Willis Re: Strategic Partnership With KatRisk and SpatialKey Delivers Unmatched Flood Analytics

NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Re, the reinsurance arm of Willis Group Holdings plc, the global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker (NYSE:WSH), KatRisk LLC, and SpatialKey Inc. have announced a strategic partnership to offer Willis Re clients unprecedented analytical capabilities to enable them to proactively manage flood accumulations.

The partnership will bring together a combination of Willis Re's in-depth insurance knowledge and analytical expertise, KatRisk's advanced science and industry-leading flood models, and SpatialKey's intuitive, speed-of-thought analytic platform.

Willis Re will leverage KatRisk model data to produce risk intelligence delivered through its consultative analytics services and will provide direct client access via SpatialKey's Insurance Intelligence offering.

Vaughn Jensen, Executive Vice President of Catastrophe Management Services at Willis Re, commented: "Market demand for a high quality and high resolution flood solution has never been greater. Insurers want to leverage the latest science and analytical methods to evaluate and manage flood exposure. Our partnership with KatRisk and SpatialKey offers the potential for significant improvement in how our clients proactively manage their flood accumulations."

Dr. Tim Fewtrell, Willis Flood Team Leader, added: "Building on R&D undertaken by Willis Re and Willis Research Network partners over the last two years, our team of highly qualified hydrologists at Willis Re has undertaken a thorough evaluation of the KatRisk product. We are confident that their approach represents the most accurate assessment of flood risk available to date."

Willis Re and SpatialKey are currently working together to integrate KatRisk's U.S. flood hazard maps into SpatialKey's forthcoming Flood Accumulation application.

The SpatialKey Flood Accumulation app will offer users the ability to access, accumulate and visualize KatRisk's high-resolution data, which models both riverine and surface water flood risk. Additionally, the KatRisk flood risk data can be analyzed alongside coastal surge data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and compared to the Federal Emergency Management Agency flood zones and U.S. Geological Survey hydrological units, to help insurers build intuition and calibrate their views of risk.

Bret Stone, Vice President of Products at SpatialKey, said: "This new analytical solution will be timely and relevant to the insurance industry. Willis Re's depth of insurance industry expertise along with KatRisk's excellence in modelling, are invaluable as we deliver tangible value to the market and catalyze a new way of managing flood exposures within the SpatialKey Flood Accumulation app."

While the initial focus of this collaboration is delivering a holistic solution for the U.S. market via SpatialKey, Willis Re Analytics can leverage KatRisk models to provide consultative services on a consistent global basis. Willis Re clients are now able to calibrate their underwriting and risk mitigation strategies with a clear view of risk and full understanding of key portfolio drivers.

Dag Lohmann, CEO and co-founder of KatRisk, commented: "With Willis Re and SpatialKey, we are able to easily deliver compelling value from our flood models to the insurance industry. This is a big first step in providing insurers with the right intelligence, backed by the best available science, to quantify flood risk and monitor risk position over time."

About Willis Re

One of the world's leading reinsurance brokers, Willis Re is known for its world-class Analytics capabilities, which it combines with its Capital Markets and Reinsurance expertise in a seamless, integrated offering that helps clients increase the value of their businesses. Willis Re serves the risk management and risk transfer needs of a diverse, global client base that includes all of the world's top insurance and reinsurance carriers as well as national catastrophe schemes in many countries around the world. The broker's global team of experts offers services and advice that help clients make better reinsurance decisions, access worldwide capital markets and negotiate optimum terms. For more information, visit www.willisre.com.

About KatRisk

KatRisk is a catastrophe modeling company providing comprehensive and cost effective catastrophe risk models with an emphasis on flood, including tropical cyclone related rainfall and storm surge. KatRisk models are global in scope, capturing large scale regional and continental correlations. Models have an open architecture allowing users to better understand underlying model parameterizations and when desired supplement models to incorporate specific user knowledge and views of risk. For more information, visit www.katrisk.com.

About SpatialKey

SpatialKey is a leader in insurance analytics and visualization, delivering real business value via purpose-built applications. SpatialKey Insurance Intelligence integrates industry-leading data solutions with an unmatched user experience and differentiated geo-spatial and business intelligence capability. Through speed-of-thought analytics and agile visualizations, SpatialKey helps insurers understand risk accumulations and composition, respond to live catastrophe events, and manage exposure proactively at the point of underwriting. As insurers innovate to deliver value to their customers and seek to optimize their risk portfolio, SpatialKey will continue to work with them to deliver revolutionary analytics. For more information, visit www.spatialkey.com.

CONTACT: Media: Richard Mackillican + 44 20 3124 6450 richard.mackillican@willis.com Dag Lohmann + 1 510-984-0056 dag.lohmann@katrisk.com Bret Stone + 1 925-322-1242 bret.stone@spatialkey.com Investors: Peter Poillon +1 212 915-8084 peter.poillon@willis.comSource:Willis Group Holdings