Eqecat president Bill Keogh talks us through his career

How did you make it to where you are today?

I’ll start with luck; then the support of my wife and children, and then the kindness of many mentors throughout my career.

Has the industry changed since you joined?

It’s more professional and more analytical today. But many of the things that attracted me to the business haven’t changed. Personal relationships still matter. Creativity is still valued.

What are the key challenges for you and the industry?

For me, it’s delivering the most robust models in a platform that exceeds our clients’ expectations. For the industry, it is recognising that uncertainty is what this business is all about.

And what are the biggest opportunities?

Changing the way the industry, particularly the ‘c suite’, thinks about models. Given all the real-life uncertainties involved in the risks we’re analysing, those uncertainties need to be understood when interpreting analytical results. Catastrophe risk models are essential tools, but don’t outsource your understanding of risk to a modelling firm – it’s a strategic asset.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the risk modelling business?

Ask lots of open and probing questions, and listen carefully to the answers. Despite what we know about catastrophe risk, there is so much more that we don’t know. There’s a lot to learn.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made?

Following advice I felt was wrong. I learned to trust my instincts and challenge questionable advice.

What do you do to relax?

Running, cycling, yoga and meditation. Being with my family. Putting together my ‘to do’ list. I find it very relaxing when I’m organised.

Bill Keogh is president of risk modelling company EQECAT