Shafik Jutha, ASA, ACIA, MAAA
Shafik began his career in the Canadian life insurance industry in 1980. His accumulated experience of 40+ years includes a variety of positions working for two life insurance companies and two major consulting firms. Shafik has a strong mix of actuarial skills in both pricing and valuation. His life insurance background includes corporate financial modeling and reporting, IFRS17, CALM, SOE, LICAT/LIMAT, DCAT, embedded value calculations, and product pricing.
His insurance knowledge is supported by a strong technical background including end-to-end AXIS model conversions, vetting, and reviews.
He also has experience in administration and valuation of defined benefit pension plans and has experience supporting audit teams as an actuarial specialist.
Shafik holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo. He is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries, Associate of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.
How did you begin your journey into actuarial science?
In my senior of high school, my friend Minaz, who was studying at the University of Waterloo, suggested I do actuarial science. Initially, it wasn't appealing to me as I thought actuarial science was a science, biology or chemistry, or something like that. But after explaining that, it involved my two favorite subjects, math and statistics, I said that was it. And then I decided to go on to Waterloo and do my actuarial science with a math major. It was an exciting time for me because I discovered a career that I enjoyed and I could relate to. I wrote most of my associate exams while at university. All these years I've never regretted my decision, and I would do the same thing all over again.
What led you to Actuarial modeling?
In the early eighties during my co-op terms at an insurance company, one of my tasks was to update an actuarial pricing model. Moody's AXIS was not available so the coding was done in a language called Fortran. This involved coding and it was not really actuarial modeling. One of my highlights during the co-op terms was I solved an actuarial modeling problem using the simplex algorithm, which really excited me. Then when AXIS became available, we converted the Fortran program to the AXIS platform. Our department was very impressed with the additional features and the built-in functionality. We thought of AXIS as Excel on steroids.
What’s your background in AXIS?
I use AXIS for pricing, for evaluation, and actuarial conversion of legacy systems in end-to-end transformations.
What skillset do you bring to the Valani team?
Over the last 15 years or so, I worked on end-to-end actuarial transformations, appointed actuary work, pricing of life and annuity products, and acquisition work in the US, Canada, and the Caribbean. Working for two of the big four audit firms equipped me with an audit perspective of our insurance clients, particularly reviewing and vetting of actuarial models.
Why did you join Valani Global?
I joined Valani consulting in April of 2008. At our first client meeting, Nazir introduced me to the client as this is Shafik and we work together. I expected him to say, this is Shafik and he works for me.I knew that Valani was a place where I could continually grow my actuarial education and work in an environment where all consultants are treated equally. As I soon come to learn, Nazir inculcates his management style and transparency throughout the company.
Why should clients hire Valani Global?
Our consultants collectively have a broad range of actuarial, management, and modeling skills to offer our clients, and our AXIS modeling is best practice in the industry.
How are you involved in the actuarial community?
Nazir and I, along with three other actuaries, help design and maintain a burial expense plan for the Ismaili community. Giving back always brings a sense of satisfaction for me and my family. At Valani Global, we convert risk into success.