Oasis gets industry backing for Loss Modelling Framework & open source standards

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Oasis, the open source catastrophe risk modelling platform, has received significant backing from insurance and reinsurance sector leading firms for the continued development and expansion of its Oasis Oasis Loss Modelling Framework and open source standards.

oasis-logoAmong the backers are leading insurance and reinsurance brokers and underwriting companies: Aon, Allianz, AXA, Chubb, Guy Carpenter, Hannover Re, Lloyd’s, RenaissanceRe, Swiss Re, SCOR, and Willis Re.

Also supporting Oasis at this time is the Insurance Development Forum.

This group of re/insurance backers are committing additional funds and resources in excess of US $2 million over a two period, to enable Oasis to build out its community of providers and users of their software, models, data, and tools.

Oasis said that the investment and support will help to “increase the choice, efficiency and quality of risk models available, and enable open source risk modelling to be adopted as standard across public and private sectors.”

Oasis also noted that the backing from leading insurance and reinsurance firms shows the industry is supportive of open source risk modelling as a means to remove barriers to access.

This is not only important in re/insurance, but also more widely in sectors including governments, city offices, academia and research institutions, Oasis said.

The benefit are expected to be reduced costs, increased transparency and accessibility of catastrophe models and, more choice.

Oasis CEO Dickie Whitaker explained, “The global approach to risk modelling is changing. The support we are announcing from the industry today signals a shift away from non-standardised data, high costs and ‘closed box’ approach, to a future shaped by powerful tools that offer a more transparent, robust and comprehensive approach for analysing, understanding and pricing risks from extreme natural catastrophe events, including the impacts of climate change.

“This renewed industry support will see Oasis develop the fastest, most feature rich, performant and reliable catastrophe modelling platform available – and not just for first world economies, our open-source software has been designed for developing countries as well. It is truly game-changing.

“It is hugely significant to this mission to have the continued backing of ten leading re/insurance businesses and the IDF, that recognise the need for true innovation in catastrophe loss modelling, and we are extremely grateful for the support we are announcing today, and for the scope it provides us to continue on our mission.

“Oasis is at an inflection point in its eight-year journey. Whilst significant progress has been made, we are approaching a critical mass and now, with the backing of some of the world’s largest re/insurers and brokers, we will benefit hugely from their commitment to further investment and in-kind support.

“This announcement is also a call to action to encourage others in the industry to join the wave of support we are delighted to be attracting, and to make Oasis open-source risk modelling software the standard, so that we all can benefit from the potential for deeper risk understanding this offers.”

In an industry dominated by a small number of catastrophe risk models, the increasing support for an open source alternative is significant and encouraging, as it enhances the ability of underwriters and investors to develop their own views of risk and to establish multiple views.

This can be particularly important in the insurance-linked securities (ILS) sector and in catastrophe bonds, where transactions are often marketed to investors and ILS funds with a single view of risk, but it can be challenging for smaller operations to have multiple views at an affordable cost.

The Oasis platform seeks to democratise access to open source catastrophe risk model technology, providing a more level-playing field that enables everyone to enhance their insights into risks they underwrite and assume.

It’s also increasingly important as asset owners and holders look to gain insights into the climate related impacts to their catastrophe and severe weather exposure, making a wide range of modelling technology and standards in interpreting the data increasingly important.

Helen Attenborough, Executive Managing Director for Analytics Software & Product Development at Reinsurance Solutions, Aon, added, “Open catastrophe modelling ecosystems are critical as Aon continues to work with clients to develop a bespoke view of catastrophe risk. This enables insurers to gain greater confidence in their understanding of data assumptions and loss drivers while enhancing their ability to manage their unique portfolios and effectively transfer risk. By backing Oasis in collaboration with Impact Forecasting’s catastrophe models, we are excited to bring more choice to insurers – coupled with transparency and customisation – to help them better quantify natural catastrophe risk in an efficient way.”

Dr Sibylle Steimen, MD Advisory & Services, Allianz SE, said, “Oasis fills and important gap in the cat risk management community. It makes the software and with that the ‘language’ we use in cat risk management available to the open source community. This has the effect that talented cat model developers of any kind – be it long-established ones but also those just getting started – receive access to insurance and reinsurance market participants in a streamlined fashion.

“This is a win-win situation: model developers can focus on what they are good at: insight into catastrophe events world-wide. At the same time, they are relieved from the burden to develop and maintain a software that fits the needs of insurance and reinsurance and broker companies and the latter get access to a wide(r) range of models. This makes it financially viable for model developers to also focus on geographical areas or perils that would normally not be in scope for them.

“Allianz is a strong supporter of Oasis and believes in the success of standardization where this makes sense: data, cat frameworks and financial modelling. This will lead to a healthy mix of views to risk and with that to a sound cat risk management framework. Allianz has invested over the past years heavily in own tools and frameworks to make cat risk modelling independent of vendors highly automated and integrated in core insurance systems. A strong Oasis backbone will make this step even stronger, this is why we support this initiative.”

Renaud Guidée, AXA Group Chief Risk Officer, added, “Promoting open and global modelling solutions is part of AXA’s ambition to address protection gaps and increase populations resilience over the world. AXA has been an early supporter of the Oasis platform, which we have used to develop internal modeling capabilities. By reinforcing our support to this project, we hope to further contribute to the development of open-source risk models, particularly for poorly documented risks and in emerging markets where modeling resources are scarce. The transparency and scalability of Oasis models are key assets in improving our industry’s Cat modeling capabilities, for the benefit of all.”

Sean Ringsted, Executive Vice President, Chubb Group Chief Digital Officer and Chief Risk Officer, commented, “It’s critical that the models we use to manage our catastrophe exposures are both technically sound and reflect Chubb’s unique view of risk. The Oasis platform allows us to deploy models that we know inside and out – in some cases we’ve helped build them – so Oasis creates opportunities to shift to “glass box” models, providing a better understanding of the model components that we use to assess risk. The insight enabled by this transparency is important as it helps form the basis for new products and services to drive improved resiliency from natural catastrophes.”

Rob Bentley, Head of Global Strategic Advisory, Guy Carpenter, said, “Oasis plays a role in working with our industry to bring a credible alternative open source computational together with structured model specification and data standards. We look forward to the next phase in the evolution of the Oasis platform to ensure the insurance industry has access to a reliable and high performant modelling ecosystem that supports greater choice.”

Dr. Andreas Märkert, Chief Risk Officer and Managing Director Group Risk Management, Hannover Re, also said, “The Oasis open modelling ecosystem – easy to assess not only by the re/insurance industry but also by governments and private markets – has the potential to connect all stakeholders, to increase modelling efficiency and decrease time-to-market for cat protection. It can foster a consistent view of risk and thus improve decision-making on risk mitigation and risk transfer options. Hannover Re supports the initiative as an important contribution to tackle the challenges of climate change and the protection gap, especially in emerging markets.”

Ian Branagan, Senior Vice President and Group Chief Risk Officer, commented, “The further development of an open modelling ecosystem, based around Oasis, is important to both the private and public sectors. For the insurance industry it can promote greater choice of available models, transparency and innovation as well as open data standards enabling supply chain efficiencies. For the public sector it will help to close the knowledge gap on a global and local level and provides much needed analytical capabilities and support networks for developing risk insights in support of vulnerable and emerging economies.”

Thierry Léger, CUO, Swiss Re, added, “Oasis is an open source platform that we fully support as an addition to our proprietary tools. With its principles for standardisation, modularity and transparency, the Oasis platform is a catalyst for improving collaboration in the Cat modelling universe. This translates into expanded access to a greater diversity of risk views and risk models, enabling the ability to leverage the right model for the right purpose. Swiss Re has been supporting Oasis for many years and is now investing even more to push Oasis to the next level. In parallel, we have built flexible access routes for Oasis models that complement Swiss Re’s longstanding proprietary NatCat modelling framework.”

Jean-Paul Conoscente, CEO, SCOR P&C, commented, “Oasis forms an important component of SCOR’s multi-model platform strategy, and we fully support this latest development of leading-edge cat modelling technology which should accelerate the industry’s use of open source CAT models.”

Dr Kirsten Mitchell-Wallace, Head of Portfolio Risk Management Markets, Lloyd’s, added, “Lloyd’s has consistently supported the need for openness and standardisation in exposure management and is very pleased to see the momentum behind Oasis. Lloyd’s is driving change to produce a first class digital marketplace and Oasis’ ability to drive common standards and enable choice will help to achieve this.”

Ekhosuehi Iyahen, Secretary General of the Insurance Development Forum, also explained, “Risk insight is the foundation on which risk prevention and resilience programmes are built. The IDF is committed to finding ways to improve the availability and quality of risk information and supports efforts to strengthen national risk management systems given the dire implications for vulnerable communities. Building efficiency and reducing cost and duplication in the risk modelling and data ecosystem, through continuous development of open-source platforms, an industry wide interoperability programme and development of common open standards is a central point of achieving this objective. We welcome the commitment of our members to this agenda and the work of Oasis.”

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