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Speedwell appoints joint CEO’s to develop weather risk business


Speedwell Weather, a provider of weather data, analytics, forecasts, software and consultancy to the weather risk management and derivatives market, has appointed joint CEO’s as it seeks to further develop its business.

Speedwell Weather data and software is used by weather risk management and trading firms, insurance, reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) companies that provide capacity to the parametric or weather index-linked risk markets, as well as directly to companies involved in weather-exposed industries, such as energy and agriculture.

The firm has named two existing employees, David Whitehead and Michael Moreno, as joint CEO’s, as it seeks to put in place leadership to help it to further develop its weather risk business.

David Whitehead, currently Director of U.S. Operations, will be responsible for Speedwell group sales and will remain Managing Director of Speedwell’s U.S. subsidiary Speedwell Weather Corp, based in Charleston. Michael Moreno, currently Chief Technical Architect, will become Managing Director of Speedwell UK Operations and CTO, making him responsible for Speedwell’s technology strategy.

Together the pair are charged with leading Speedwell in the next stage of its business development, as it seeks to become a dominant force in weather risk software, data and the facilitation of parametric weather risk transfer contracts.

Stephen Doherty, the co-founder of Speedwell and its current CEO, will become Chairman of the company. Co-founder Mick Palmer will continue as U.S. Head of Development.

Phil Hayes, who is currently Head of Data and Forecasts, has been appointed Director of Operations, making him responsible for managing client delivery, managing Speedwell’s ever-growing weather archive, and for leading the Speedwell Data Team.

Stephen Doherty commented on the changes; “Speedwell is undertaking a number of important new initiatives while building on its position as the pre-eminent provider of weather risk management software and as the dominant provider of weather data for pricing and settlement of parametric weather risk contracts.

Speedwell sees an opportunity for further growth in the provision of parametric and index-linked weather risk transfer products, a view increasingly held by the reinsurance and ILS community as well.

The firm is the dominant provider of settlement services and trigger data for parametric weather risk products. As a result we’d expect Speedwell to become a key service provider to ILS players in future, as ILS investors seek growth into weather risk markets as a complementary peril to catastrophic risks.

“While the parametric weather risk market has seen considerable growth recently, we believe the scope for further growth in the agriculture sector and developing markets is substantial given the advantages of parametric hedging over traditional indemnity-based cover.

“At its core, Speedwell is a technology business on which is built a franchise that depends on quality and the strictest attention to the needs of our clients. I am therefore delighted that we have put in place the best management team to drive Speedwell’s expansion in this growing sector,” continued Doherty.

David Whitehead added; “I feel excited and privileged to be helping direct the future of Speedwell. I look forward to combining my knowledge of Speedwell’s products and clients with my 16 years’ experience in the weather-risk market to expand our core business areas with innovative products to meet our clients’ current and future needs.”

Michael Moreno said; “With the depth of knowledge, market experience and diversity of talent at Speedwell, we have a unique opportunity to evolve our existing market-leading product lines whilst also looking at ways to develop exciting new innovations. We see the application of technology as being the key to this process.”

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