Ali A. Zaker-Shahrak

Actuarial Health Insurance Expert

Ali A Zaker-Shahrak, a new member of the Academy, is an accomplished Senior Life Actuary with the California Department of Insurance. He reviews filings for premium rate changes for Life and Health Insurance companies, and in recent years, has been reviewing Major Medical Individual and Small Group rate filings that are filed in accordance with the provisions of Affordable Care Act. 

Zaker-Shahrak previously held a position with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey as a manager of Individual and Senior Medicare and Medigap Markets. Prior to Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Zaker-Shahrak worked in Asset/ Liability Management and Individual Annuity at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company from November 1996 to June 2002. Zaker-Shahrak also worked in investment banking at the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company from June 1995 to April 2006, where he estimated equity (use-of-capital) risk charges for the major lines of businesses of JP Morgan and conducted a data intensive study to estimate volatility and correlation coefficients among various JP Morgan lines of businesses and risk units.

An expert in health insurance, including pricing, experience analysis, forecasting; long term Care; Medicare; Medicare Supplement; specified disease; as well as Risk-Based Capital, including Analysis, Quantification and Management of Risk in general, (Financial Risk in particular,) and Economic and Statistical Analysis and Forecasting, Zaker-Shahrak lends his expertise by volunteering frequently with actuarial organizations. He prepares questions and grades for the Society of Actuaries’ Education and Examination Committee, is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries’ (AAA) Social Security Committee, and has served on various other AAA committees in the past, and also has moderated a number of sessions at Society of Actuaries’ Annual and Health Meetings.

"Ali Zaker-Shahrak is extremely knowledgeable about the U.S. Social Security and Medicare programs, on both a macro and a micro level,” says Bruce D. Schobel, vice president and actuary of New York Life Insurance Company. “He also brings to any discussion an international perspective that is very useful when evaluating U.S. social insurance programs relative to those of other countries. Moreover, as both an actuary and a regulator, he has deep insight into the promises that financial institutions make to their clients and what can go wrong to prevent those promises from being kept."

Zaker-Shahrak received his Ph.D. in Economics, his M.Sc. in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, and his B.Sc. in Economics, Special Subject: Statistics and Computing, with First Class Honors, from The London School of Economics. During his career, Zaker-Shahrak has been awarded and honored numerous times for his contributions to economics and actuarial science. He is a recipient of the California Department of Insurance Commissioner’s Superior Accomplishment Award (2007) and the Commissioner’s Award for Excellence (2010 and 2012), the London School of Economics Farr Medal and Prize, and the Raynes Undergraduate Prize, which is awarded annually to the student with the best performance in Part II of the B.Sc final examination.

Zaker-Shahrak is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and was elected a member of the Academy in 2015. During his spare time, he enjoys swimming, watching good movies and traveling.