Ruark Consulting LLC: Industry Benchmark for Insurance Data Analytics

Timothy Paris, CEO, Ruark Consulting LLCTimothy Paris, CEO
Since the early 1990s, the insurance market has undergone extensive changes concerning the nature of annuity products—from an emphasis on the range of underlying investments, to death benefit guarantees provided to beneficiaries, to lifetime retirement income guarantees since the early 2000s. The combination of rapid product design innovation, guarantees that can be in force for decades, and hundreds of billions (USD) in sales volume, requires insurance companies to combine sophisticated data analytics and actuarial judgment to appropriately evaluate, model, and manage these risks effectively. Enter Ruark Consulting LLC.

Fueled by over ten years of seriatim monthly data from dozens of companies that comprise about 70 percent of the variable and fixed indexed annuity markets, Ruark provides behavioral analytics and actionable assumption models that help insurance companies gain greater insights and manage risks more effectively than what they can typically do when limited to their own data. “We aim to be the platform and industry benchmark for principles-based insurance data analytics and risk management,” explains Timothy Paris, CEO of Ruark.

Insurance companies face many challenges in introducing relevant products that reflect the needs of the wide range of prospective annuity buyers and their financial advisors. Even medium and large companies lack the historical experience data needed to develop credible conclusions about policyholder behavior and future risks. With deep expertise in conducting experience studies for mortality and elective policyholder behaviors such as income utilization and surrender rates, Ruark aggregates, scrubs, analyzes, and develops customized behavioral models for insurance companies that leverage industry-and company-level data in order to improve results over the short- and long-term. “Our behavioral analytics engagements range from discrete consulting projects to full-service outsourcing relationships,” adds Paris.

We aim to be the platform and industry benchmark for principles-based insurance data analytics and risk management

“With the US annuity market as one example, we apply big data techniques in a manner that can be readily implemented by our clients in their current operational framework. This ‘quick wins’ approach provides a stepping stone for more advanced analysis, and continued operational and financial improvements,” says Paris.

The use of predictive modeling techniques is a growth area for Ruark, as these techniques continue to gain traction in the life and annuity market. Ruark aims to continue to serve the US annuity market, while expanding to other product lines and jurisdictions where similar data gathering and analytical services can be most valuable.