Risk trading insurtech Akinova adds fixed income experienced advisor


Akinova, a digital risk trading insurtech start-up that is developing a platform where insurance and reinsurance related risk can be traded, has added another senior advisor in Susan Estes, a Wall Street veteran, as well as co-founder and CEO of bond trading platform OpenDoor.

The appointment to the Akinova advisory board comes just over a week after the start-up signed up Pierre Francotte, the former CEO of Euroclear, as another advisory board member.

Akinova has been developing its technology platform for over a year now, focusing on creating a trading interface and the underlying mechanisms necessary to allow for insurance and reinsurance risk transfer through a digital interface.

For launch, Akinova has been working on bringing to market a version of an industry-loss warranty (ILW), which it has dubbed an Akinova Event Linked Option (AELO).

Susan Estes has more than 30 years of Wall Street experience, largely focused on fixed income markets.

She became the first woman to run a primary dealer as the as Managing Director and Global Head of Treasury Trading at Morgan Stanley from 1985 to 2001.

After that, Estes held roles at Deutsche Bank as Head of Fixed Income North America, at Countrywide Securities as Head of non-Mortgage Rates Trading, and as an advisor at MAP Alternative Investments.

In 2013 Estes co-founded the OpenDoor bond trading platform and currently holds the role of President and CEO. Her expertise in global fixed income markets and financial technology have helped her business to address long-standing pain points in the bond market.

Estes has also contributed to political discussion on fixed income and trading markets, most recently sitting on the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee (TBAC), under both Secretary’s Paulson and Snow. She has also served as a Member of the Board of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and as Chair the Government and Agency Division of the Bond Market Association (now also part of SIFMA).

Akinova will task Estes with helping to drive its growth and development, to identify and address marketplace pain points and to help drive liquidity.

Akinova is one of a number of insurtech start-ups hoping to make the transfer and trading of insurance or reinsurance risk more efficient.

Their success will lie in the execution of the technology, how simple they make the process of transfering risk and how efficiently users can match risk and capital on the Akinova platform, as these are the keys to success in this area.

The ILW product is expected to be the first to launch from Akinova, potentially providing opportunities for ILS funds and reinsurance linked investors, as well as reinsurance firms looking for retrocessional product opportunities.

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