The first full day of Exceedance clearly set the direction that RMS is taking towards transformation — as a strategic partner helping clients to succeed in a time of rapid change. Karen White, chief executive officer for RMS, made her keynote debut on the Exceedance stage, sharing her background working with technology companies during similar game-changing times, and expressing her excitement of the here and know and what lies ahead.
A programmer since the age of 14 and a lifelong technology evangelist, at her previous company Addepar she helped build an investment management platform which manages US$1 trillion in assets. For the risk management industry, Karen underlined how important it is to build a high performant, flexible, modular platform to not only manage the huge computational requirements for more granular modeling, but to also accommodate a wide range of use cases for clients.
This need for agility and new solutions came into sharp focus during 2017, and Tom Sabbatelli, head of event response for RMS, continued the keynote on how RMS leveraged the latest software, modeling and on-the-ground resources to help clients navigate through last year’s huge events. Tom shared how a whole new generation of the risk management community will never forget “HIM,” with three major events in a few short weeks — and then throw in wildfires and earthquakes.
Pressure on clients to deliver insight was palpable during HIM, and Tom demonstrated how RMS stepped up. From commissioning helicopters in Puerto Rico, flowing in Harvey flood data into the upcoming RMS U.S. Inland Flood HD Model, to the use of 30 data sources from RMS HWind, this all helped clients who needed fast insight to make crucial business decisions. With the official start of the North Atlantic Hurricane season just weeks away, Shaheen Razzaq, senior director for software at RMS showed how clients will benefit from lessons learned from HIM, such as HWind providing a possible six hurricane tracks instead of a potential 120, to make analysis quick and effective.
Business growth was also on the keynote agenda. Emily Grover-Kopec, vice president of client solutions at RMS, outlined the opportunity that U.S. flood presents to the insurance industry, as the private insurance market grew by 50 percent in 2017 to US$600 million, in a market that has the potential to reach US$35 billion. Emily demonstrated what’s behind the RMS U.S. Inland Flood HD Model, and how the market demands a model that takes account “…all water that falls from the sky,” whether it is from a tropical cyclone or snow pack. Antecedent conditions, likelihood of flood defences, storm surge, Emily emphasized how RMS took the tough road to include everything for a model that will give clients confidence to be bold and capitalize on opportunities in this growing market.
To wrap-up a keynote entitled “Earth, Wind and Fire,” Kevin Van Leer, senior product manager at RMS, underlined the danger of embers in wildfire, and how embers driven by Diablo winds blew two kilometres from the fire source, across the six-lane Highway 101 to ignite properties in Coffey Park in Santa Rosa, California. With total wildfire losses of US$14 billion in 2017, and embers driving at least 15 percent of destroyed structures, the new RMS U.S. Wildfire HD Model is enthusiastically anticipated by the market through its holistic approach to modeling this increasing pervasive peril.
Moe Khosravy, newly-appointed general manager of software at RMS also made his Exceedance debut, exciting the audience with the huge scale of the previous platform projects he has worked on, to support nearly half a billion global users, and how RMS offers so much potential with scaling out model research.
The parallel Resilience 2018 conference also started today, bringing together business leaders, investors, scientists, and policymakers, to place the private sector at the center of the resilience debate, in recognition that governments cannot do it all. The conference has a clear focus — how to design, finance and implement resilience, and Miami provides a fascinating case study to base the debate on. This evening, four mayors from across the area including the City of Miami, City of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward County, will discuss the economic and practical implications of resilience.
After a busy day, tonight’s evening reception starting at 6 p.m. will be held in The Lab, offering an ideal opportunity to get answers from the RMS experts, and to network and discuss today’s sessions. It also offers a chance to “play” with the RMS Inland Flood sandbox. Get digging as this real sandy sandbox allows you to create your own mountains, valleys, and produce virtual rainfall to simulate pluvial and fluvial flood conditions, representing modeling in action.