Dominic Christian of Aon Benfield named Chair of ClimateWise


ClimateWise, the group of 28 leading insurance and reinsurance organisations, has named Dominic Christian, Executive Chairman of Aon Benfield International, as its new Chair, replacing Maurice Tulloch, Chief Executive Officer, International Insurance at Aviva.

Dominic Christian, Aon BenfieldClimateWise is facilitated by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and works to support the insurance and reinsurance industry in its response to the risks and opportunities of the climate-risk protection gap.

With the protection gap between total economic and insured losses from climate change growing, the role of ClimateWise is considered more important than ever.

As Chair, Christian will be tasked with “supporting ClimateWise to empower its members to fulfil their role as society’s risk manager.”

Specifically, he will help the organisation to identify commercial opportunities for helping to promote physical resilience to climate-risk and in the process promote uptake of climate risk insurance and reinsurance.

Tom Herbstein, the Director of ClimateWise, commented, “Dominic’s long and deep knowledge of insurance, coupled with his immense personal passion, makes him exceptionally well positioned to help us deliver a more sustainable insurance model. With a broker at the helm, this only further reinforces the immense untapped potential residing within the industry’s data, modelling and general risk management expertise.”

Christian added, “We need a proactive and collaborative response to tackle one of our most profound challenges – the widening climate risk protection gap. I have always admired ClimateWise for playing a unique leadership role in this critical area.”

Tulloch commented on his departure from the role, “It’s been an honour to have chaired ClimateWise for the past three years. Climate change poses significant and real risks for people and I passionately believe that the insurance industry has a major role to play in reducing its impact. I wish Dominic great success as ClimateWise continues to drive awareness and change in such a crucial issue.”

Christian added, “It is a privilege to take over from Maurice, to Chair this group and build on the great work his leadership has already achieved in helping our industry meaningfully and sustainably respond to climate change risk.”

In 2018 Climate Wise will raise its focus on how the insurance and reinsurance industry can support society to manage the climate risk protection gap, the organisation says.

This includes ways re/insurance can support regulation and how it inform other sectors of the financial system on how to manage climate risk exposure, as well as working with cities to manage their physical exposure to risk.

The insurance-linked securities (ILS) market has a role to play here as well, given its provision of significant amounts of protection to those needing climate risk transfer. With many ILS funds also focusing on climate risk transfer, alongside natural catastrophe risks, engaging with ClimateWise could benefit the sector.

Christian said in the past to Artemis that closing the catastrophe protection gap offers a huge opportunity for growth. This new role will give him an opportunity to influence the efforts to narrow the gap.

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