Need industry information? For your convenience, we have provided answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions. Want to see the professional articles Mr. Reopel has written? They are listed here, as well as links and resource information about the professional organizations to which Mr. Reopel belongs and a link to his Curriculum Vitae. You may also contact us with any additional requests and/or questions and we will respond as soon as possible.
- What is an Actuary?
- How are actuaries qualified to assess economic losses?
- For economic loss cases, does it matter what state my case is in?
What is an Actuary?
An actuary is a business professional who analyzes the financial consequences of risk. The actuary’s work requires a combination of strong analytical and problem-solving skills, business knowledge, and an understanding of human behavior to design and manage programs that involve financial risk. Actuaries are trained and experienced at determining the premium rates for insurance plans, the funding levels for pension plans, and the reserve amounts for insurance companies to hold on their books. These amounts can range in the millions, or even billions, of dollars. This also requires choosing the appropriate interest, tax, and expense assumptions to use in these determinations. The Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) designation recognizes an individual that has demonstrated a high level of knowledge about the business environments in which financial decisions concerning pensions, life insurance, health insurance, and investments are made, using the application of mathematical, probability, and financial skills to assess the current economic value of future monetary events that are uncertain in terms of amount and timing. The American Academy of Actuaries serves the U.S. public on behalf of the actuarial profession. Comprising actuaries from all practice areas, the Academy is the voice of the profession on public policy and professionalism issues. To become a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA), a prospective actuary must pass a series of exams given by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), or the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA). The exam process usually takes several years.
How are actuaries qualified to assess economic losses?
Economic losses in litigation cases could be assessed by experts from other fields of practice, such as economics and accounting. But only actuaries are formally trained and experienced—and required to meet specific professional standards of practice—in the skills needed to determine the impact of life and other contingencies in assessing the economic value of future monetary events. An actuary providing expert witness testimony performs an important service to the attorneys, the litigants, the court, and the public by explaining complex technical issues that can be critical to the resolution of disputes.
For economic loss cases, does it matter what state my case is in?
Not often. While applicable laws can vary from state to state and with federal cases, the assessment process is essentially the same in most cases. Most of the expert’s work does not involve face-to-face meetings. The location of Actuarial Litigation Consulting becomes an issue only when traveling long distances to provide depositions or testimony becomes necessary; this does not happen often, but it can affect the fees when it does.
The American Academy of Actuaries serves the public on behalf of the U.S. actuarial profession. Uniting actuaries from all practice areas, the Academy is the voice of the profession on public policy and professionalism issues. To become a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA), a prospective actuary must pass a series of exams given by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), or the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA). The exam process usually takes several years.
The National Association of Forensic Economics (NAFE) is a professional organization of economists, accountants, finance and business professionals, vocational counselors, lawyers, and actuaries engaged in such fields as business valuation, commercial litigation, employment litigation, and personal injury and wrongful death torts.