Pinnacle’s Commitment to Community through Pinnacle U
Joe Herbers

Pinnacle’s Commitment to Community through Pinnacle U

Joe Herbers May 30, 2018 Posted in: Blog Posts, General, News, Community Involvement

(Left-Right) Judy Cheng, Shaun Griffith, Tristan Rhodeside. Pictured above: Grant Manley, Danielle Ireton.
Pinnacle recently hosted the 5th annual Pinnacle University (Pinnacle U) event in our Bloomington office. The Pinnacle U program is a collaborative effort with Illinois State University (ISU) to provide training and development opportunities to both our employees and local college students. Consistent with our firm’s commitment to community, Pinnacle U is well-received in the Bloomington-Normal area.

The Pinnacle U program teams Pinnacle actuarial analysts and interns with ISU students to research and prepare presentations on topics of actuarial interest. The groups then present to a panel of insurance company professionals, which provides the participants feedback, along with time for questions and answers.

This year’s presentation topics included:

  • Changes in Florida Homeowners Reinsurance Programs
  • Unique Coverages and How to Price Them
  • Death, Disability & Retirement (DD&R)
  • The Niche World of Insurance
  • Parametric Insurance
  • Lemonade and Peer-to-Peer Insurance
  • Risk Management in Cyber Security
  • Cryptocurrency

(Left-Right) Nicole McArdle, Michael O’Reilley, James Wencil.
A total of 25 presenters (17 from Pinnacle and 8 from ISU) filled the day with insightful, well-researched and collaborative talks. A panel of four credentialed actuaries (including the author and representatives from three other local organizations) offered their thoughts and input at the end of each session. The day-long final program provided all participants the opportunity to improve communications and strengthen relationships with candidates and academics throughout the Midwest.

The presentations’ educational content touched on real-world insurance industry developments:

  • Impact of legislated reinsurance pools for catastrophic risks
  • Enterprise risk captives and the unique coverages offered
  • Issues associated with the so-called free tail coverage offered to professional liability insureds who have been insured by claims-made coverage for a number of years
  • Emergence of new insurance programs MetroMile, Slice and Trov
  • Blockchain, smart contracts and the emergence of insurance coverage with parametric triggers
  • Emergence of Uvamo in Chicago, Besurance in Canada and Friendsurance in Germany and how these new peer-to-peer insurance programs are changing the face of traditional insurance coverage
  • Emergence of Bitcoin, CoinBase and other cryptocurrencies and their relevance to the industry

Many thanks go out to Pinnacle’s Erich Brandt and Greg Fears for annually coordinating the event, and to Dr. Krzysztof Ostaszewski, ISU’s Actuarial Program Director, for preparing his students so well.

Pinnacle U’s real value came from its presenters. The high-quality sessions imparted us with considerable knowledge and led to lively questions and answers. We can’t wait for Pinnacle U 2019!


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.

«June 2020»