Rom Aviv leads insurance for Agritask, as RMS’ Stander joins as Advisor

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Rom Aviv, a former senior employee of insurance-linked securities (ILS ) fund manager Twelve Capital and Israeli investors IBI ILS Partners, is leading insurance for Agritask, an ag-tech and agronomics focused start-up, while Daniel Stander of RMS fame has joined the firm as a senior advisor.

agritask-logoAviv joined Agritask earlier this year, helping the company to develop its insurance and reinsurance focus.

Agritask’s technology platform enables delivery of personalised wide-scale crop insurance products, with the capacity to serve millions of policyholders with a single insurance program.

The platform maps farms, leverages field data and combines this with high-resolution weather data and other secondary data sources, to provide plot level risk metrics and mapping capabilities, vital in the design of agricultural insurance and reinsurance programs.

It allows users of the software to dynamically assess risks within agricultural programs, design targeted insurance products and also to monitor crop performance at scale throughout the season.

The goal is to enable traditional and new sources of insurance and reinsurance capital to cover agricultural risks that were previously deemed uninsurable, making use of advanced technology including GIS, remote sensing, satellite-based auto-crop and auto-plot detection models, crop health monitoring and post-event damage assessment.

It’s clear that Agritask plans parametric crop insurance capabilities, given the level and sophistication in the data sources it brings to bear.

Dr. Rom Aviv is now Managing Director and Head of Insurance at Agritask, and commented, “About 50% of the world’s food is produced by 500 million smallholders. Yet these farmers typically do not have access to affordable insurance. There are no quick and easy solutions here. After all, agricultural insurance is complex and dynamic.”

Aviv’s expertise in ILS market areas such as catastrophe bond investing, collateralised reinsurance transactions and overall ILS and reinsurance portfolio management, will be beneficial to Agritask’s goal of enabling capital to connect to crop and agricultural risks around the world.

Daniel Stander, long-standing employee of catastrophe risk modelling specialist RMS and private sector representative to the United Nations on matters related to disaster risk reduction, is joining Agritask as a senior advisor to the executive team.

Stander began advising Agritask this year, helping the company drive forwards the innovation required to deliver solutions to the challenges facing growers, investors, ag-buyers and governments in terms of crop productivity.

Agritask expects Stander’s advice will help it to “expand its value to the agricultural supply chain with risk-informed, data-driven, decision-useful insights.”

Ofir Ardon, Chief Executive Officer at Agritask, commented, “Daniel possesses both unrivalled industry knowledge and significant experience in growing technology companies. Businesses and governments around the world have benefited from Daniel’s pragmatic approach to innovation, as well as his sensitive thought leadership. His insights are perceptive, his relationships strong and his passion infectious. These qualities will help us deliver new and differentiated value to the markets we serve, thereby increasing the relevance of our business.”

Aviv added, “Daniel’s business acumen, relentless energy and domain experience will empower us to transform this industry with technological innovations. We are already profiting from his advice – on value-chain digitization and decision science – to the benefit of our insurance sector clients. More than that, though, Daniel’s experience leading mission-driven businesses will ensure we fulfil our societal purpose of eradicating poverty and food insecurity by making crop insurance accessible to all.”

Ernesto Costa, Head of Private Equity Investments at BlueOrchard and Agritask Board Member, also said, “In delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals, three things will be paramount: technology adoption, agricultural ecosystems and risk finance. Daniel deeply understands the importance of and the interplay between each. He is a seasoned professional and brings Agritask the kind of experience and expertise that will help the company grow by unlocking new value for its customers. I am looking forward to his contributions as we scale inclusive insurance, thereby improving the financial stability of 25 million smallholder farmers along with the quantity, quality and predictability of their yield.”

Stander is based in London and will work closely with Agritask’s teams in Tel Aviv, London and Sofia, as well as Agritask’s clients in South America, Africa and Asia.

Stander commented, “Over 1.3 billion people worldwide work in agriculture, generating about $2.5 trillion for the global economy. More than that, there is a close correlation between agricultural performance and poverty reduction. Yet, if left unmanaged, acute and chronic risks will increasingly undermine global food security, hurting food production, disrupting supply chains and stressing people’s ability to access nutritious and affordable food. Agricultural ecosystems are at an inflection point. Unprecedented opportunities exist to harness advances in remote sensing, data analytics, machine learning and climate risk finance. The significant investments Agritask is making in its agronomics platform will hasten the adoption of climate-smart food systems, increasing productivity, enhancing resilience and reducing emissions – while at the same time making agribusinesses more equitable and less volatile. The team at Agritask is already delivering value that seemed impossible just a few years ago. I am excited by the potential. I am keen to collaborate, innovate, deliver and grow.”

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