Elaine Lehnert is a Managing Director of Ankura Consulting Group. Ms. Lehnert is based out of the Parsippany, NJ office and is part of Ankura’s Investigations and Accounting Advisory Services practice. She has more than twenty-five years of experience in forensic accounting, internal controls evaluation and technical accounting and auditing matters. She has performed a great deal of work in the insurance and reinsurance industries.
Prior to joining Ankura in November 2016, Ms. Lehnert was a Managing Director in the Forensic and Litigation Services practice at FTI Consulting and a Managing Director at Veris Consulting. Ms. Lehnert led numerous consulting engagements involving a variety of internal controls, accounting and auditing matters. Ms. Lehnert directed major engagements involving litigation and expert testimony; forensic accounting; fraud investigations; reinsurance disputes; and assistance to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Ms. Lehnert provided expert testimony on several occasions. In addition, Ms. Lehnert provided internal audit outsourcing and Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 compliance services.
Prior to FTI and Veris, Ms. Lehnert was with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) as a technical manager with responsibility for assisting and managing the activities of the Insurance Companies Committee and its task forces, Relations with Actuaries Committee, and various Accounting Standards Executive Committee task forces.
In addition, Ms. Lehnert was responsible for making quarterly presentations regarding AICPA activities to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners; working directly with the insurance regulatory process; evaluating and commenting on regulatory proposals; serving as primary staff liaison with various state insurance regulators; and acting as AICPA primary staff liaison on technical matters related to insurance accounting with the SEC staff and the FASB staff.
Before joining the AICPA, Ms. Lehnert was a manager at KPMG, where she was responsible for a broad range of accounting, auditing, and statement preparation and reporting functions, as well as providing insurance industry training to staff, consultants and management.
Ms. Lehnert’s professional experience includes:
Internal Controls and Risk Advisory Experience
Ms. Lehnert has extensive internal controls experience which includes the following:
- Internal Controls Whistleblower Action – Retained by counsel to provide an expert opinion in connection with the allegations brought by a whistleblower action. Opinion included the mechanics and purpose of internal controls over financial reporting and the appropriateness of the actions taken by the plaintiff in reporting the violations of the company’s internal control environment.
- Independent Fiduciary Review in the Wake Markopolos-Williams Whistleblower Report – Retained by counsel on behalf of a board of directors to perform an independent fiduciary review of a pension fund’s assets, liabilities, system of internal controls and the related financial reporting as a result of a whistleblower action.
- Assessment of Remediation of Internal Control
- Retained by counsel on behalf of a special committee of the board of directors of a health care company to assess internal controls that the company implemented in the aftermath of restating its financial statements.
- Retained by counsel on behalf of a special committee of the board of directors of a pharmaceutical company to assess internal controls that the company implemented in the aftermath restating its financial statements
- Outsourced Internal Audit Provider – Led a team which served as the outsource provider for the internal audit function at a medical malpractice reciprocal. On an annual basis, Ms. Lehnert developed and executed the annual audit and reported directly to the audit committee. Further, Ms. Lehnert served as the sounding board for management in its assessment and development of internal controls throughout the company.
- Assessment of Internal Controls in the Aftermath of Fraud – Retained by counsel on behalf of an audit committee of a global publicly traded company to assess the internal controls designed to ensure safeguarding of certain assets/cash disbursements that were the center of fraudulent transactions originating out of its international subsidiary.
- Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 Assistance – Provided Sarbanes-Oxley assistance services to the management team at a publicly traded car rental and equipment leasing company. Assistance included risk and control documentation of twelve key processes and reviewing and evaluating documentation against COSO.
- Internal Audit Co-Sourcing – Led a team conducting internal audits on behalf of a publicly traded international property and casualty insurance company which outsourced specific audits traditionally performed by its internal audit department pertaining to claims, enterprise risk management, agency licensing, and payroll. Ms. Lehnert partnered with the company’s internal audit department to ensure its annual audit plan was fully executed by year-end as additional capacity was required due to unforeseen staffing issues.
- Assistance to Chief Risk Officer – Provided assistance to the Chief Risk Officer of an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in areas of the property and casualty market. Projects included assistance with Enterprise Risk Management projects such as developing a risk taxonomy, developing risk registers which identified risks of the organization, assistance with the preparation of the quarterly presentations to the Board of Directors and performing a assessment of the company’s OFAC Sanctions Compliance Program.
Forensic and Litigation Support Experience
Ms. Lehnert’s forensic and litigation support experience includes:
- PCAOB Enforcement Action – Assisted the Public Company Oversight Board (PCAOB) in several of its investigations of members of audit firms related to their conduct. Accounting issues included revenue recognition related to the accounting for pharmaceutical products and computer software products.
- Securities Fraud – Assisted counsel in defense of two investment analysts and a prominent hedge fund company in a high profile securities fraud suit involving an international insurance holding company with a market capitalization in excess of $15 billion.
- Big Four Audit Malpractice Defense – Assisted counsel in defense of a Big-4 accounting firm in a several high profile auditor malpractice cases involving complex accounting and financial reporting issues including special purpose entities, reinsurance risk transfer, intercompany transactions and loss reserves.
- Ponzi Scheme Forensics – Assisted counsel with the investigation of a major direct investor in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BMIS). Provided in-depth analysis of investment records covering a period of decades and assisted with the defense of clawback demands from the Madoff trustee.
- Software Revenue Recognition – Engaged on behalf of a software sales company to assist with allegations pertaining to improper revenue recognition accounting for sales of software products due to the existence of continuing performance requirements. Arbitration testimony provided.
- Reinsurance Claims Analysis – Provided assistance to counsel in a number of arbited disputed on behalf of London reinsurers. Claims related work included the measurement of the validity of reinsurance claims through the determination of the applicability of coverage and verification of documentation supporting the nature and amount of those claims. Arbitration testimony provided.
Ms. Lehnert received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Rider University and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and is credentialed by the AICPA as Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF). She served on the AICPA Insurance Experts Panel from 2010 through 2013 and contributed to the development of several additions of the AICPA Audit and Accounting Guide, Audits of Life and Health Insurance Entities, AICPA Audit and Accounting Guide, Audits of Property and Liability Insurance Entities and the AICPA Audit Risk Alert, Insurance Industry Developments. She is currently on the President’s Advisory Council of the Society of Insurance Financial Management (SIFM) and serves as the chair of its Women of SIFM Subcommittee.