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May 26, 2022

30 Years of Catastrophe Modelling: Lessons for Risk Professionals

Hear from Fathom’s Matthew Jones and Andrew Smith as we discuss the challenges and opportunities created by climate change for modellers of physical risk.

Modelling physical risks, particularly from natural catastrophes, is challenging, requiring specialist knowledge and complex data sets. Additionally, with climate change affecting the frequency and severity of many natural catastrophes, these models need to start incorporating future risk from climate change. Today’s episode will explore this growing need for new and sophisticated climate analytics providers in the financial sector, with a particular focus on flood risk.

We’ll uncover lessons for risk professionals from:

  • The evolution of natural catastrophe modelling in the (re)insurance industries
  • The development of the current physical risk modelling ecosystem, including the establishment of industry-syndicated data and modelling standards
  • The importance of a transparent and diverse model vendor market, and how this has fostered a culture of collaboration and innovation.


Links from today’s discussion:

Speaker Bios

Andrew Smith, Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer at Fathom

Andy is one of the co-founders and directors at Fathom. He completed a PhD under Professor Paul Bates, and it was whilst undertaking his PhD that the idea of founding a company first emerged.
This quickly led to a change in his research focus, from climate change impact studies, to the development of large scale flood models, leading to numerous publications in this field.
Since completing his PhD in 2014, Andrew undertook a post-doctoral research position at the University of Bristol before becoming Chief Operations Officer at Fathom full-time in 2016.

Matthew Jones, Chief Product Officer at Fathom

Matt joined Fathom in 2022, leaving his position as Head of Catastrophe Risk Product at Nasdaq, where he led the development of Nasdaq’s Oasis-based multi-vendor catastrophe risk modelling platform. Prior to joining Nasdaq, Matt has held several roles linked to catastrophe modelling, including founding Cat Risk Intelligence, a UK based company providing catastrophe risk management consultancy to the (re)insurance industry, and as Global Head of Catastrophe Management for the Zurich Insurance Group.  Matt has a PhD in Oceanography and Remote Sensing from University College London and is a co-author of ‘Natural Catastrophe Risk Management and Modelling: A Practitioner’s guide’.


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