Leveraging Climate Risk to Improve Financial Performance

ISO Customer Conference, Orlando FL
October 24, 2010 - October 26, 2010

General Session Expert Panel:

  • Rick Hawkinberry, Senior Vice President, Willis Environmental Practice
  • Lindene E. Patton, Chief Climate Product Officer, Zurich Financial Services
  • Paul Walsh, Senior Vice President, Atmospheric and Environmental Research
  • Kyle Beatty, Managing Director, Atmospheric and Environmental Research (Moderator)

Most experts predict that the number and severity of weather-related claims will increase in coming decades, and they attribute that increase to climate change. But how can insurers and reinsurers do a better job of estimating and reducing their risk exposure? Learn how insurance industry leaders are adjusting — by turning weather and climate risk into opportunities to improve financial performance.

Press release: Insurance Leaders to Address Climate-Related Risks at ISO Customer Conference 2010: AER, Willis, and Zurich Financial Services to Outline Industry Framework for Managing Weather and Climate Risk.

Two hundred insurance professionals attended the Climate Risk panel at the ISO Customer Conference, in Orlando, Florida, on Oct. 24 - 26, 2010.

Expert Panel detail

Most experts predict that the number and severity of weather-related claims will increase in coming decades, and they attribute that increase to climate change. But how can insurers and reinsurers do a better job of estimating and reducing their risk exposure?

At this thought-provoking session, our panel of experts will help define best practices for our industry from three distinct perspectives. Learn how industry leaders are adjusting — by turning weather and climate risk into opportunities to improve financial performance.

You'll benefit from their experience as you prepare your company's plan for next year and beyond. And you'll hear about the latest climate risk management approaches from the experts who helped develop proactive weather- and climate-based strategies for industries and governments in North America and Europe.

The interactive session will encourage dynamic discussion. Audience members will have the opportunity to submit questions to the panelists, and panelists will share their broad experience and insights.


Kyle Beatty, CCM

Managing Director of Business Development
Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER)

Kyle Beatty is managing director of business development for Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER). In that position, Mr. Beatty provides risk management and meteorological expertise for global customers in reinsurance, financial services, energy, and other industries. He also leads the development and customer adoption of weather- and climate-related risk management and decision-support products and services. Before joining AER, Mr. Beatty worked for Willis Re, one of the three largest global reinsurance brokers. At Willis Re, Mr. Beatty led a team of catastrophe analysts that served North American property/casualty insurers and served as the analytical advocate for multiple U.S. brokerage accounts. He is a recognized expert on the Florida catastrophe insurance market and has served as a bridge between the research and risk management communities as the North American liaison for the Willis Research Network. Before joining Willis, Mr. Beatty worked for Risk Management Solutions, where he directed a team of model managers in the business planning, marketing, launch, and support of catastrophe models and products. Mr. Beatty earned his bachelor of science and master of science degrees from the University of Oklahoma. He is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM) and serves as chairperson of an AMS board focused on private-sector meteorology.


Rick Hawkinberry, CSP

Senior Vice President
Willis Environmental Practice

Rick Hawkinberry is a senior vice president for Willis's North American Environmental Practice in Pittsburgh. He leads Willis's Environmental Service Firm Industry Initiative and coordinates other sales initiatives, providing support to regional teams on complex environmental insurance placements and support for large environmental service firm accounts. His engineering background and experience in risk management and the insurance industry afford him the expertise to address the environmental risks Willis's clients encounter as part of their business operations. Before joining the Willis Environmental Practice, Mr. Hawkinberry was risk manager for Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc., responsible for the management of complex international and domestic insurance programs and the procurement of environmental insurance policies for both private and federal environmental liability transfer deals. Before Shaw, he was with AIG Environmental, where he played a key role in developing its mine reclamation insurance program. Earlier in his career, he held positions with Kemper Environmental and CIGNA/ACE USA in the Global Power and Energy Property Group. Mr. Hawkinberry has more than ten years of experience as a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) in the oil industry and earned his bachelor of science degree in safety engineering from Fairmont State College.

Lindene Patton, Esq., CIH

Chief Climate Product Officer
Zurich Financial Services

Lindene Patton is chief climate product officer for Zurich Financial Services (Zurich), responsible for product development and risk management related to climate change. She is an advisory board member for the University of California at Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. Ms. Patton also serves on numerous government and nongovernmental advisory boards, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Financial Advisory Board; the Bureau of National Affairs' monthly publication, the Environmental Due Diligence Guide; and the U.S. EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program. She is a member of the Low Carbon Finance Initiative and a Steering Committee member for the Forest Carbon Finance Initiative of the World Economic Forum.

Ms. Patton is an attorney licensed in California and the District of Columbia and an American Board of Industrial Hygiene Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). She earned her bachelor of science degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Davis; her master's degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley; and her Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara University School of Law.

Paul Walsh

Senior Vice President
Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER)

As senior vice president leading the Business Solutions Division at Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), Paul Walsh helps large corporations grow sales and better manage earnings volatility by anticipating climate-related risks and mitigating the weather's impact on their businesses. A nationally recognized expert on the effect of weather and climate on consumer behavior and business, he has worked with many of the largest corporations in North America and the United Kingdom, helping business leaders, investors, and analysts use weather and climate intelligence to maximize sales and profits. Before joining the private sector in 1997, Mr. Walsh was a meteorologist in the United States Air Force. During his time in the service, he provided weather-based intelligence support to war fighters and planners, including service as the chief meteorologist for the commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Desert Storm. Mr. Walsh has appeared numerous times on CNBC, Fox Business News, the Business News Network, and Bloomberg Television, commenting on weather and climate impacts on business and the economy. His insights and analysis have also been featured in more than 100 publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, USA Today, The New York Times, Business 2.0, and Forbes.