Willis Re finalises Asia agriculture team

February 20 2019 by Andrew Tjaardstra

The idea behind the team is to tap Willis’s resources, including its data and analytics capabilities, to address challenges in the agriculture industry, including for crops, fish farms, forestry and livestock.

The leader, David Gregori (pictured), is a specialist in parametric insurance and joined the broker last summer after spending more than four years as head of global agriculture at Canopius, a Lloyd’s syndicate in Singapore.

In India, Ajay Rakhe is leading the agriculture business as vice-president, treaty – agriculture. He is based in Willis Re’s Mumbai office and is responsible for developing and managing the agriculture treaty business along with designing rural products for clients and partners in India.

The latest addition to the team is Simiao He, who has joined in China as associate director of reinsurance. She will lead the agriculture business in China and is based in Willis Re’s Beijing office. She has a background in innovative index products, including weather index, satellite index and revenue insurance. Prior to Willis Re, she spent five years at Swiss Re as an agriculture reinsurance underwriter.

Mark Morley, head of Willis Re, Asia Pacific, said: “Asia faces extreme adverse weather events such as typhoons, large scale floods and drought. These bring higher risk of yield shortfalls and failures which can impact farmers, companies and employment, especially with one out of three Asian people working in the agriculture industry.

“It is therefore important to use agriculture insurance as a tool to help farmers mitigate the financial and production risks, and protect their livelihood. The addition of [Gregori], [Rakhe] and [He] to the agriculture team, and their international and local knowledge will enhance the value we provide to our clients and partners in the agriculture insurance market.”