· Swiss-based CelsiusPro will contribute its award-winning climate risk products, technology, and consulting services, aimed primarily at developed markets.
· UK-based Global Parametrics will bring the Natural Disaster Fund, a risk capacity pool committed by British and German government agencies, focused on developing countries.
· Offering will benefit clients in sectors including property, agribusiness, re/insurance, microinsurance, nature-based solutions, and international development.
ZURICH/LONDON, 6 September 2023 – CelsiusPro AG announced today the acquisition of Global Parametrics Holding Company Limited, in a transaction that significantly strengthens its global capabilities to offer parametric risk transfer solutions to both private and public sector clients in developed and developing economies.
The combined CelsiusPro and Global Parametrics group creates an even stronger offering along the value chain of climate and Nat Cat risks, opening new possibilities for businesses, governments, NGOs, and communities to build resilience against perils such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and drought.
The acquisition complements CelsiusPro’s expertise in climate technology and parametric insurance design, structuring, and underwriting, primarily in developed economies, with Global Parametrics’ experience in delivering disaster risk management response in developing countries. Moreover, both companies will combine their expertise as Managing General Agents (MGAs) to attract and deploy additional risk capacity.
After the merger, the Global Parametrics team will continue to manage the Natural Disaster Fund (NDF), a risk capacity pool backed by commitments from the UK Government’s Foreign, Development and Commonwealth Office (FCDO) and by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development via KfW, Germany’s development bank. The NDF shares risks with global reinsurer Hannover Re, one of Global Parametrics’ longstanding key partners.
Mark Rueegg, CEO of CelsiusPro, said: “The acquisition combines CelsiusPro’s expertise in climate technology and parametric insurance with Global Parametrics’ asset management approach to climate risk through the NDF and its MGA. This is key to our value proposition, as we see an increasing number of NatCat financing facilities, such as the Global Shield initiative launched at COP27, are looking for experts on parametric solutions and risk capital deployment. We are enthusiastic about the strategic fit between CelsiusPro and Global Parametrics, and welcome our new colleagues to our group.”
Angus Kirk, CEO of Global Parametrics, said: “We are grateful to our founder investors, FCDO and KfW (through the InsuResilience Investment Fund, IIF), for their support in the early stages of Global Parametrics’ development. We are very excited about the next chapter with CelsiusPro. This partnership offers numerous opportunities to expand and enhance our offerings, thereby increasing and accelerating our impact on building resilience in underserved communities against the effects of climate change and natural disasters.”
The combined group will serve clients from its offices in Zurich, Sydney, and London.
Global Parametrics is pleased to announce the expansion of our parametric protection scheme with One Acre Fund for smallholder farmers. We and One Acre Fund have partnered with international insurance group, Howden Broking, to expand the programme this year in Rwanda.
GP has been working with One Acre Fund since 2020 on a parametric solution for excess rain and drought risk, with payments intended to provide financial protection and resources to help farmers mitigate the impacts of extreme weather and improve livelihoods with climate smart investments through One Acre Fund loan protection.
Key highlights of the partnership include:
🔹 2020 One Acre Fund and GP began working in Tanzania on a parametric solution for excess rain and drought risk.
🔹 2022 scaled up to include Tanzania and Malawi, protecting 175,000 smallholder farmers.
🔹 2023 scaled up to include Rwanda, benefiting a further 800,000 people.
🔹 $650,000 expected payout this year following the ongoing East African drought and Cyclone Freddy.
The solution is backed by the Natural Disaster Fund, a public-private partnership managed by Global Parametrics with seed investment from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via KfW, with global reinsurer Hannover Re providing matching capacity.
At Global Parametrics, impact is at the heart of everything we do. It guides our mission and vision of a world which is thriving and resilient to extreme weather and natural hazards.
We are delighted to release our 2022 Annual Impact Report, showcasing the incredible progress made toward these ambitions. 2022 marked the sixth year of our continued efforts to close the global protection gap, and with thanks to collaborations with partners long-standing and new, we were able to multiply our impact.
- 23+ million beneficiaries provided with risk protection;
- Protection across 55 low- and middle-income countries;
- Coverage for 6 perils, including: earthquake, flood, tropical cyclone, excess rain, drought and excess wind.
As the nature of climate and disaster risk faced by communities around the world continues to change and intensify, we are encouraged by the progress made in 2022 as a significant foundation to build far greater resilience for those who need it most in the year to come.
Please read our Global Annual Impact Report 2022 here to learn more about our work.
With special thanks to our Natural Disaster Fund partners, the German Government’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), KfW, UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and Hannover Re.
Global Parametrics is delighted to announce the appointment of Tim Ingram as its new Board Chair with effect from February 2023.
Most recently, Tim was Chair of the Board at each of QBE Insurance (UK) Limited, QBE European Operations plc and QBE Underwriting Limited.
After a long executive career in international banking and a decade in senior non-executive positions within the insurance sector, Tim brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be invaluable to Global Parametrics’ continued growth.
Tim succeeds in post Deborah Hazell, the current CEO of Unity Trust Bank, who has served as interim Board Chair of Global Parametrics since the beginning of 2022 and as a Non-Executive Director since 2019.
Deborah’s commitment to, and support for, Global Parametrics and its impact-focussed mission has played a key role in enabling the continued development and evolution of the company.
Angus Kirk, the acting CEO of Global Parametrics said: “We are extremely grateful to Deborah for all that she has contributed to Global Parametrics during the course of the past few years particularly during the past 12 months in her capacity as interim Chair. We have been very fortunate to have the benefit of her wisdom, counsel and expertise in helping to guide Global Parametrics during her time in office. In Tim, we are delighted to have found a successor of the highest calibre and expertise and are really looking forward to working with him to help take Global Parametrics to the next stage of its development”.
Commenting on the appointment, Tim Ingram said: “I am very excited to be joining Global Parametrics as its Board Chair at a very important time in its progress and very much look forward to building on the firm foundations laid by Deborah, the Global Parametrics team and the British and German Governments in creating a sustainable impact delivering financial institution”.
Global Parametrics and its partners have been featured in “Fulfilling a Legacy of Societal Risk Management” published by The Climate Change High-Level Champions, Marsh McLennan, UN Race to Resilience, and Adrienne Arsht-Rockerfeller Foundation Resilience Centre. The report, published at COP27, highlights the advances in community-level climate risk reduction and adaptation through insurance sector innovations.
The report features ‘Pioneering Projects’ which reflect the spirit of urgency of climate change adaptation. Two of Global Parametrics’ innovative programs, B-READY and Climate Risk Insurance program, are showcased in this section. These programs demonstrate how parametric solutions, implemented through multi-sector partnerships, contribute to community-based anticipatory action and climate resiliency for those most vulnerable.
The B-READY program harnessed a forecast parametric index to trigger cash transfers to pre-identified vulnerable populations. Using these cash transfers, our partners Oxfam Novib, Oxfam Pilipinas, Plan International Philippines, Plan International provide preparedness training and resources in the days before a climate event in the Philippines, Sudan, and Indonesia. The B-READY program mitigates loss and damage and supports immediate post-event recovery.
The Climate Risk Insurance program, in partnership with the Mahila Housing Trust via capacity from our Natural Disaster Fund, combines a parametric index-based risk transfer solution with climate resilience training on adaptation measures. The program aims to protect female entrepreneurs in urban centres in India from the social, economic, and health risks that heatwaves and floods pose to their livelihoods.
To find out more, read the full report here: https://www.marshmclennan.com/content/dam/mmc-web/insights/publications/2022/november/Race%20to%20Reslience%20Report_COP27%20FINAL.pdf
Read Global Parametrics’ Impact and ESG Manager, Wendy Smith, sharing her reflections on the success and opportunity promised by one of our most impactful and exciting programmes – the CLIMBS Weather Protect Insurance product.
In August, I visited the Philippines to meet with our in-country partner, CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative, to join them on two of their product roadshows in Davao City and Cebu City. It was a chance to share with CLIMBS’ customer cooperatives the value of our Weather Protect Insurance product and the ways it could benefit their farmer members and communities. Farmers in the Philippines have limited capacity to protect themselves against extreme weather events, due to precarious incomes from variable yields. Indeed, financial institutions can perceive the agricultural sector to be too risky, restricting farmers to access to credit. The CLIMBS Weather Protect Insurance programme provides is an effective alternative which protects the Philippines’ agricultural sector against the increased risk of climate change related events.
This year, the roadshows were a space to share evidence of the success of the Weather Protect Insurance product in its initial pilot. In 2021, the pilot, funded by our Technical Assistance Facility with capacity from the NDF partnership, provided protection against the increased risks posed by heavy rainfall events for 14 cooperatives across 15 provinces protecting 3,600 farmers. The product triggered three times in the year, following Typhoons Rai and Megi/Agaton, resulting in pay-outs for 8 of the 14 cooperatives, across six affected provinces.
However, the 2021 pilot did more than demonstrate the success of the product. Following learning events, in collaboration with farmers and cooperative members, consortium partners, including GP, CLIMBS and IBISA Network and CIAT, identified how the product could be improved to provide the best protection. The 2022 product incorporates those upgrades and offers cooperatives across CLIMBS’ network with a purposefully developed mechanism for disaster risk financing. Primarily, a wind-speed index was added alongside excessive rainfall, to reflect the reality of disruption faced by farmers during these extreme weather events. It also includes an upgrade of the online policy monitoring platform system, developed by IBISA, to include mobile compatibility for greater accessibility, as well as ensuring the agro-advisory learning modules developed and provided by CIAT address farmers most pressing concerns for climate change adaptation.
Once I had left the Philippines, the reality of the risk facing people across the Philippines became even clearer as Tropical Cyclone Noru made landfall on 24th September. This tropical cyclone, documented as one of the fastest rapid intensifications ever recorded in the Pacific Basin, caused widespread devastation for communities and businesses. The Philippines is recognised as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in the world. Tropical cyclones are a key risk, with the country already experiencing up to 20 per year – a figure set to increase both in quantity and intensity due to the rapidly changing climate. This will present challenges for those whose livelihoods and assets are so closely tied to weather that is increasingly becoming more unpredictable and destructive.
The new, and improved, Weather Protect Insurance product has now been developed and scaled to cover 105 cooperatives, representing 100,000 farmers across 42 provinces. It is evidence of the demand and need for innovative disaster financing solutions in climate vulnerable countries, especially targeting those communities and sectors that represent low-income groups where the need to build resilience for sustainable development is paramount.
By Wendy Smith
Earlier this month, our Impact and ESG Manager, Wendy Smith, spoke at the 13th ASEAN Insurance Congress, themed “Building Resilience for a Changing World”. The Congress was hosted in Kuala Lumpur by the ASEAN Insurance Council and The Malaysian Insurance Institute.
In her talk, Wendy explains how parametric insurance provides an active management solution to nat cat and extreme weather risk. Climate change and population growth has increased vulnerability to these hazardous events. This results in significant economic losses, especially in geographies which are traditionally underserved by formal risk transfer.
Wendy also discusses the exponential growth of the parametric industry since 2013. Global Parametrics is at the forefront of this progress, providing global parametric protection to enable business continuity in the aftermath of nat cat and extreme weather events.
Watch Wendy’s exciting talk at the ASEAN Insurance Congress below:
Last month I was in Singapore, a chance to reconnect with long-standing and new partners, who in many instances I’d never met in person due to restrictions over the last two years. This trip was an opportunity to understand more about clients’ needs and to promote Global Parametrics’ appetite to write risk in the region.
It had been 20 years since I was last in Singapore and arriving in the city I was astounded. Traditional old buildings stood alongside soaring modern skyscrapers, yet nothing looked out of place. It is a city that thrives on innovation and new thinking, whilst at the same time being unashamedly conservative – a metaphor for the risk transfer industry perhaps?
Singapore is known as the gateway to Asia. A region especially impacted by extreme weather and natural hazards. Tropical Cyclones, Earthquakes, Volcanos and Tsunamis are regular occurrences, whilst climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of drought, rainfall and flood. It can be all too easy to focus on these events in isolation and create distance from the reality of their devastation. Being in the places, with the people, that these events put at risk is always a stark reminder of the human, social and economic impact of our changing climate and natural hazards.
Across Asia, the climate emergency is a present reality creating increased risk. According to the Global Climate Risk Index, Japan and the Philippines are the most impacted countries by climate change today, making them a clear priority for disaster risk resilience and reduction. But just as diverse are the cultures within and across the countries that make up the region, so too are their vulnerabilities to extreme weather and natural hazards.
Home not only to some of the world’s highest peaks, remote small islands and low-lying plains, Asia is also home to some of the world’s most densely populated urban areas as well as vast rural communities, often dependent on land and local ecosystems for their livelihoods and way of life. While it has witnessed the rapid industrialisation and development of some of the world’s most important economies, the reality of chronic poverty and underdevelopment remains true for many. This creates diverse risk and socio-economic impacts of extreme weather and natural hazards, but for all, financial resilience is critical.
This is where parametric products have a key role to play.
Global Parametrics has always been keenly focused on how our products and solutions can be deployed to meet these challenges and demands in Asia. In the Philippines, we are an investor in their World Bank issued Catastrophe Bond, we support Climbs Insurance enabling them to offer their ‘Weather Protect’ product to agricultural co-ops, and we have been running the B-Ready, forecast tropical cyclone aid program with Oxfam Philippines since 2018. In India our work includes supporting AIC’s parametric crop insurance program for the state of Bengal and we have risk across the region in countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Typically, re/insurers, and therefore brokers and the entire risk supply chain have been focused on offering solutions for Natural Catastrophe risk, such as Earthquake and Tropical cyclone, or government crop programs. But there is so much more risk out there, and more and more clients are finding these are excluded from or prohibitively priced in their traditional indemnity coverages. Parametrics is a way to look at some of this risk differently, managed in a more pro-active way and therefore mitigated.
On the flight back I reflected on what I had learnt in Singapore through discussions with our partners. Climate change is here, it is being felt, and solutions need to be focused on local businesses, local challenges and local people. We need to do more, faster, to build financial resilience in these uncertain times.
By Toby Behrmann
To celebrate the 5-year renewal of our flagship programme with VisionFund, the African, Asian and Americas Resilience in Disaster Insurance Scheme (ARDIS), we sat down with Kevin Huttly, ARDIS Director, to discuss the scheme, reflect on its successes and outline future plans.
It’s the five-year renewal of the ARDIS, could you explain the scheme and what it does?
ARDIS covers VisionFund’s microfinance institutions (MFIs) across 27 countries. Established in 2018, ARDIS is a financial tool for promoting recovery lending and active risk management for our network of MFIs. It provides access to capital via climate indexed derivative and contingent credit contracts when a disaster occurs. VisionFund uses the ARDIS programme to support recovery lending to its client base, many of whom are women in the agricultural sector, where loans typically range from $70 to $300, in the event of a natural hazard or extreme weather, including earthquakes, tropical cyclones, droughts and excess rain. ARDIS buys the derivative contract from the Natural Disaster Fund, managed by the Global Parametrics team. Global Parametrics creates the parametric indices which back the risk transfer contract for ARDIS; if they are triggered during specific events there are payouts which are then distributed by ARDIS back into the institutions as capital.
How do you think that the ARDIS programme is innovative and unique at helping protect against the impact of natural hazards and extreme weather?
ARDIS has been referred to as the world’s largest non-governmental climate ‘insurance’ programme. However, the scheme is innovative and unique because it does not function like traditional indemnity insurance. Instead, ARDIS is a blended scheme that uses different financial tools to help people rebuild after a natural hazard or extreme weather event. This allows MFIs to continue lending to them, when often credit is scarce following the uncertainty of the event’s impact and thereby, helping them to get back on their feet faster. It would be very difficult to pre-emptively assess what a farmer’s exposure is to these risks, so instead, Global Parametrics creates indices for perils, which pay out when triggered by an event, eliminating assessment of loss time and costs and permitting immediate access to payouts and benefits. These indices use global, publicly available datasets, allowing for an objective and transparent measurement of risk.
How far reaching is the ARDIS programme?
Originally, when the scheme was first established in 2018, it covered 6 countries in Africa and Asia. This has grown over time with numerous successful renewals, now operating globally in all 27 of VisionFund’s countries as of 2022, 11 in Africa, 7 in Latin America, 6 in Asia and 3 in Middle Eastern and Eastern European countries.
Growth in geographic reach 2018-2022
What impact has the ARDIS programme had over the last five years?
The ARDIS scheme has made a significant impact in locations such as Honduras, the Philippines, Myanmar, Eastern and Southern Africa, where the scheme operates for a range of perils including flood, drought, earthquake, and tropical cyclone windstorm. We have seen evidence that most of the loans, in these places, have enabled people to get back on their feet, mitigating negative coping mechanisms, and being able to pay back their old and new loans in the wake of a natural hazard or extreme weather event.
In the last 3 years, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a significant challenge for VisionFund overshadowing ARDIS and its impact. At times many of our institutions have been restricted in their loan making abilities by lockdowns and have not been able to go into the field. This has meant restriction on recovery lending even when there has been both capital payouts and credit entitlements. However, more lately, institutions have been able to go back into the markets and start lending again, using recovery loans. Overall, I think Covid-19 has helped the understanding within our organisation of the value of recovery lending and of insuring against disaster. At an MFI level, our institutions now understand recovery lending a lot better, as they have been performing it for Covid-19.
In terms of pay-outs, ARDIS has made 5 payments under the derivatives for flood, drought and tropical cyclone windstorm.
What is the future of the ARDIS programme, where else do you hope to make an impact with the scheme?
We are looking to build on the successes of ARDIS, to forge a new partnership with Global Parametrics going forward. We want to create ‘ARDIS 2.0’ which would act as a consultant advisor to other microfinance organisations, assessing their risk to natural perils and advising on the best programme structure and how to efficiently access products based on their risk. The partnership would not only focus on the insurance aspects, but also endeavour to educate people on recovery lending, how it works and its benefits, aiming to change mind-sets about how to best to protect vulnerable individuals and communities from natural hazard disasters.
For more information on ARDIS and its impact, please go to the VisionFund website: https://www.visionfund.org/our-focus/insurance/ardis