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Willis Research Network expands with 10 new American universities and science institutions

The Willis Research Network (WRN), the world's largest collaboration between public science and the re/insurance sector, has added 10 new U.S. partners to augment the 30 science institutions already part of the global network. The WRN is an integral part of Willis Re, the reinsurance arm of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker. The new academic partners bring additional science to confront the industry challenges of managing extremes and supporting sustainability through research in natural catastrophes, building vulnerability, life reinsurance, capital modelling, workers’ compensation and other fields. The new WRN members, senior academics and selected areas of collaboration include:

  • NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton: Prof. Isaac Held (Tropical Cyclones)
  • Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center, Florida State University: Prof. Patrick Maroney (Tropical Cyclones)
  • University of Oklahoma, School of Meteorology: Prof. Harold Brooks (Tornado & Hail)
  • School of Engineering, University of California, Merced: Prof. Anthony Westerling (Wildfire)
  • Institute of Building & Home Safety, North Carolina: Julie Rochman. (Building Vulnerability)
  • Climate Decision Making Center, Carnegie Mellon University: Dr. Iris Grossmann (Climate Impacts)
  • School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Georgia Tech: Prof. Glenn Rix (Marine Port Seismic Risk)
  • Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania: Prof. Howard Kunreuther (Catastrophe Risk Financing & Public Policy)
  • Department of Strategic General Management, Fox School of Business, Temple University: Prof. James Hutchin (Sustainability & Risk Management)
  • Department of Risk Management and Insurance, Georgia State University: Prof. Richard Phillips (Economic Capital Modelling, Life Reinsurance)

The new institutions join four existing U.S. WRN members at Princeton, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Scripps Institute and the University of Colorado. Commenting on the growth of the Network, Jim Bradshaw, CEO, Willis Re North America, said: "The WRN is delivering remarkable improvements in the breadth and quality of science and modelling that will not only aid our clients in their risk management and reinsurance decision-making, but also assist society at large in its efforts to protect exposed populations and property. We are delighted to support such a broad spectrum of leading U.S. institutions and bring their work and expertise to help our clients and the industry to achieve new levels of understanding and capability."

About the Willis Research Network:

The Willis Research Network (WRN), funded and supported by Willis Re, the reinsurance arm of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, is the world’s largest collaboration between academia and the insurance industry. The research supported by the WRN is focused on evaluating the frequency, severity and impact of major catastrophes — from flooding to hurricanes and earthquakes — with the aim of helping society at local and global levels manage these risks and share the costs of these events via public and private sector approaches. To achieve this mission, the WRN has teamed up with more than 40 leading universities and scientific institutions across a full range of disciplines, from atmospheric science and climate statistics, to geography, hydrology and seismology, to assess the impacts on the environment via engineering, exposure analysis and Geographic Information Systems. More information can be found at www.willisresearchnetwork.com.