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The news within this section includes our press releases and articles relating to the Willis Research Network. For mentions of the WRN in external news sources try our WRN In The News section using the navigation on your left.

Willis Group and Towers Watson Announce Merger

Jun 30, 2015

Willis and Towers Watson to combine, creating a leading advisory, broking and solutions firm...read more ›

Interactive Map of the Nepal Earthquake

Jun 15, 2015

The 2015 Nepal earthquake occurred at 11:56 NST on 25 April, with a moment magnitude (Mw) of 7.8Mw and a maximum Mercalli Intensity of IX (Violent). The quake occurred as the result of tectonic plate movements along the fault line …...read more ›

30 Years Later: the Ontario Tornadoes of May 1985

Jun 05, 2015

On May 31, 1985, a deadly tornado outbreak struck the Northeastern United States and Canada, causing widespread property damage and loss of life. 30 years on, what has changed...read more ›

Data analytics is helping us to forecast extreme weather

Jun 01, 2015

Climate variability and change represent extraordinary challenges for the risk management community. Where should we focus research efforts in the future? By Geoffrey Saville...read more ›

Strong El Niño on the Way?

May 29, 2015

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a “substantial” El Niño ahead, but about a year ago we also had predictions of a strong El Niño that never arrived. Will it be different this time?...read more ›

Hurricane Katrina - What have we learnt?

May 20, 2015

Hurricane Katrina caused the deaths of thousands of people and wreaked havoc on an entire region. A similar catastrophe could happen at any time, so what can we do about it?...read more ›

Exploring European Extremes

May 18, 2015

Based in London, led and sponsored by Willis, a global insurance broker, the Willis Research Network was formed in 2006 to integrate science, insurance and resilience at a scale never before envisaged. It has become the world’s largest collaboration between public science and the financial sector with a membership of around fifty leading research institutions....read more ›

Earthquake and Underinsurance: Twin Scourges of Nepal

May 06, 2015

Nepal is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries. The recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which marked the worst natural disaster to hit Nepal in more than 80 years, is a strong testament to the country’s vulnerability....read more ›

Catastrophe Model Developer position opening

May 05, 2015

We are very pleased to announce an opening for a Cat Model Developer position that will seek to strengthen the dynamic Analytics & Model Development team. The candidate is expected to have strong programming skills, excellent understanding of probability theory and be keen to join an enthusiastic team that translates latest science and technology into client solutions....read more ›

Today's analytics – changing our understanding of the past and the future of risk

Apr 29, 2015

The future is not what it used to be. Neither is the past. As we build our stores of data and begin to analyse this data we are discovering correlations and trends that had not been readily apparent in the past. These correlations are challenging, if not upending, the way we look at the future. Still, as the proverbial black swans become increasingly grey, we know that data cannot entirely predict future events....read more ›

Valuing Nature, Building Resilience

Apr 22, 2015

It seems difficult to imagine a time when a clean environment was an afterthought and the well-being of the planet wasn’t linked to human well-being. The first Earth Day in 1970 was the beginning of raising environmental awareness across society......read more ›

Are You Safe From Tsunamis?

Apr 07, 2015

While the devastating Asian Tsunamis of 2004 and 2011 left us in no doubt of the threat in that region, people in Europe and the Caribbean generally consider themselves safe. However......read more ›

Willis Re Introduces New Suite of Flood Analytics for Canada Insurance Market

Mar 19, 2015

TORONTO, March 19, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Re, the reinsurance division of Willis Group Holdings plc (NYSE:WSH), the global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker, has today unveiled a new suite of flood solutions offering unprecedented analytical capabilities that will enable insurers to proactively manage Canada flood accumulations....read more ›

UCL Engineering research highlighted in Science Museum's new exhibition

Mar 19, 2015

UCL's Professor Tiziana Rossetto and WRN Fellow Joshua Macabuag are featured at the Science Museum's newly launched 'Engineer Your Future' exhibition, along with other UCL Engineering researchers....read more ›

Political risk today

Mar 04, 2015

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Why Insurers and the Private Sector are Heading to the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

Feb 26, 2015

In three weeks’ time, several thousand participants, from UN Member States to global corporations and science leaders, will gather in Sendai, Japan, for the third decennial United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risks Reduction to adopt a new global agreement on reducing disaster risk....read more ›

Howard Kunreuther receives the 2015 Shin Research Excellence Award

Feb 05, 2015

Howard Kunreuther, Professor and co-director of the Wharton Risk Management Center, University of Pennsylvania has received the 2015 Shin Research Excellence Award from the Geneva Association and the International Insurance Society (IIS)....read more ›

Willis Storm Response Center

Jan 28, 2015

Visit the Willis Storm Response Center for updates and advisories related to the US Northeast blizzard...read more ›

Preparing coastal cities for rising sea levels

Jan 12, 2015

With 13% of the world’s urban population living in low elevation coastal zones, rising sea levels will demand far greater resilience to flooding and severe weather in the near future....read more ›

Integrating Resilience into our Cities

Jan 12, 2015

Growing urbanization equates to a growing exposure to hazards. To mitigate the risks we not only need to build better but also to build smarter. Smart capital, well-applied technology and forward-thinking policies are essential....read more ›

TRIA: Epic Fail

Dec 19, 2014

Congress’ failure to authorize an extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014, (TRIPRA) has the potential to create serious disruption for many businesses who depend on the backstop for property, liability, workers compensation and captive insurance programs.Willis is actively working with clients and carriers to determine alternative options in what is currently a very fluid environment....read more ›

Wharton’s Erwann Michel-Kerjan receives the prestigious Lloyd’s Science of Risk Prize

Dec 07, 2014

Dr. Erwann Michel-Kerjan, PPI Faculty Affiliate and ED of the Wharton Risk Center, was awarded the 2014 Lloyd’s Science of Risk Prize in London last week. The award recognizes his work on Evaluating Flood Resilience Strategies for Coastal Megacities...read more ›

Willis Re Unveils First Japan Tsunami Model

Dec 02, 2014

New Model to Advance Knowledge of Catastrophic But Largely Un-Modelled Peril...read more ›

Including the Private Sector in Disaster Risk Management

Nov 10, 2014

One of the great learnings of the last nine years of implementing the world’s first comprehensive agreement on disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), is how vital it is to include the private sector in disaster risk management....read more ›

UN Climate Summit: 1-in-100 Initiative

Nov 07, 2014

September saw the UN Climate Summit taking place in New York, aiming to raise political momentum and mobilise action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to climate risk, ahead of next year’s key climate change negotiations in Paris. The Climate Summit brought together an unprecedented number of world leaders, including 125 heads of state and 800 leaders from business, finance and civil society, to agree actions that will address some of the challenges caused by our changin...read more ›

Scariest Risks of 2014

Oct 17, 2014

TAs risk advisors, WillisWire bloggers tend to think less of ghouls and goblins during the Halloween season than of the frightening real risks our clients face. This year they faced more than their share of new ones, with ISIS, Ukraine, Ebola–and several, just as scary, that don’t have proper names. Here’s what keeps our bloggers up at night in 2014. Which one scares you most?...read more ›

Insurance industry to double its climate-smart investment by end of 2015

Sep 24, 2014

The global insurance industry, which currently accounts for a third of the world’s investment capital, yesterday took centre stage at the UN Climate Summit in New York. Pledging a rise in its climate-smart investments - from $42 billion to $84 billion by end of 2015 – the insurance industry is set to transform its mainstream asset management by placing a more emphasis on climate risk....read more ›

Feeling the Heat of Wildfire Risk

Aug 28, 2014

An untended campfire. A tossed cigarette. A trash fire on a windy day. These are some of the typical sparks of wildfires. But the real source is seasonal dryness exacerbated by drought, which experts now say is being fueled by climate change. In a world where extremes of wet and dry are only growing more pronounced, we can expect more wildfires...read more ›

Industry can cope with $100 billion disaster

Aug 19, 2014

A growing market for catastrophe bonds has placed the insurance industry to handle a natural disaster bigger than Hurricane Katrina, says this article from Insurance Business Canada...read more ›

Japan Facing Early Season Typhoon: Neoguri

Jul 08, 2014

Typhoon Neoguri is now as large as the East China Sea, writes our weather risk expert, Geoffrey Saville. What makes it so dangerous, and what Japan can expect -- new on WillisWire http://ow.ly/yVtSa...read more ›

Willis Group Presents Unique Event to Kick-Start a Global Disaster Resilience Transformation

Jun 30, 2014

London Guildhall Summit Brings Together the Best of Capital, Science and Policy to Address the Urgent Need for Better Resilience Against Natural Hazards and Climate Change...read more ›

Is Risk Changing or is it All in our Heads?

Jun 19, 2014

Accurately identifying and prioritising risk is crucial for business success and, more specifically, to help risk managers decide on investment priorities. Establishing a rational, dispassionate view of risk helps with making a more informed decision about how to treat that particular threat...read more ›

Understanding Risk forum - Register today

Jun 18, 2014

Understanding Risk (UR) is a global community of experts and practitioners in the field of disaster risk assessment. Every two years, the World Bank's Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and a variety of public and private partners convene the UR Forum—a five-day event designed to showcase best practices and the latest technical advances in disaster risk assessment. Forums provide organizations with the opportunity to highlight new activities and initiatives, build partne...read more ›

Chasing Tornado Data: Exploring Three Decades of Violent Storms

May 13, 2014

U.S. tornado season is upon us. Tornadoes can occur all year round, but the most likely period in the U.S. is from early spring through summer...read more ›

WillisWire Special Report: Adapting to Climate Change

Apr 22, 2014

A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group warns that no one on the planet will be untouched by the damaging effects of global warming in coming decades...read more ›

Extending Terrorism Insurance Program Could Save Federal Government Money After Future Attacks

Apr 11, 2014

Federal spending after future terrorist attacks on the United States may be higher if the nation's terrorism risk insurance program is allowed to expire, according to a new RAND Corporation study. The analysis finds that in a terrorist attack with losses up to $50 billion, the federal government would spend more helping to cover losses than if it had continued to support a national terrorism risk insurance program....read more ›

Senate Bill to Extend TRIA: Positive, but no Guarantee

Apr 11, 2014

Yesterday, Democratic and Republican Senators jointly submitted draft legislation that proposes a seven-year extension to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 (“TRIPRA”)....read more ›

Forecasting, Flood & Fortitude: Slides available

Mar 25, 2014

Thank you to all those who attended the Willis Research Network: Forecasting, Flood & Fortitude Seminar in London last week. We were delighted by the support and participation from everybody attending the event and we hope that you found the presentations insightful and worthwhile....read more ›

Seasonal Forecast Summary Update

Mar 24, 2014

This document provides a summary of seasonal climate forecasts for northern hemisphere late spring 2014 and early summer 2014 tailored to the needs of the reinsurance industry....read more ›

RAND Study: TRIA Expiration Could “Affect U.S. National Resilience”

Mar 14, 2014

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which provides a federal backstop for insured terrorism losses, will expire later in 2014. There’s been plenty of discussion about the disruption to insurance markets that could be created by failure to renew this program. But a new RAND Corporation study, supported by Willis and other industry leaders, concludes that allowing TRIA to expire could also have negative consequences for U.S. national security....read more ›

Sunny Spells & Solar Storms

Mar 05, 2014

When the maelstrom of super-heated gas that is the Sun’s surface ties itself in a knot, the results can be both unimaginably powerful and blindingly beautiful. (more…)......read more ›

Forecasting, Flood & Fortitude: An Afternoon with Willis

Feb 25, 2014

Willis would like to invite you to an afternoon of insights from the Willis Research Network (WRN). The event, which is to be held on from 14:00 March 18th, Willis Auditorium, 51 Lime Street, London, will cover some of the most recent developments by the WRN and how these are being implemented in catastrophe risk management decision making....read more ›

Seasonal Forecasting: Understanding the “Crystal Ball”

Feb 14, 2014

Weather prediction improved leaps and bounds during the satellite era, and in recent decades computational capabilities have grown immensely. However, forecasting the details of weather (rainfall amounts and locations for example) has fundamental limits, meaning we are unlikely to be able to reliably look at the specifics much further than couple of weeks into the future. So how do we gain value from seasonal forecasts that look further into the future?...read more ›

Into the Record Books

Jan 02, 2014

- 19-year-old Parker Liautaud arrived at the South Pole at 13:43 GMT on 24 December 2013 - New World Record: Parker becomes the youngest man to ski to the South Pole - New Speed Record: Parker and Doug Stoup set new speed record for the fastest-ever unsupported walk from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole in 18 Days, 4 Hours and 43 Minutes...read more ›

WRN team up with RAND Corporation

Dec 10, 2013

The Willis Research Network is delighted to announce new areas of research work with the RAND Corporation to help develop and strengthen Willis understanding of Terrorism risk. The RAND Corporation is a global non-profit institution that helps improve public policy and decision-making through research and analysis using its core values of quality and objectivity....read more ›

Thoughts on the Midwest Tornado Outbreak

Dec 03, 2013

November isn’t generally known for tornado outbreaks in the U.S., but mid-way through the month a vicious and deadly swathe of tornados swarmed through the Midwest States of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Michigan leaving widespread damage and destruction in its wake...read more ›

Willis Resilience arrive in Antarctica

Dec 02, 2013

Today, we can report that the Willis Resilience team has arrived and begun its journey, already crossing hundreds of kilometers of frozen continent as Parker Liautaud conducts his scientific research before beginning his 640-kilometer unsupported trek on foot to the South Pole....read more ›

Pan European Hail Model available

Oct 20, 2013

Development in cooperation with Willis Research Network Partners, notably Karlsuhe Institute of Technology (KIT)...read more ›

Volcano Risk: Have we Learned any Lessons?

Oct 02, 2013

Don’t miss the exhibition Life and Death: Pompeii and Herculaneum still showing at London’s British Museum for a few days. For a place so closely associated in everyone’s mind with sudden death, the curators managed to put the emphasis on life, taking you through the mores and daily life of Pompeians....read more ›

The Willis Resilience Expedition

Sep 04, 2013

Willis, the global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker, teams up with teenage explorer and climate campaigner Parker Liautaud to attempt a World Record South Pole speed expedition that will help explore the impact of climate change on the planet....read more ›

Terrorism Insurance Review Highlights Key Differences Between Terrorism Pools Across the World

Aug 08, 2013

The scope of cover afforded by state terrorism schemes, as well as the premium rates charged, varies significantly across international borders. These are the findings of a report released by Airmic in collaboration with Willis....read more ›

Clean Air and Tropical Storm Frequency

Jul 17, 2013

Using the word ‘aerosol’ in everyday language might generally be associated with spray cans but besides styling our hair or odourising a room, aerosols are known to influence various physical processes in our atmosphere. Despite their small scale they can have a huge effect on our climate system. Naturally occurring –such as suspensions of liquid water droplets as clouds or fine ash hanging in the atmosphere from volcanic eruptions, or man-made, like soot or smoke emitted from the burning of ...read more ›

Brinkmanship, Flood Insurance and Science

Jul 01, 2013

The “Statement of Principles” on flood insurance agreed by the UK Government and the Association of British Insurers as a temporary measure in the year 2000 is due to expire on 31st July 2013. At the heart of this document is an undertaking by insurers to continue to provide cover for domestic property and small business customers as long the Government continues to manage the risk adequately...read more ›

WRN Natural Hazards Seminar slides available

Jun 23, 2013

The Willis Research Network held a Natural Hazards seminar on June 18th in the Willis Auditorium, London. The event presented research, models and operational outputs across a number of WRN programmes to confront re/insurance related risk and natural catastrophe management....read more ›

Last chance to register - WRN Seminar

Jun 13, 2013

The Willis Research Network, the world's largest collaboration between public science organizations and the finance and insurance sectors, is holding a Natural Hazards seminar on the 18th June in the Willis Auditorium, 51 Lime Street....read more ›

Stemming the Flow: Flooding in Central Europe

Jun 07, 2013

Prolonged heavy rainfall across central Europe combined with a wet May has brought widespread flooding to much of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. In response, Willis has mobilised field teams to document the evolution of the flood wave, survey the impact of the flood and inspect the flood defence structures along large stretches of the Danube River in Austria and Vltava River in Czech Republic. The Willis survey teams comprise of trained hydrologists in conjunction with Willis Res...read more ›

Could an Earthquake Cause the Next Financial Crisis?

May 20, 2013

On January 17, 1995, an earthquake struck the Japanese port city of Kobe, killing 6,500 people and destroying $100 billion worth of property and capital. Five weeks later, Barings Bank was declared insolvent after admitting losses of $1.3 billion, twice the amount of its capital. Was there any link between the two events?...read more ›

Willis Research Network – Natural Hazards Client Seminar

May 15, 2013

The Willis Research Network, the world's largest collaboration between public science organizations and the finance and insurance sectors, is holding a client seminar on the 18th June in the Willis Auditorium, 51 Lime Street....read more ›

Scenarios, Financial Networks and Systemically Important Financial Institutions

May 01, 2013

In a recent blog from WillisWire, Marcus Stricker, Director of the Willis Economic Capital Forum (WECF), talks about the indices of riskiness...read more ›

Willis ‘Resilience’ Magazine Identifies Growing Risk Challenges from Natural Catastrophe Exposures

Apr 24, 2013

The growing threat of natural catastrophes is raising serious challenges for corporate risk managers and the insurance industry, according to the second issue of Resilience magazine, the risk management publication from Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH)....read more ›

Big Data: Is it all just Big Jargon?

Apr 23, 2013

What is big Data? If we don’t start doing big data then, the feeling is because because everyone else seems to doing big data, we will somehow miss out. The trouble is few people seem to know what the concept really means. Moreover, many of the technologies we have used for many years continue to cope just fine, despite increasing amounts of data...read more ›

Willis at RIMS 2013

Apr 15, 2013

Willis is preparing an exciting week at RIMS in Los Angeles, where we will be demonstrating our global expertise at the Willis Booth, the Willis Hub, and in various educational sessions and events....read more ›

Chile Earthquake 3 Years On: The Dust has Finally Settled

Apr 02, 2013

The 8.8 earthquake that hit the central coast of Chile on 27 February 2010 was the biggest natural disaster that the Chilean general insurance market has ever had to face...read more ›

Russian Meteor Begs the Question: Can we Prepare for Asteroid Strikes?

Feb 25, 2013

In this blog from the WillisWire site, Hélène Galy, looks at the recent meteor strike in Russia and asks how we can be prepared for asteriod strikes hitting urban areas...read more ›

Indian Flood Model launched

Feb 04, 2013

Globally since 2010 there have been a significant number of catastrophic losses from perils that have not been well understood within the insurance market. The recent flooding events in Thailand and Australia, and non-modelled components of earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan have all emphasised the need to understand and quantify the risks from what used to be considered second perils....read more ›

WRN welcomes Dalhousie University

Feb 01, 2013

The Willis Research Network today welcomes Dr. Andrew Rau-Chaplin from Dalhousie University into the network....read more ›

What Risks Will Emerge in 2013?

Jan 23, 2013

On January 23, WillisWire - the Willis Group blogging site - ran its second annual emerging risks special feature. Entitled “What Risks Will Emerge in 2013?” the post represents the best thinking from around the company on risks that will rear their ugly heads for the first time in the coming year....read more ›

In a World of Climate Change There is a Growing Need for Climate Forecasting

Nov 27, 2012

In late October 2012, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record slammed into New York, one of the world’s most populated cities and one of its leading financial and economic centres. “Super-storm” Sandy grounded air traffic and a massive storm surge flooded the city, forcing authorities to close the New York Stock Exchange for the first time since 9/11. In preparation for the impact of Sandy the city closed its subway system. The only other time this has happened was when New York steadied itself...read more ›

Willis Research Network Retrospective Hurricane Commentary

Nov 07, 2012

What started as an innocuous end-of-season storm development in the Caribbean ended as one of the most significant storms to impact the US affecting 24 states and causing upwards of an estimated $50bn in economic direct and indirect damage....read more ›

Willis Hurricane Response Center updates on Hurricane Sandy

Nov 05, 2012

Willis is closely monitoring the hurricanes and tropical storms threatening North America. Our priority as always is the safety of our Associates and the uninterrupted service of our clients...read more ›

Experts anticipate Hurricane Sandy

Oct 29, 2012

Dr Jane Strachan, Willis Research Fellow at the University of Reading anticipates Hurricane Sandy...read more ›

Study to provide “greater understanding” of risk from hail

Aug 01, 2012

Willis Research Network collaboration to enhance hail loss modelling systems...read more ›

Growing Focus on Natural Disaster Risk Heralds new ‘Age of Insurance’

Jul 04, 2012

The insurance industry plays a pivotal role in integrating new tools, technology and solutions to protect populations and assets against growing concerns about natural disasters and, in the process, helps ensure a sustainable future, according to Rowan Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of Global Analytics at Willis Group Holdings (NYSE:WSH), the global insurance broker....read more ›

Willis Re Release Report on the Impact of RMS v11 European Windstorm Catastrophe Model Changes

Jun 14, 2012

The report focuses on UK RMS version 11 and reviews the changes to the RMS windstorm and storm surge modelled losses....read more ›

Microsoft High Performance Computing implemented by Willis Re

Nov 11, 2011

Reinsurance Risk Experts Cut Catastrophe Modelling Time by up to 75 Per Cent...read more ›

Willis Research Network Scoops Top Industry Award and Welcomes Two Leading French Academic Institutes

Sep 13, 2011

For the second time in three years the Willis Research Network (WRN), part of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, has been named “Analyst/Researcher of the Year” at the Worldwide Reinsurance Awards, held at the Dorchester Hotel in London on September 7....read more ›

Mastering the Modelled World: Willis Research Network Launches Economic Capital Forum at Georgia State University

Jul 19, 2011

The world’s leading risk and actuarial research departments have come together under the Willis Research Network (WRN), the academic and analysis arm of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH) , the global insurance broker, to support the industry’s development and use of economic capital models required under Solvency II and similar regulatory and rating regimes worldwide....read more ›

Willis Group Holdings Joins ClimateWise

Dec 01, 2010

Willis Group Holdings (NYSE:WSH) has become the newest member of ClimateWise, the global collaboration of leading insurers focused on reducing the risks of climate change....read more ›

WRN Wins Business Reinsurance Initiative of the Year

Nov 24, 2010

The Willis Research Network (WRN) has scooped a prestigious award from the Institute of Risk Management to be named Business Reinsurance Initiative of the Year....read more ›

Science, finance and policy: unlocking climate uncertainty

Nov 24, 2010

Leading figures from the world of climate science, government and mathematics came together today to hear findings from a ground-breaking research programme aimed at advancing one of the most challenging and economically important mathematical problems of all time - how to reduce the uncertainty of climate change forecasts....read more ›

Two WRN Fellows Scoop Top Science Award

Nov 24, 2010

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Grant Enables Further Sustainability Research Insurance Day

Nov 09, 2010

Fox School of Business clinical professor James Hutchin was recently named a partner of the Willis Research Network, the largest collaboration of academics and the insurance industry, as part of 10 new appointments by the network....read more ›

Predicting Hurricanes Years Ahead

Nov 07, 2010

A joint project with the Willis Research Network and UK Met Office scientists has resulted in a major breakthrough in forecasting the number of Atlantic tropical storms. The new research, which will be published on Nature Geoscience web site today, reveals that the Decadal Climate Prediction System developed at the Met Office extends successful storm activity forecasts beyond the current season, providing predictions years ahead. The findings follow a collaborative project started in April betw...read more ›

Willis Release Latin America Flood Model

Oct 13, 2010

Willis Re, the reinsurance arm of global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), has extended its lead in Latin American flood risk with the release of detailed risk estimates and large event scenarios for key cities including Sao Paulo, Santiago and Bogota. The models, developed by the Willis Research Network (WRN), will help clients to optimize their related portfolios and manage their downsides for flood risk. Going forward, the tools might also be used to consider the potential i...read more ›

Willis Research Network Expands with 10 New American Universities

Oct 07, 2010

The Willis Research Network (WRN), the world's largest collaboration between public science and the re/insurance sector, has added 10 new US 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....read more ›

Willis Research Network Shortlisted for Industry Prize

Sep 10, 2010

The Willis Research Network (WRN), the division of Willis Re that supports leading academic investigation into extreme events and their potential impacts on insurers and industry, has been shortlisted for an Institute of Risk Management award in the category of Business Reinsurance Initiative of the Year....read more ›

Insurers call Action to Adapt to Climate Change

Sep 06, 2010

Four initiatives representing more than 100 leading international insurance companies are today calling on governments worldwide to harness risk management techniques and insurance expertise to help the developing world adapt to climate change....read more ›

Willis Research Network Launches in Germany

Jun 01, 2010

The Willis Research Network (WRN), part of Willis Group Holdings Limited (NYSE:WSH), the global insurance broker, has strengthened its position as the world's largest collaboration between academia and the re-insurance industry by launching a presence in Germany...read more ›

Willis Appoints Chair in Climate and Weather Risk at Walker Institute

May 13, 2010

The University of Reading's Walker Institute and Willis Research Network (WRN) announced today the creation of a new Chair, the Willis Professor of Climate and Weather Risk for Insurance at the University's Climate Modelling and Risk Laboratory. Worldwide applications are invited from suitably qualified personnel from academia, industry and the public sector....read more ›

Mount Vesuvius Eruption Could Cause 21,000 Casualties

Apr 15, 2010

Volcano Ranks Number One on Willis List of Europe's 10 Most Dangerous....read more ›

University of Oxford Joins Willis Research Network (WRN)

Sep 07, 2009

University's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment Forms Centre of Catastrophe Risk Financing and Public Policy with Support from WRN....read more ›

Willis Research Network Convenes First Insurance Session at Largest Scientific Meeting in Europe

Apr 24, 2009

Natural Hazard Risk Assessment Session Draws 55 Papers from Insurers and Academics, Including Presentation on Seismic Risk in Italy...read more ›

Trade paper Insurance Day features WRN's Google award winning team

Mar 31, 2009

The insurance industry's biggest daily paper, Insurance Day, has featured the award-winning team of WRN members from City University London....read more ›

Willis Research Network wins Google Research Award and supports Launch of National Centre of Earth Observation

Mar 09, 2009

Willis Research Fellow Dr Aidan Slingsby and Dr Jason Dykes and Dr Jo Wood of City University London, in collaboration with Willis Research Network (WRN) Senior Academic Dr David Stephenson and Rachel Lowe of Exeter University, have won a Google research prize for their work on visualising seasonal climate forecasts in Google Earth....read more ›

WRN British Embassy Climate Change Workshop in the press

Mar 02, 2009

The Walker Institute at Reading University, in partnership with the Willis Research Network, hosted an extremely succesful workshop at the Bristish Embassy in Tokyo, Japan earlier this year....read more ›

Cat 3 Hurricane in the Northeast: Willis/Princeton Insurers' Summit

Feb 24, 2009

The Willis Research Network and Princeton University invite you to the greatest ever gathering of scientific expertise for insurers with windstorm and flood risk in the Northeast U.S....read more ›

Media Response to Dr Greg Holland's revolutionary work with supercomputers and climate models

Jan 09, 2009

A selection of articles and comments from media outlets around the world on Dr Greg Holland's announcement about his work with supercomputers and climate models to predict future hurriance risk....read more ›

Scientists Reveal Groundbreaking Research into Future Hurricane Risks

Dec 10, 2008

Scientists from the Willis Research Network (WRN), part of Willis Group Holdings Limited (NYSE:WSH), the global insurance broker, have outlined groundbreaking new research on future hurricane activity and storm clustering today, including unparalleled use of supercomputers to tackle Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico hurricane risk....read more ›

Willis Research Network Embraces US Supercomputer to Tackle Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico Hurricane Risk

Oct 29, 2008

The Willis Research Network has teamed up with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in undertaking the most detailed projections ever of future hurricane activity in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. With first results expected next spring, the programme seeks to help onshore and offshore underwriters confront the uncertainties climate change has brought over risk levels in recent years....read more ›

Insurers rise to flood challenges: Stuart Lane tells the Financial Times about becoming a weather detective

Oct 27, 2008

Prof Stuart Lane, WRN Senior Academic at Durham University, was featured in an article in today's Financial Times....read more ›

Willis Becomes First Broker to Sponsor OECD's Global Earthquake Model

Oct 15, 2008

Willis Group Holdings, the global insurance broker, is sponsoring the Global Earthquake Model (GEM), a five-year initiative of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to produce the world's first earthquake model with comprehensive and consistent coverage around the world - including in developing countries where no reliable models exist today. Willis is the first re-insurance broker to support GEM, joining its Governing Board whose members include Munich Re and other i...read more ›

WRN Professors ask if the 2007 UK floods are a sign of things to come in the International Underwriting Association's World @ Risk Book 2008

Oct 10, 2008

WRN members Prof Paul Bates, University of Bristol, and Prof Stuart Lane, Durham University, have been featured in this year's World @ Risk book from the International Underwriting Association (IUA)....read more ›

WRN's Dr Aidan Slingsby speaks to reinsurance magazine The Review about Google Earth's potential to insurers

Oct 03, 2008

The WRN's Aidan Slingsby spoke to the Review Magazine about Google, Geovisualisation and GIS....read more ›

WRN Chairman Appointed to Natural Environment Research Council

Sep 25, 2008

Rowan Douglas, Chairman of the Willis Research Network, has been appointed to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) by UK Science Minister Ian Pearson....read more ›

Willis Research Network Members Collaborate With USGS and CGS on Southern California Earthquake Study

Jun 30, 2008

Members of the Willis Research Network (WRN) have joined with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the California Geological Survey (CGS) to develop a scenario that shows how a magnitude 7.8 earthquake along the San Andreas Fault could cause long-lasting social and economic consequences, including critical damage to infrastructure, transportation and power....read more ›

Willis Research Network Adds Princeton, NCAR and University of Colorado to Expand Global Reach to North America

Jun 23, 2008

The Willis Research Network (WRN) has strengthened its position as the world's largest collaboration between academia and the re-insurance industry by announcing the addition of three prestigious North American members: Princeton University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado....read more ›

Willis Research Network adds University of Bologna and Pavia University in major European expansion

Jun 12, 2008

The University of Bologna and Pavia University have become the latest additions to the Willis Research Network....read more ›

Standing room only as crowds gather to see WRN and Google present the future of geovisualisation and insurance

Apr 25, 2008

The Willis Research Network hosted its latest seminar this week in the auditorium of the new Willis Building in Lime Street....read more ›

Evaluating Global Landslide Risk - Prof David Petley outlines the global threat of landslide

Dec 03, 2007

Landslide hazard increasingly appears on schedules of risks to be covered by national catastrophe insurance schemes, and is now recognised as a distinctive hazard within the catastrophe modelling community....read more ›

Megacity Flood Risk & Insurance - Prof Paul Bates examines future flood risk to megacities

Dec 03, 2007

Modelling flood risk for emerging megacities is a market priority and significant technical challenge. Concern across cities in the Asia-Pacific region such as Jakarta, Bangkok, Shanghai and Manila is particularly acute....read more ›

Birkbeck College and Willis Research Network Gain EPSRC PhD Funding for Thames Gateway Flood Risk

Nov 09, 2007

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the UK Government's leading agency for research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, has granted funding for a flood risk PhD starting in October 2007. The supervision for the PhD will be jointly shared between Dr Diane Horn, School of Geography, Birkbeck College, and insurance risk experts in Willis Analytics....read more ›

Willis Research Network Uses Japanese Supercomputer to Help Insurers Predict Typhoons, Hurricanes and Climate Change

Feb 12, 2007

In an industry-first, the Willis Research Network (WRN) has joined forces with internationally renowned universities to harness the immense power of the NEC Earth Simulator in Yokohama, Japan to help insurers understand the frequency and severity of natural catastrophes in the face of climate change. The ability to use the Earth Simulator in conjunction with the expertise of the WRN and its partners, focused for the first time on the direct needs of the insurance industry, marks a major step fro...read more ›

WRN's Prof David Stephenson blames "explosive" jet streams for UK winter storms in The Independent

Jan 19, 2007

Willis Research Network partner Dr David Stephenson of Reading University has been quoted in The Independent....read more ›

Willis Research Network's groundbreaking links between industry and academia featured in DTI Report

Dec 21, 2006

The Willis Research Network has featured in a recent Department of Trade and Industry 'Science and Innovation' report - "Making the most of UK research" (see page 79)....read more ›

Prof David Stephenson reveals the secrets of Storm Clustering to reinsurance magazine The Review

Nov 03, 2006

The Review Magazine has published an article by WRN members David Stephenson (Reading University) and Kirsten Mitchell-Wallace and Kyle Beatty (Willis Analytics)....read more ›

About WRN

As economic, social and environmental uncertainties increase, institutions and populations seek greater resilience to support sustainable growth. Science and insurance lay at the heart of understanding, managing and sharing these risks, building more secure futures at local and global scales.

The Willis Research Network (WRN) operates across the full spectrum of risk from natural catastrophe, to legal liability, financial and security issues linked across driving themes: Resilience, Security & Sustainable Growth; Managing Extremes; Insurance & Risk Management and Mastering the Modelled World.

All Members and activities are united by a common aim: improving resilience by integrating first class science into operational and financial decision-making across public and private institutions.

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Fast Facts

  • The WRN was formed in September 2006 to support leading academic research into extreme events, with a specific focus on responding to the challenges faced by businesses, insurers and governments
  • The WRN's membership spans the globe, counting more than 50 world-class universities, scientific research organisations and public policy institutions
  • Collectively, our members have published more than 100 papers in leading scientific journals
  • Nearly all of the WRN's research is freely available to the public and can be downloaded on our website

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