Our sixth Exceedance conference makes a welcome return to Miami, this time at the waterfront InterContinental Hotel on May 14-17, 2018. The views over the Biscayne Bay, inspiring keynotes, over 75 informative sessions, demonstrations, engagement with experts in The Lab, and networking with 700+ industry professionals are all guaranteed. What else can we guarantee at Exceedance 2018? You will leave Miami with a new perspective on risk management, as we invite you to join us for our most transformative and immersive Exceedance yet.
This is a taster of an article published by RMS in the second edition of EXPOSURE magazine. Click here and download your full copy now.
EXPOSURE magazine reported on how a pilot project to stress test banks’ exposure to drought could hold the key to future economic resilience, as recognition grows that environmental stress testing is a crucial instrument to ensure a sustainable financial system.
This is a taster of an article published in the second edition of EXPOSURE magazine. Click here and download your full copy now.
Farhana Alarakhiya, vice president, products at RMS, writes… In my recent article in EXPOSURE magazine, I was interested in exploring how firms in the insurance sector can move towards building a more analytics-driven organization. Being analytics-driven translates to being an agile business, and in a turbulent market landscape, building underwriting agility is becoming critical to business survival.
There is no doubt we have seen revolutionary technological advances and an explosion of new digital data sources, which has reinvented the core disciplines of insurers over the past 15 years. Many (re)insurers also see big data and analytics (BD&A) as a “silver bullet” to provide competitive advantage and address their current market challenges.
Similar to other industries who continue to invest heavily in BD&A to secure their position and open a new chapter of growth, the insurance sector is also ramping up investment, in open BD&A platforms such as RMS(one)®, which is purpose-built for the insurance industry. But although there is a real buzz around BD&A, what may be lacking is a big data strategy specifically for evolving pricing, underwriting and risk selection, areas which provide huge potential gains for firms.
With the opportunity for our industry to gain transformational agility in analytics now within reach, we need to be conscious of how to avoid DRIP, being data rich, but information poor, with too much focus being on data capture, management, and structures, at the expense of creating useable insights that can be fed to the people at the point of impact. Regulation is not the barrier to success either, many other regulated business areas have transformed their business and gained agility through effective analytics.
Please read the full article in EXPOSURE magazine to discover more about the three main lessons insurers can learn from other businesses who have their BD&A recipe just right, but here’s a short summary:
Lesson #1 – Delivering Analytics to the Point of Impact
Being reliant on back office processes for analytics is common for insurers, but doesn’t work for a frontline healthcare worker, for example. Data analysts are rare in this sector, because a healthcare worker has analytics designed around their role, to support their delivery. If you look at a portfolio manager in the insurance sector, they typically work in tandem with an analyst to get relevant data, let alone insight, which compromises their ability to perform effectively.
Lesson #2 – Ensuring Usability
Recognizing the workflow of an analytics user and giving due consideration to the veracity of the data provided to reduce uncertainty is vital. Looking at our healthcare example, analytics tools used by doctors to diagnose a patient’s condition use standardized information – age, sex, weight, height, ethnicity, address – and the patient’s symptoms.
They are provided not with a defined prognosis but a set of potential diagnoses accompanied by a probability score and the sources. Imagine this level of analytical capability provided in real-time at the point of underwriting, where the underwriter not only has access to the right set of analytics, they also have a clear understanding of other options and underlying assumptions.
Lesson #3 – Integration into the Common Workflow
To achieve data nirvana, BD&A output needs to integrate naturally into daily business-as-usual operations. When analytics are embedded directly into the daily workflow, there is a far higher success rate of it being put to effective use. With customer service technology, all the required systems are directly integrated into the customer agents’ software for a holistic view of the customer. Using platforms built and designed with open architecture allows legacy systems or your specific intellectual property-intensive processes to be integrated, for access to analytics that allow them to derive insights as part of the daily workflow for every risk they write.
This is a taster of an article published in the second edition of EXPOSURE magazine. Click here and download your full copy now.
Watch Video: Farhana Alarakhiya – The Data Challenge Is Getting It to the Right People
Farhana Alarakhiya, vice president, products at RMS, said insurers are responding to the allure of big data, but must focus on turning voluminous data into meaningful insights. Alarakhiya spoke with A.M. BestTV at the Exceedance 2017 conference.
The quote above is from Conrad Wolfram, the renowned British mathematician, well known as an advocate for the advancement of mathematics teaching. He argues that teaching students how to calculate using computers is more effective and more liberating than teaching calculation by hand. In his talk at TEDGlobal 2010, he describes his four-step process to solve a math problem:
- Pose the right question
- Formulize the question
- Verifying that the computation answered the question
Currently, Wolfram believes 80 percent of math education focuses on step three – computation – and teaching people how to compute by hand. Instead, he proposes “…we ought to use computers to do step three, so students can spend much more effort on learning how to do steps one, two and four – conceptualizing problems, applying them.”
The proper development and utilization of modern computer systems, including hardware and software advances, should enable Wolfram’s vision to come true, with users moving their allocated time away from calculations and process – stage three issues – and moving it to conceptualizing problems and applying the solutions effectively. And through my recent hands-on experience, I am confident that Risk Modeler, powered by RMS(one)®, will truly allow risk analysts to modify that time allocation. I shared my experience of Risk Modeler on the keynote stage at Exceedance, and I invite you to watch the video below.
In 1999, a Legend Was Born
Many of you reading this may not realize it, but RiskLink® celebrates its 18th birthday this September. RiskLink was born in 1999, and for some of you, RiskLink started its cat modeling career before you did. I can remember using RiskLink back then, and it is a testament to the quality of that product that it is still the predominant catastrophe modeling software. I’ve grown up with it, many of us have, and with that kind of longevity and familiarity, it is no wonder that few people even consider or question what can be an elongated process involved in completing an analysis, using this bedrock of catastrophe management.
That process to access your analysis is a lot of work. File management, model profile management, financial perspective re-maps, system restrictions. Wolfram’s assumption looks reasonable, that up to 80 percent of your natural catastrophe modeling time is spent in this process.
We’ll celebrate 18 successful years of RiskLink, but the market is shifting to an embrace of big data analytics. This creates great timing for Risk Modeler. Risk Modeler is built specifically to work with large amounts of data to remove the procedural, tactical component of your work and move it to an efficient and speedy system.
How Would You Use Your Process Time?
This reallocation of process allows you to spend more time using your experience and intuition to conceptualize, understand and guide your business more effectively. You can start to ask and answer questions that anticipate the business’ needs. You can spend more time proactively working on change management with your key stakeholders. You can work more directly with the underwriting teams to understand and differentiate risks more thoroughly.
Risk Modeler is an efficient interface between your insight and experience and the analytical power of cloud-based computing. It allows you to simply ask a question, and it delivers the answer. Mr. Wolfram reminds us that, “…math is not equal to calculating. Math is a much broader subject than calculating…I think of calculating, in a sense, as the machinery of math. It’s the chore. It’s the thing you’d like to avoid if you can, like to get a machine to do.”
Modeling is more than process, which is the chore of risk modeling. I am excited that Risk Modeler is that system capable of completing that chore for you. You can now unleash your energy, creativity, insight, and experience on improving your company, your industry and to help make the world more resilient.
When we started RMS almost 28 years ago, the Specialty and E&S markets were among the first to embrace the benefits of catastrophe modeling. In many ways, I learned about (re)insurance at the knee of the specialty markets, which gave me an appreciation of the sophisticated and myriad ways this market provides coverage and underwrites business. What struck me then, as it does today, is the entrepreneurial nature of the specialty lines. Underwriter-driven and close to their markets, they are constantly boxing-on-their-toes to identify new opportunities to offer innovative coverage and to write profitable business.
Last week, during our annual client conference Exceedance 2017, I welcomed almost 900 participants across clients, partners, and our RMS experts and client teams. During the three-day conference, we convened a Specialty Roundtable with a cross-section of our clients from the U.S. specialty lines market to discuss the priorities for this dynamic sector of the industry.
The discussion was lively and ran across several themes, from identifying new opportunities in today’s market, to the benefits of well-informed stakeholders, to competing on data in a market increasingly driven by agile, real-time analytics.
Here are some highlights from our discussions:
Baking A Bigger Pie
“Specialty lines are all about opportunity.” said one participant, and from the discussion it became clear that the protection gap isn’t just in emerging markets. Even in the U.S., penetration and coverage for earthquake and flood risk is limited relative to the underlying exposures. Another participant stressed the need to move beyond the status quo, stating “It’s not about competing in a zero-sum game; we need to expand the market.” But although it was recognized that the current market has its challenges, one participant remarked that “…within every market there is opportunity.” We also discussed how new RMS models for earthquake and flood can help firms gain new insights to better identify and write quality business to expand the pie.
Educating the Market
Another imperative, one that came through loud and clear during the discussion, is the importance of a well-informed market. Not just for the underwriters, but also upstream with the producers and buyers. The group felt that there continues to be too much focus on using average annual loss (AAL) as the basis for placing individual accounts, with an insufficient understanding of the standard deviations, tail-correlations, and contributory metrics. This is particularly the case for earthquake risk, which is the quintessential tail-risk peril. With the April release of the updated RMS North America Earthquake Model, we’re giving clients a more complete view of the risk, with the ‘tails’ of the exceedance probability (EP) curve playing an even more important role than in the past. We discussed steps RMS is taking to inform key stakeholders, and we will continue to do more to be proactive and educate the entire market.
The Analytic Enterprise
Analytic agility was a constant theme throughout our discussion, with one participant remarking “With analytics, you’re either on the bus, or off the bus.” It was agreed that there is no half-way measure to adopting analytics. All participants emphasized the central role of the underwriter in the risk-decision process, applying their experience and judgement, supported by analytics to make sound decisions. However, there was much discussion that underwriting, portfolio management and analytics need to be increasingly agile and more tightly coupled. Statements such as “I need real-time,” were made and why critical up-to-date portfolio information is needed to be able to proactively manage their book. The importance of dynamic insight was emphasized “…underwriting works in lock-step with the portfolio; you can’t look at one without the other, particularly in this market.” And the need for empowering underwriters with analytics will only grow as “…you can never have enough data,” with the market now “more data-driven than ever.”
Having had hands-on access to the RMS(one) solutions in The Lab at Exceedance, several of the group were pleased to note its apparent benefits, from new exposure management and analytic applications to more flexible representations of contracts and financial structures. “We’re seeing a lot of contracts that are getting more complex, and RMS(one) using CDL (contract definition language) will help.”
It was motivating for me to hear the excitement for our new data and analytics platform, with one member saying “after seeing RMS(one), I’m excited that I can be more innovative.”
Continuing to stay close to what is important for our clients and their markets is a strategic priority for RMS. At a time of great change across the industry, agility is instrumental to mitigating risks and seizing new opportunities, and the specialty markets are at the forefront.
Thursday in New Orleans, and there was still much to see and learn on the final morning of Exceedance.
Attendees were taking advantage of all there was to offer in The Lab, including connecting with RMS experts for product demonstrations and training for the latest Version 17 and Risk Modeler developments.
As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, attendance has been exceptional at Exceedance, and some track sessions have been so popular that Thursday’s agenda was updated to repeat the High Definition Modeling capabilities, Version 17 RMS® North America Earthquake and RMS® North Atlantic Hurricane Model Changes, RMS(one)® solutions, RMS roadmap and future solutions, and U.S. Flood Market tracks.
A Personal Message from Hemant
The RMS Exceedance Party (EP) Was the Place to Be!
Those who attended the EP Wednesday night at Generations Hall were treated to quite a party! Along with three separate spaces – each with its own New Orleans theme – many grooved to the music of Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters.
Mr. Dopsie (or perhaps it’s “Mr. Rockin’”) had the dance floor alive with revelers moving to the beat of local zydeco as well as hits from the past. The night was capped off with Café Du Monde serving their world-famous beignets.
A Final Note on Exceedance 2017
As Exceedance 2017 comes to a successful conclusion, all of us here at RMS want to thank those who came from around the globe to be in attendance.
This was truly “your” conference, and we hope you found value in listening to our keynote speakers on the big stage, as well as learning more about our exciting updates and new solutions that will enable you to own your view of risk, provide the flexibility you need to make decisions, operate more cost-effectively, and create resilience.
As we move beyond this year’s Exceedance, RMS is ready to meet its commitments as we remain on track for a full schedule of delivery throughout 2017!
It’s Wednesday, which meant another full day of sessions, presentations, The Lab, a networking event, and more, happening here in New Orleans.
Attendance has been exceptional at Exceedance, and some track sessions have been so popular that we are repeating a few of them. For those of you here in New Orleans, the sessions will repeat on Thursday morning, starting at 10 a.m. Be sure to check the Exceedance app for details.
The main theme of the morning’s general session was a demonstration of how RMS is working to help clients explore and manage new and emerging perils, as well as applying RMS model expertise to long-standing lines. Speakers included Mike Steel, Christos Mitas, Robert Reville, Steve Jewson, and Andrew Coburn.
A few of the highlights of the day’s sessions included:
- Christos Mitas took us deep into what he described as the unique and exceptional world of cyber terror and cyber risk modeling, with insights that included the upcoming (April 2017) launch of the RMS Cyber Accumulation Management System CAMS v. 2.0.
- Robert Reville from Praedicat explored product stewardship and product liability risk, explaining the causes of liability accumulation, how the risk of major technological innovation is not known, and how risk accumulation can go on for years.
- Steve Jewson transported us to India and China, presenting new agricultural risk models – including drought models for four countries. Agricultural risk is one of the top concerns for our clients in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, offering the market exciting growth opportunities.
- Andrew Coburn from RMS and Dr. Hjörtur Thráinsson from Munich Re combined to present the RMS strategy of a single data standard for all lines and classes of insured exposure, as well as opportunities to generate exposure analytics for more business lines, a single client, or a single location.
Our Second Theme – Resilience – Personified.
The afternoon general session focused on resilience, and the exceptional work happening here in New Orleans over the past several years. Paul Wilson began by acknowledging the accomplishments of Build Change, a partner organization to RMS that continues to build resilience in emerging nations.
He then walked the crowd through a brief history of New Orleans – a city that has been built, and rebuilt, on its experience with hurricanes – before introducing keynote speakers Tanya Harris-Glasow of the Make It Right Foundation, and Jeff Herbert, chief resilience officer for New Orleans. The success of the city following Hurricane Katrina stems from the efforts of innovators like them, and their stories of strength, perseverance, teamwork, and inspiration, truly personify the theme of resilience.
The session continued with Dr. Robert Muir-Wood’s discussion on risk modeling and resilience in Louisiana, and concluded with remarks from RMS President Mike Pritula, who spoke on a variety of topics including his commitment to concentrate on RMS clients, and the challenge of embracing the inevitable change that technology is bringing to the catastrophe modeling community.
The Lab is the Hot Spot in New Orleans!
Customer feedback about The Lab continues to be extremely positive – with a lot of great conversations, product demos, and training sessions focusing on the latest developments from Version 17 and Risk Modeler to help customers choose the best routes for adopting new solutions for 2017 and beyond.
Get Your Mojo Rising on at the EP Tonight!
Last night’s well-attended masquerade in The Lab is now a happy memory. And far as we can tell, everyone removed their masks in time for the first general session this morning.
But if you’re here at Exceedance, our legendary “EP” is coming up tonight – offering three tastes of New Orleans in one unique location – Generations Hall, built in the 1820’s and originally a sugar refinery.
With three themes, Jazz Night Club, Mardi Gras, and Louisiana Cajun, be ready to put on your dancing shoes and show us your voodoo.
Thursday is our final day in New Orleans, so please check back tomorrow for highlights and a message from Hemant!
Tuesday dawned bright and sunny in New Orleans as Exceedance got underway.
More than 900 attendees joined Hemant and eight keynote speakers during the Exceedance General Session. Attendees learned how RMS continues to deliver on its client commitments with the launches of significant capabilities ranging from Version 17, including the new Version 17 RMS® North America Earthquake Model, Version 17 RMS® North Atlantic Hurricane Model, and Risk Modeler powered by RMS(one)®.
In addition to Hemant, Larry Orecklin from Microsoft took to the stage along with Emily Patterson, Mark Powell, Chris Folkman, Emily Grover-Kopek, Josh Ellingson, Ryan Ogaard and Eric Yau.
“Exceedance is a key part of our continuing dialogue with clients around their needs and priorities, discussing how we can better align to help meet their business goals.”
Hemant Shah, co-founder and CEO of RMS
Hemant demonstrated the superiority of the Version 17 North America Earthquake (NAEQ) Model through a personal anecdote. As you’d expect, Hemant ran the data on his own house through the model and found that his risk is down 27 percent on an expected loss with risk load factor. #lowerhemantspremium
Eric Yau announced that Risk Modeler, powered by RMS(one), will be ready for general availability in April, and described our continued commitment to RiskLink® as a standalone product, as well as being an integral part of the RMS(one) platform.
Josh Ellingson described how Risk Modeler will empower analysts to spend more time understanding the drivers of risk and applying their creativity to expand their book business by collapsing the manual processing of their modeling workflow.
The Lab is Where It’s At!
With The Lab in full swing, attendees took advantage of the opportunity to engage directly with RMS experts – getting up-close insights and training on the RMS(one) platform, Version 17 North Atlantic Hurricane Model and North America Earthquake Model, and much more. It’s truly where the action is!
The Mini Theater
Not to be outdone by The Lab, the Mini Theater on Tuesday played host to three insightful and engaging presentations focused on building resilience in an ever-changing world. Topics included Enhancing Urban Resilience: Managing Risk to Critical Infrastructure; Stories from the Field: Nepal Impact Trek with Build Change, and Road to Coastal Habitats in Managing Natural Hazards.
Monday RMS Welcome Reception a Hit
Last night’s RMS Welcome Reception was a hit – and not just because of the live jazz music. The well attended two-hour welcome event included plenty of mingling, great discussions, and delicious bites.
Put on Your Mask and Come to the Party!
For those of you in attendance at Exceedance, join us in The Lab from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. to celebrate our special New Orleans-themed masquerade (no costumes required, but masks will be provided). It will be a fun evening where you can engage with RMS leaders, scientists, and strategists as they reveal the latest RMS solutions.
Check back tomorrow for more highlights from Exceedance 2017!
New Orleans is known for its unique cuisine (crawfish, anyone??), cool music (the birthplace of jazz), Mardi Gras (party!!) – and for the better part of this week – Exceedance 2017.
Yes, Exceedance is finally here, and we’re looking forward to an exciting line up of informative sessions, up-close training, engaging speakers, and networking opportunities. For those of you who can’t join us at Exceedance this year, look for highlights on Twitter and here on the blog, as we publish throughout the event.
Get set to mingle tonight at the RMS Welcome Reception, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in Vitascope and the 8 Block Bar at the Hyatt Regency. It’s the perfect venue to enjoy savory hors d’oeuvres, catch up with friends, colleagues, and RMS staff members, and soak up some authentic jazz.
Ready, Set, Go!
RMS has listened and worked closely with our clients to innovate the type of solutions that support their strategic business needs. In 2017, we’re delivering on these commitments with a significant set of capabilities ranging from Version 17 (including highlights such as the RMS® North Atlantic Earthquake model and the RMS® North America Hurricane Model), to Risk Modeler.
Over the course of the next three days you’ll be able to choose from 105 sessions across 23 different tracks, three General Sessions, The Lab and Mini Theater with up close training that only Exceedance can offer. Exceedance is where the latest modeling, analytics, and technology all come together!
Don’t forget, you can check on events, tailor your schedule, review session times, set up meetings – all with the Exceedance 2017 Mobile App. If you haven’t downloaded it, go to your app store and search for “Exceedance”.
We’ll keep you posted via this blog on each day’s highlights, so check back. And welcome to Exceedance!
If you are joining us in New Orleans for Exceedance 2017 in just a few days from now, I wanted to send a quick reminder of all there is to see and do, starting Monday with our pre-conference activities.
Get Ready for 22 Tracks, 105 Sessions, The Lab, Keynote Speakers, and Hands-on Training Opportunities
The Exceedance agenda reflects our commitment to deliver value to clients in a rapidly changing market, including new solutions to increase operational effectiveness, agility, resilience, and business growth.
You’ll have many opportunities to dive deep into more than 20 new models, including the RMS® North America Earthquake Model and the RMS® North Atlantic Hurricane Model, major advances in science, software, and HD-simulation models, The Lab, and more.
For information on the keynote speakers, tracks and sessions, and The Lab, visit the conference website exceedance.rms.com.
All Work and No Play? Not at Exceedance!
Along with experiencing all there is to discover and learn at Exceedance, there are plenty of opportunities to relax and have some fun with the following pre-conference and evening activities:
- RMS Welcome Reception: Get set to party as Exceedance kicks off in style with a jazz-flavored welcome reception on Monday evening.
- Evening Reception in The Lab: Tuesday night offers a festive celebration of New Orleans’ tradition with a colorful masquerade party (masks provided) – in The Lab. You’ll also have a chance to engage with RMS leaders, scientists, and strategists as they reveal the latest RMS solutions.
- Exceedance Party (EP) “A Taste of New Orleans”: Evening festivities conclude on Wednesday with “A Taste of New Orleans,” including three “can’t miss” hallmarks of New Orleans: Jazz Night Club, Mardi Gras, and Louisiana Cajun. Be ready to put on your dancing shoes and show us your voodoo…
Watch for Our Daily Blog During Exceedance
We will be posting a daily blog on these pages during Exceedance to give you a round-up of the highlights so far including sessions, The Lab, keynote speakers, special events, and more. Please keep an eye out for it!
See you soon in the Big Easy.