber, Lyft) and home sharing
  • The use of drones in the insurance business
  • The impact of climate change on the insurance industry

A total of 25 presenters (17 from Pinnacle and 8 from ISU) filled the day with insightful presentations that were well researched and delivered in collaborative team format. In addition to the educational content of the meeting itself, the day’s format always provides a number of benefits to Pinnacle, ISU and everyone involved.

Pinnacle U furnishes ISU students and Pinnacle analysts the occasion to get in front of a large audience of actuaries and network with other area students and professionals. It also allows ISU professors the opportunity to observe their students demonstrating their knowledge and presentation skills. Pinnacle U is yet another way for Pinnacle to solidify our strategic relationship with ISU, a top-tier university and inaugural winner of the CAS University Award.

Many thanks go out to Pinnacle’s Erich Brandt and Greg Fears for coordinating Pinnacle U. They put forth a tremendous effort to not only organize the event but also work with each team to ensure all presentations are of the highest professional quality. Thanks also go to Dr. Krzysztof Ostaszewski, ISU’s Actuarial Program Director, for preparing his students so well. The feedback we receive from the audience, presenters and judges has been overwhelmingly positive and we believe Pinnacle U will continue be one of the profession’s preeminent annual events.

Joe Herbers is Pinnacle’s Managing Principal and a Consulting Actuary with over 30 years’ experience. His practice focuses on providing loss reserving and funding studies for a wide variety of entities – both traditional insurers and alternative markets. Joe’s specialties include policyholder-owned group captives, large-deductible and/or self-insured entities, lawyers’ professional liability carriers, Florida property writers and non-standard auto writers in the state of Illinois. Joe is an Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society (ACAS), a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA) and Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA). He served as long-time member and Chair of the American Academy of Actuaries Committee on Property Liability Financial Reporting (COPLFR) as well as several other professional committees. He is a regular speaker at industry events.
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