Willis Research Network Forms Alliance with Scripps Institution of Oceanography
-- Initiative to Educate Insurers and Reinsurers on the Science of Climate Change and its Impact
on Risk --
London, UK, October 12, 2009 – The Willis Research Network (WRN), part of Willis
Group Holdings Limited (NYSE:WSH), the global insurance broker, and Scripps Institution of
Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego have formed an educational alliance
in response to the growing interest in the potential effects of climate change
on the insurance and reinsurance industries. Scripps Oceanography also recently became a member
of the WRN – the world's largest collaboration between academia and the
The WRN-Scripps initiative has been launched in advance of the National Association
of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) 2010 disclosure requirements which will require all
insurance companies with annual premiums of more than $500 million to disclose to
regulators and investors the financial risks they face from climate change, as well as
actions the companies are taking to respond to those risks.
Scripps has been at the forefront of climate change research for more
than 50 years and is a world-renowned leader in the study of earth
systems encompassing studies of the oceans, atmosphere, and the earth's surface/subsurface. Most recently,
approximately 12 Scripps scientists contributed to the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC)
Fourth Assessment Report.
Commenting on the alliance, Kyle Beatty, Business Leader of Willis Re’s U.S.
Catastrophe Management Services team, said, “By directly linking our clients with leading scientists
at Scripps, insurance executives will have a unique opportunity to discuss the realities of
climate science in the context of their business objectives.”
Rowan Douglas, Chairman of the WRN, said, “Climate change is expected to
have significant regional risk implications and is a major part of the Willis
Research Network program. We are delighted to have an opportunity to connect the
depth of expertise at Scripps with some of the world’s leading insurers and
“It’s clear that insurers and reinsurers are leading the commercial sector when
it comes to considering the impact of climate change on a global scale,”
according to Stephen Bennett, Scripps Director for Business Development.
Scripps Director Tony Haymet added, “Scripps is proud to be working with
the WRN to add climate education as a basic part of professional development
programming in the insurance industry.”
The Scripps alliance extends the reach of the WRN whose network of
over 20 institutions conducts original research on the subjects of natural catastrophes,
geovisualizaion, risk assessment and public policy. The addition of Scripps Oceanography as
an educational collaborator with the WRN will provide Willis clients with a supplementary
source for basic scientific information to augment the detailed research flowing from
the WRN Core Research Programme and the Willis Research Fellows.
The Willis Research Network (WRN) is the world's largest partnership between
academia and the insurance industry. Willis has teamed up more than 20 leading
institutions across a full range of disciplines from atmospheric science and climate
statistics, to geography, hydrology and seismology, to evaluate the impacts on the environment
via engineering, exposure analysis and Geographic Information Systems. Additional information can be
found at www.willisresearchnetwork.com.
The WRN is funded by Willis Group Holdings Limited (NYSE: WSH), a leading global
insurance broker, developing and delivering professional insurance, reinsurance, risk management, financial
and human resource consulting and actuarial services to corporations, public entities and
institutions around the world. Willis has more than 400 offices in nearly 120
countries, with a global team of approximately 20,000 Associates serving clients in some
190 countries. Additional information on Willis may be found at www.willis.com.
About Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at University of California, San Diego, is one of the
oldest, largest and most important centers for global science research and education in
the world. The National Research Council has ranked Scripps first in faculty quality
among oceanography programs nationwide. Now in its second century of discovery, the
scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical,
geological, geophysical and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of
research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today in 65
countries. The institution has a staff of about 1,300, and annual expenditures of
approximately $155 million from federal, state and private sources. Scripps operates one
of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one
research platform for worldwide exploration.
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