Actuarial group’s new leader focuses on valuation

John Parks, the new president of the American Academy of Actuaries, Washington, said he is committed to “responding to the … wisdom of disclosing the market value of assets and liabilities in the valuation of public pension plans,” according to his acceptance speech.

The “academy, along with the entire profession, will carefully measure the consequences and act in the public interest,” he said in the speech, given at the academy’s annual meeting Oct. 27.

The academy is examining the issue of valuation of public pension plans. Many officials of the plans oppose moving to market valuation.

Mr. Parks, who succeeds William Bluhm, a principal with Milliman, retired in 2007 as senior actuary and second vice president of the retirement actuarial consulting group of Principal Financial Group.

Also at the meeting, Bruce Schobel was elected as the academy’s next president, scheduled to take office in October 2009. Mr. Schobel is a vice president and actuary with New York Life Insurance Co.