Zainal Abidin Mohd Kassim


Zainal is our managing director, and a pioneer in the actuarial field in Malaysia having been active in the scene since 1982. He benefits from having garnered experience across all the actuarial related field of life and general insurance, pensions and investment.

Zainal has been with the company since 1982. His consulting experience spans the full spectrum of actuarial services including life and general insurance consulting, family and general Takaful consulting, retirement and employee benefit consulting and investment consulting. He was among the first five Malaysians to qualify as a Fellow of an actuarial professional body.

With the benefit of a long and diverse career in actuarial consulting, he currently specializes in the strategic aspects of takaful, insurance, IFRS17 and retirement consulting. He is a firm believer that the best solutions are those that consider the long-term needs of all stakeholders. This requires looking at problems on a holistic basis and recognizing the limitations of solutions that overly rely on laws to regulate behaviors. Zainal has written many articles and spoken at conferences globally on his experiences with the development of takaful. He was the first actuary to practice takaful in Malaysia. He has also been involved in strategic analysis and the setup of takaful and retakaful operators in Asia, Africa and Europe.

Zainal started his career as a pension actuary and remains active in retirement consulting. He is a member of the International Accounting Standards Board Working Group in London which reviewed proposed changes to IAS 19, accounting for pensions and other retirement benefits. He is on the Malaysian Accounting Standards Board (MASB) WG52 which was entrusted to provide feedback on IFRS 17 during the formulation phase on behalf of the Board. He subsequently sat in the MASB TRG on the implementation of IFRS 17 for takaful.

Zainal also consults as a short term consultant on several World Bank projects on insurance and takaful bringing his vast experience to assist developing countries to update their regulatory framework for insurance and takaful. This include assignments in Bhutan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Somalia, Afghanistan, Kenya, Indonesia, Philippines and Sudan.

He is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries of the UK, a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of Malaysia, Fellow of the Singapore Actuarial Society and an Associate of the Society of Actuaries in the USA. He graduated in 1978 from City, University of London with a First Class Honours degree in Actuarial Science.

He is a past President of the Actuarial Society of Malaysia.

Areas of Expertise


IFRS 17 and Takaful – RiskTransfer or Risk Sharing:Conclusion (1/1/2022) The question of whether takaful involves risk transfer or risk sharing is fundamental to the accounting of takaful. It is not satisfactory to just say that takaful is about risk sharing and yet it is accounted as risk transfer. You know that there is risk transfer being accounted under IFRS 17 when the Revenue Account… Read More
Light at the end of the tunnel (but we are not there yet) (11/1/2020) My first article of this series on applying IFRS 17 to takaful was posted on November 13 2019. Exactly one year on, and after ten such postings, I can report that Malaysia is moving somewhat in the right direction as to satisfying the two guiding principles of accounting for takaful: That the presentation of the… Read More
Risk Adjustment in the Participants Risk Fund (PRF) (8/1/2020) IFRS17 (the Standard) requires that the fulfilment cash flows in the determining the liability underlying an insurance contract includes a Risk Adjustment (RA) for non-financial risks. Specifically Paragraph 37 says: “An entity shall adjust the estimate of the present value of the future cash flows to reflect the compensation that the entity requires for bearing… Read More
IFRS 17 and Takaful – Risk Transfer or Risk Sharing? (7/1/2020) The discussion within the accounting fraternity in Malaysia as to the accounting treatment of takaful under IFRS 17 is ongoing. But given the practical challenges of implementation under COVID-19 conditions, the sector needs to resolve these issues within the year, says Mr Zainal Kassim of Actuarial Partners Consulting. The issue with Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs,… Read More
It’s the Wakala Fee (7/1/2020) Recently Actuarial Partners conducted a series of webinars on takaful which culminated in demonstrating the complications that will arise applying B67 to B70 of IFRS 17 (the Standard) at the Takaful Entity (TE) level (for access to the webinar series please follow the following link During the webinars we emphasised two important considerations which… Read More
IFRS17 and Takaful – Risk Transfer or Risk Sharing? (7/1/2020) The issue with Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs including Islamic Banks and takaful Operators) is their dependence on Sharia contract types with which to define their various bilateral transactions. Contract types are a unique feature of sharia compliant transactions. Unlike modern contracts for which the terms and conditions binding the parties to the contract are set… Read More
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