Parametric specialist Descartes opens APAC offices with new hires

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Descartes Underwriting, the insurance technology (insurtech) focused managing general agency (MGA) that specialises in parametric and data-driven risk transfer products, is expanding into Asia Pacific with two new offices opening in Singapore and Sydney, Australia.

descartes-underwriting-logoDescartes announced an $18.5 million Series A funding round from leading global venture capital firms last year which it intends to use to scale up the parametric insurance space.

Part of this is expanding its footprint in key markets and Descartes Underwriting launched into the key United States and North American market at the end of 2020.

Now, the parametric risk transfer and insurance specialist is expanding to Asia Pacific as well, with two offices opening in the region and two new hires.

With a focus on corporate insurance against natural catastrophe and climate risks, Descartes has been expanding the remit of the parametric trigger, working across numerous risks and perils.

Now, the company aims to expand its technology-driven parametric product range to markets throughout the Asia Pacific region.

The company has hired Robert Drysdale as Head of Southeast Asia, who will oversee the new Singapore office.

Drysdale has 14 years’ experience of broking complex risks into the London and Asia-Pacific markets, most recently at Howden.

Ben Qin will also join Descartes later this month as Head of North-East Asia and Australia, overseeing the new Sydney, Australia office.

Qin also brings 14 years’ experience structuring and placing innovative Alternative Risk Transfer (ART) solutions across Asia-Pacific, most recently at Marsh.

Together, the two new hires will oversee the build-out of Descartes’ Asia-Pacific parametric insurance operations.

“We are proud to bring Descartes’ solutions closer to brokers and corporate clients. As a region, Asia-Pacific is more exposed to natural catastrophes and extreme weather events than others. From record breaking super typhoons Goni and Amphram in 2020, major hail events and bushfires in Australia, and tragic 1-in-1000 year flooding in China and India this summer – the rising incidence of severe weather throughout the region is compounded by climate change and is resulting in increased year-after-year losses,” explained Robert Drysdale, Head of Southeast Asia.

Ben Qin, Head of North-East Asia and ANZ, added “Given this exposure and widening coverage gap, particularly in non-damage BI issues, with only 12% of the USD 102bn Nat Cat driven economic losses reportedly insured in 2020, we believe this is a good time to bring Descartes’ parametric value-proposition to Asia-Pacific.”

Descartes Underwriting is structured as an MGA backed by a panel of tier-one risk carriers and is able to provide US $200 million in capacity per parametric policy.

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