RMS's Hemant Shah talks us through his career

How did you make it to where you are today?

I had the good fortune to work with and learn from some pretty amazing people.

How has the industry changed since you first joined it?

It’s far more analytical than it was 20 years ago when we first founded RMS.

What would you say are the key challenges ahead for you and the industry?

Many of the challenges remain the same as when I began. We are all still at the early stages of understanding how to best integrate data and models into the fabric of the reinsurance enterprise.

What are the biggest opportunities?

We’re going to see a revolution in the velocity and interconnectedness of the market. Next generation information technology and analytics will be the catalyst, and it’s going to be incredibly exciting.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in catastrophe modelling?

Whether you’re creating the models or using them to support your business, prepare to make a real contribution, because we still have a lot to do.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made?

A way to avoid mistakes is not to take risks. Innovation is progressive and cumulative. Engage, learn, see patterns, and make it better.

What comes to mind when you think of your friends and contemporaries in the market?

A pretty dynamic bunch, and I’m looking forward to 20 more years of innovation and change.

What do you do to relax?

Quality time with family and friends is a precious thing.

Hemant Shah is president and CEO of risk modelling firm Risk Management Solutions