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RMS acquires HWind Scientific, plans to integrate team and products


RMS, one of the world’s leading catastrophe risk modelling firms, has announced the acquisition of HWind Scientific, LLC, a provider of real-time, objective, observation-based hurricane data, for an undisclosed fee.

Established in 2014 HWind Scientific offers comprehensive hurricane information to businesses and governments across the world, monitoring hurricanes in real-time, utilising H*Wind methodology that was invented by HWind Scientific founder, Dr. Mark Powell.

And now, just over a year after its inception, leading catastrophe risk modelling firm, RMS, has announced that it will takeover HWind Scientific, underlining the company’s commitment to advancing the risk transfer industry’s management and understanding of hurricane exposures.

Dr. Mohsen Rahnama, head of model development at RMS, states the impressive “scientific rigor” of H*Wind data and HWind’s real-time hurricane monitoring is unrivalled elsewhere in the insurance industry.

Adding; “RMS has been licensing H*Wind for use in its hurricane models and event response services since the service first became commercially available in 2014.

“Now our union with HWind Scientific opens up an incredible opportunity for RMS to further advance our clients’ hurricane risk management, as well as develop further models and data that continue to strengthen the insurance industry’s management of hurricane risk.”

Effectively, HWind’s products will be integrated into RMS’ hurricane model suite, including its pioneering H*Wind data tool, enabling the enhancement of RMS’ “ability to rapidly deliver scientifically robust real-time wind-field and post-landfall impact analysis for North Atlantic hurricanes to its clients,” the company explained.

Furthermore, something that will likely speed-up the integration process and enable RMS staff to better understand the HWind product set, Powell and his team have joined RMS as part of the acquisition, a move that sees the HWind founder become Vice President, Model Development at RMS.

Powell commented on the move and integration with RMS; “My team and I are excited to incorporate our real-time and retrospective observation-based hurricane analyses with the RMS product offering.

“HWind Scientific has become an industry standard for validating hurricane risk models, developing satellite extreme-wind remote sensing functions, and providing the forcing for storm surge and wave model forecasts, making the company a natural fit with RMS.”

Discussing the integration of HWind employees and products into RMS’ product suite, Rahnama said; “Mark is recognized by the industry as an innovative scientific leader; and he and his team are a center of excellence for hurricane science.

“Bringing that expertise in-house to RMS further strengthens our scientific research capabilities and creates opportunities for us to develop new hurricane solutions for our clients around the world.”

The greater view, understanding and overall assessment capabilities that the insurance, reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) industry has relating to catastrophe exposures like hurricanes, the better equipped the industry will be to adequately protect and price the risk.

Prior to its acquisition by RMS HWind had collaborated with reinsurance giant Swiss Re on the development of parametric insurance and reinsurance products, further highlighting its unmatched real-time hurricane exposure capabilities and necessity to the businesses and governments exposed to hurricane threats.

“With our combined strengths we look forward to introducing new products that have been in development over the past 18 months, including a revised high-definition wind analysis and footprint archive,” concludes Powell.

Also read:

Swiss Re and HWind Scientific collaborate on parametric re/insurance.

IBHS & HWind collaborate to better understand hurricane impacts.

How hurricane technology can reduce risk uncertainty.

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