Cornerstone Research supports experts in a variety of cases involving insurance or pension plans. Such litigation includes issues related to actuarial valuation, claims handling, asset management, investments, and regulatory topics. Our insurance-related work encompasses a range of insurance products, including life, health, property and casualty, mortgage, fixed and variable annuities, and reinsurance. Our pension-related work involves different types of retirement plans, including cash balance plans, multiemployer plans, and other defined benefit plans. We support industry and academic experts who specialize in insurance, pensions, and risk management.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

David J. Otto

Independent Actuarial Consultant,
Otto Consulting Services, LLC

David Otto is an expert in risk and property and casualty insurance, with expertise in pricing and loss reserving. An actuary with more than three decades of experience, Mr. Otto has been an actuarial consultant on insurance matters across various industries and most property and casualty insurance lines of business, including personal and commercial auto, homeowners, workers’ compensation, general liability, commercial multi-peril, hospital professional liability, physician medical professional liability, and legal professional liability. He has provided expert testimony in numerous matters, in both state and federal courts.

Mr. Otto was a managing director at Willis Towers Watson. In this capacity, he managed over one hundred actuaries and led the firm’s loss reserving services in the United States and Canada. Previously, Mr. Otto has also served as an appointed actuary for multiple companies, providing independent assessments of the reasonableness of insurance companies’ statutory loss reserves, as recorded annually in regulatory financial statements.

For more than a decade, Mr. Otto served on the Casualty Committee of the Actuarial Standards Board, including as casualty committee chairperson. The Actuarial Standards Board sets the Actuarial Standards of Practice (ASOPs) that actuaries in the United States must follow. During his time on the Casualty Committee, Mr. Otto was involved in the development of numerous ASOPs.

Mr. Otto has been a frequent speaker on insurance and actuarial topics at professional conferences. On behalf of the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and other insurance organizations, he has taught continuing and professional education seminars on loss reserving, insurance pricing, underwriting, and ASOPs.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Robert E. Hoyt

Dudley L. Moore Jr. Chair of Insurance,
Risk Management and Insurance Program,
Terry College of Business,
University of Georgia

Rob Hoyt is an expert in risk and insurance. He specializes in corporate hedging, enterprise risk management, catastrophe risk management, insurer operations, the economics of insurance fraud, and insurer insolvency.

Professor Hoyt has provided expert testimony in numerous matters, addressing such issues as insurer operations, insurance regulation, property-casualty insurance, employee benefits, life and health insurance, actuarial valuations, captive insurers, and reinsurance. He has also consulted on risk management topics to industry and governmental groups, ranging from insurers and risk managers to reinsurers and insurance legislators.

Professor Hoyt is the author or coauthor of multiple book chapters and books, including a widely used reference on risk management and insurance. His research has also been published in leading peer-reviewed academic and professional journals, such as the Journal of Risk and Insurance, the North American Actuarial Journal, the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, the Journal of Insurance Regulation, the Journal of Banking and Finance, and Risk Management and Insurance Review, among others. In addition, his work has been cited extensively in business and mainstream media.

The winner of multiple teaching awards in an academic career that spans three decades, Professor Hoyt teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in corporate risk management and insurance. He has also taught classes in insurer operations, life insurance, employee benefits, and principles of insurance.

Professor Hoyt has served on multiple boards of directors, including as chair of the board of an acute care hospital and a health maintenance organization (HMO) and as the audit committee chair for a property-casualty insurer. He has also served as president of the American Risk and Insurance Association, the Risk Theory Society, and the Southern Risk and Insurance Association. Professor Hoyt is a past vice president of the International Insurance Society.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Laura T. Starks

George Kozmetsky Centennial Distinguished University Chair and Professor of Finance,
McCombs School of Business,
University of Texas at Austin

Laura Starks is an expert on capital markets; financial institutions; investment management; corporate finance; and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Her research covers a range of topics related to asset pricing, mutual funds, retirement plans, and corporate finance. Professor Starks’s ESG expertise includes ESG measurement, climate risk, board diversity, and impact investing. She was one of the first professors to develop courses on ESG investing, which she has been teaching for the past ten years to undergraduate and graduate students.

In her expert testimony, Professor Starks has addressed a variety of allegations. These issues have included retirement plan fees, institutional investing, mutual fund management and fees, employee stock options, spin-offs, investment prudence, board prudence, ESG-related issues including corporate governance, securities lending, and information effects on financial markets.

Professor Starks currently serves on the Academic Advisory Board of FTSE-Russell, the Academic Network Advisory Committee for Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the Academic Advisory Board for AIF Global, the Academic Advisory Council for the Pacific Center for Asset Management, and the Advisory Board of Texas Wall Street Women.

For many years, Professor Starks was an independent director for CREF Retirement Accounts and TIAA-CREF Mutual Funds. She served on the Investment Advisory Committee for the Employees Retirement System of Texas, the Board of Governors of the Investment Company Institute, and the Governing Council of the Independent Directors Council. In addition, she has been a member of the Strategy Council and the Expert Panel for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund (the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world).

Professor Starks is the current president of the American Finance Association, and has also served on its board of directors. In addition, she has been president and a member of the boards of directors for the Financial Management Association, the Society for Financial Studies, and the Western Finance Association. Professor Starks previously edited the Review of Financial Studies, and has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Finance, Financial Management, and the Journal of Financial Services Research, among others.

Professor Starks has published her research in leading journals. She has received numerous awards for her research, including the 2021 Moskowitz Prize, the premier global prize for research in sustainable finance. Professor Starks is also an award-winning educator, and has taught courses in corporate finance and investments, among other topics. She presents her research at academic and practitioner events all over the world.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Laurence C. Baker

Bing Professor of Human Biology, Stanford University;
Associate Chair for Education, Department of Health Policy,
Stanford School of Medicine;
Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research,
Stanford University;
Senior Advisor, Cornerstone Research

Laurence Baker is an expert in the areas of antitrust, health insurance markets, medical services pricing, and the effects of regulation on healthcare markets. He has consulted and testified on matters related to healthcare prices and costs, as well as competition issues, including mergers between hospitals and physician groups, alleged exclusionary contracting practices, and alleged collusive labor agreements.

Professor Baker’s experience includes healthcare financing issues, provider payment systems, class certification, and damages. In the health insurance arena, he has expertise in private insurance, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid. Professor Baker has also served as an expert in life sciences matters involving antitrust and intellectual property issues.

In his research, Professor Baker has examined the relationship between physician practice characteristics and competition and healthcare delivery, prices, and outcomes. He has also studied the effects of managed care insurance practices on the healthcare system; the impact of regulation on healthcare markets; the determinants and results of technological change in medicine; and patient safety in U.S. hospitals. In addition, Professor Baker has worked on issues related to physicians’ incomes and career choices, and analyzed how the Internet and e-mail influence healthcare delivery and outcomes.

He was awarded the ASHEcon Medal for his significant contributions to the field of health economics, and has twice been honored for excellence in teaching. Professor Baker is a fellow at the Stanford Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research. His publications include articles in JAMA—The Journal of the American Medical AssociationHealth Services Research, and Health Affairs.

Insurance and Pension Plans Capabilities

Regulators and ratings agencies routinely evaluate the financial position of insurance companies. Cornerstone Research has expertise in such evaluations as well as knowledge of standard insurance industry risk mitigation practices. Our experience includes:

  • Reviewing corporate decision-making processes surrounding how insurance companies establish, maintain, and utilize surplus funds
  • Analyzing insurance company surplus levels and other metrics of financial health such as risk-based capital (RBC) in the context of how regulators evaluate a company’s risk level
  • Explaining state-level insurance regulations and protections offered by state guaranty associations
  • Evaluating regulatory actions stemming from excessive riskiness of insurance companies

Cornerstone Research analyzes issues related to property and casualty insurers and their claims handling processes, including analyses of individual insurance claims. Our experience includes:

  • Assessing the reasonableness of claims levels through historical benchmarking and analysis of individual claims
  • Describing typical claims processes, including claim adjuster considerations and the factors insurers consider when paying claims
  • Analyzing actuarial issues related to loss reserving practices

Our consultants and experts have expertise in a wide variety of life insurance products. Our experience includes:

  • Assessing insurable interest for life insurance policies in the context of evaluating appropriate policy approval practices
  • Evaluating contract issues relating to Bank-Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) policies, including those with stable value wrap structures
  • Analyzing issues related to asset liability management (ALM) and asset adequacy analysis (AAA) for long-term liabilities such as those associated with long-term care (LTC)
  • Examining the appropriateness of fees on annuity products, including assessing the risks borne by insurance companies when offering annuity products

Cornerstone Research has experience with all aspects of health insurance competition, design, actuarial analysis, administration, third-party payors, and industry best practices. We have been retained and supported experts in matters that involved design and marketing of health insurance plans, insurer competition, actuarial assumptions for cost estimation, premium and reserve setting, actuarial standards of care, and actuarial equivalence of health insurance plans.

We work on matters involving the ways insurance companies allocate risks, including reinsurance contracts and quota share treaties. Our experience includes:

  • Analyzing issues related to funding of reinsurance trusts and credit for reinsurance
  • Analyzing surplus share agreements and the implications to the cedent when the reinsurance is commuted

Cornerstone Research has a deep understanding of the monoline insurer’s role in bringing mortgage-backed security products to the market, including insurers’ models and best practices relating to risk evaluation. Our experience includes:

  • Reviewing practices and models used by monoline insurers to assess the riskiness of potential deals during the 2008 financial crisis
  • Analyzing issues related to reimbursement, such as commutation agreements

Cornerstone Research has capabilities related to various other insurance issues. Our experience includes:

  • Captive insurance
  • Director & Officer (D&O) insurance
  • Structured settlement insurance pricing
  • Surety bonds
  • Insurance company asset management
  • Title insurance

Cornerstone Research has consulted and supported experts in actuarial science and financial economics on a range of issues related to the valuation and management of pension plans and other post-retirement welfare benefit programs. Our experience includes:

  • Assessing the risk of pension insolvency
  • Valuing pension liabilities
  • Assessing the appropriateness of various pension valuation assumptions
  • Projecting pension plan asset returns
  • Valuing post-retirement welfare benefits
  • Analyzing multiemployer pension plans (MEPPs), including the potential financial impact of withdrawal

Featured Cases