Howard Zail


Partner of Elucidor, LLC


MBA – Columbia Business School (New York), Deans List, Beta Gamma Sigma honors society
FFA – Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries (Edinburgh, UK)
FSA – Fellow of the Society of Actuaries
Bachelor of Science (Honors) – University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa)


Elucidor, LLC. (2000-present)

  • Actuarial consultant for insurers, reinsurers, risk managers, insurance intermediaries and their clients
  • Provides specialty advice to insurance companies on financial and business restructuring and workouts of distressed business lines and risk exposures
  • Expert in working with advanced insurance structures including alternative risk transfer business, financial guarantees, loss portfolio transfers, finite deals, capital relief, earnings smoothing and other specialized transactions
  • Advisor on life and health products, including long-term care, conventional and variable annuities, and health care reinsurance programs
  • Financial analyst for:
    • Profit testing and financial analyses of insurance companies including risk adjusted return and value-at-risk studies
    • Insurance-related M&A opportunities

Proverian Capital, LLC (2005-Present)

Howard Zail is the Chief Financial Officer of Proverian Capital, LLC. Howard is in charge of financial matters and risk analytics at Proverian. He has built pricing  models, mortality tables, underwriting systems

Centre, a member of Zurich Financial Services Group (1997-2000)

Vice President: Provided financial and actuarial analysis and restructuring work for a range of insurance and reinsurance structures and financial investments of the company

  • Performed workout and restructuring management for over $300 million in exposures to distressed assets
  • Secured additional short-term funding for distressed operations
  • Worked with operation management to reorganize their financial structure
  • Put in place surety bonds to facilitate further borrowing capacity and alleviate liquidity issues
  • Member of the board of directors for one of Centre’s venture capital investments; structured bridge loans and preferred equity for the company
  • Analyzed and provided due diligence of an acquisition of a disability insurance company with more than $250 million of assets
  • Performed actuarial studies and designed and structured a range of innovative life and health programs including long-term care, variable annuities, structured settlements, and health insurance programs
  • Established reinsurance programs including a major provider excess and HMO stop-loss program

Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (1996-1997)

Associate, Insurance Investment Banking: Worked on financial transactions for insurance companies; performed valuation analyses; coordinated transactions with clients and presented deals to potential investors
Transactions experience included:

  • Prepared a fairness opinion for the acquisition of a major health insurance company; conducted due diligence on the target company and assessed the financial viability of the merger
  • Organized the exclusive sales process for a property and casualty insurer; prepared sales marketing materials and negotiated with potential buyers
  • Developed and modeled financial structures for various merger and acquisition deals
  • Assisted in the private placement of equity capital for an international life insurer

Commercial Union Life (1991-1994, Johannesburg, South Africa)

  • Head of Product Development: Managed team that designed and priced investment and insurance products
  • Coordinated company-wide implementation and launch of new products
  • Strategic and Financial Planner: Compiled annual company strategic plan; worked with company directors and senior management in devising strategic direction, setting financial and operational policy and establishing department budgets; produced new business goals and pro forma financials
  • Devised investment criteria for a hedged fixed income portfolio (assets of $145 million); programmed software to monitor portfolio, assist investment decisions and assess interest rate risk
  • Conducted an in-depth study of establishing a health care insurance subsidiary


Insurance Risk Securitization – MBA thesis for Columbia Business School
Review of Asset / Liability Management Techniques – B.Sc. (honors) thesis