Descartes Underwriting hires OTT Risk’s James as Commercial Director, UK & Ireland

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Descartes Underwriting, the parametric insurance and data-driven risk transfer specialist managing general agency (MGA), has hired former OTT Risk employee Matthew James as its new Commercial Director, UK & Ireland.

matthew-james-descartes-underwritingJames joins Descartes after ten years at broker WTW and then a stint as Head of Business Development in London for the now defunct parametric MGA OTT Risk.

At Descartes, he will be tasked with leading business development activities in London for the firms parametric insurance solutions.

In his time at broker WTW, James worked on structuring novel parametric solutions designed to manage the weather-risk exposures of clients across a range of industry sectors.

He then joined parametric MGA startup OTT Risk, again in London, but that company shuttered its operations in the first-quarter of this year.

At Descartes, James is taking over from Paul Jones, who is leaving the company after a near three year stint, to pursue other opportunities.

“We’re really excited to have attracted someone of Matthew’s experience and ingenuity as the new head of our London office,” explained Descartes co-founder and Chief Executive Tanguy Touffut. “His experience working with clients as a broker, assessing their climate and insurance challenges then crafting parametric solutions, will bring a new perspective to our work. Our restated strategy remains to deliver strong growth in high-potential markets, and Descartes will continue to deliver, in London and around the world.

“I’d like to thank Paul for his contribution to our development over the years. His work, particularly in educating new brokers to the benefits of parametric and developing and distributing coverages for peak peril exposures, has been invaluable. I wish him every good fortune.”

“I am super-pleased to be joining Descartes,” Matthew James added. “They are renowned as a leader in parametric insurance and I’ve followed their growth closely since their birth in 2018. The team of data scientists in Paris and London boasts some serious brains. Their depth of expertise and understanding of climate change’s impact on business is hard to beat. I look forward to working with this team at the cutting edge of parametric insurance, and alongside Ola Jacob and the rest of Descartes’ London team.”

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