Khare joins Hiscox to head up catastrophe research

Shree Khare has joined Hiscox from catastrophe risk modelling firm RMS as Group Head of Catastrophe Research.

Based in London, Khare will lead the research that directly informs the development of Hiscox’s own view of risk and its underwriting strategies for catastrophe perils. In particular, while working across the Hiscox Group, he will work closely with Hiscox London Market and Hiscox Re (including Hiscox Re Insurance Linked Strategies).

Hiscox Global Insight asked Shree to tell us more about his role.

One of your responsibilities is to develop a ‘Hiscox view of risk’. What is that?

Hiscox makes use of a number of different vendor models, the output of which is often adjusted, based on our own research and actual loss experience. The adjusted vendor models are then blended in an optimal way to form the Hiscox view of risk, which is used across the business.

How is climate change affecting the reliability of existing climate natural catastrophe models?

It is probably worthwhile to separate climate change from climate variability. For the sake of argument, we might define climate change as happening on relatively long time-scales (10+ years), and climate variability on relatively short time-scales (<5 years), keeping in mind it is not a clear separation. From a business perspective, where we operate on relatively short time-scales, the effects of climate variability are in fact more material. For example, the earth’s climate has variability which is often summarised by indices such as El Nino and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Hurricane activity and formation is sensitive to which phase of these cycles we are in during a given season.

This variability makes building and interpreting climate catastrophe models more challenging. But if done properly, accounting for such climate variability is prudent for the business. Longer term climate change signals are hugely important from a societal and also business perspective, but are much harder to grapple with.

What’s the appeal of moving to a (re)insurer after working for a modelling agency for so long?

I’ve always been interested in the application of models in the market, and how it influences the use of capital. My new role at Hiscox gives me this chance to explore my interest, and feels like a natural evolution of my career. It’s a difficult, but exciting challenge.

Do you miss the academic nature of working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)?

To some degree yes, and I still try my best to keep one or two research projects related to catastrophe modelling on the go. Somehow though, I’m more geared towards working on the applied end of things. I’m always trying to get the best of both worlds I suppose!

What do you do in your spare time away from the office?

I like to enjoy time with friends and family, reading, playing golf and going hiking.

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