Dr. Phil Klotzbach, Research Scientist, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
Dr. Phil Klotzbach is currently the lead author on Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project seasonal forecast products. He has worked with Dr. William Gray on these forecasts since he joined the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University in 2000. During this time, he has also authored over two dozen peer-reviewed journal articles on various aspects of hurricanes as well as climate change. Dr. Klotzbach received his Ph.D. from CSU in 2007.
Brian Beebe, Senior Vice President, Products & Global Markets, Swiss Re
Brian is Senior Vice President and Head of US Origination for Swiss Re Corporate Solutions’ Environmental Commodity Markets. He is based in Houston, Texas. Brian manages a Houston and New York City team that specializes in weather, weather- commodity linked, and power plant forced outage transactions. Before joining Swiss Re in early 2012, he worked in a variety of management, energy trading, and new product development roles with Trumarx Data Partners, Merrill Lynch Commodities, Occidental Petroleum, ACES Power Marketing, Mirant (Southern Energy), and Louis Dreyfus Energy. Brian received a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from Amherst College, and an MBA from Emory University’s Gozuieta School of Business.
Paul Rudewick, Executive Director, National Manufacturing Energy Cooperative
Paul Rudewick serves as the Executive Director of the National Manufacturing Energy Cooperative, a comprehensive energy risk management program for industrial and manufacturing companies with facilities located in deregulated energy markets throughout the U.S. Paul began his career in investment banking, having financed the development of over 19 power plants, a number of natural gas pipelines and global oil upgrading projects. Thereafter, Paul worked in origination at Constellation Power Source, structuring opportunities on both the load and generation sides of the business, across the MISO, PJM, ERCOT, CAISO and NYISO markets. Paul has an MBA from Fordham University in NYC and a BS in Finance from San Diego State University.
Rob Cowhig, Managing Director of Financial Trading, Southstar Energy
Ben Pratt, Managing Director, E.ON Global Commodities North America
As Managing Director of E.ON Global Commodities North America, Ben Pratt is overseeing the build out of E.ON’s North American power and gas trading and investment platform. Prior to joining E.ON, Mr. Pratt was Head of European power and gas for Castleton Commodities (CCI)in Geneva. Previous to CCI, he served for several years as Senior Managing Director in charge of Energy trading at Stark Investments, a global multi strategy hedge fund. Mr. Pratt began his energy career with Williams Energy, where he helped manage the optimization of Williams California power generation fleet.
Peter Platzer, CEO, Spire
Peter Platzer is the Chief Executive Officer of Spire Global Inc. He cofounded the company in 2012 with a vision to provide satellite-powered data from any location on earth. Platzer is now regarded as one of the pioneers in launching small form factor satellites into space. He has been widely recognized for his visionary leadership and was named a White House Champion of Change in 2013. Prior to launching Spire, Platzer trained at CERN and the Max Planck Institute before turning to business with the Boston Consulting Group in Germany, Singapore, and Thailand. Platzer joined a quantitative investment management firm out of Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar and recipient of the prestigious MBA Community Award. After attending Singularity University’s inaugural Executive Program in 2009, Platzer decided to leave finance to leverage the emerging technology of nanosatellites for high accuracy data from the most remote and uncovered parts of the planet. He interned at NASA Ames’ Space Portal and in 2012, Platzer graduated first in his class with a MSS cum laude from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. Platzer co-created and launched CareerTeams at Harvard Business School and continues to serves as a Career Coach for the school’s alumni and students. Platzer also has an M.S. in Technical Physics from the Technical University of Vienna, where he focused on high energy and fusion physics.
Dr. Jordan Alpert, Meteorologist, NOAA
Dr. Jordan C. Alpert received his Ph. D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Michigan in 1978 and holds a B.S. in Physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has worked at the Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA in Maryland on global modeling of anthropogenic pollution and constituent transport predictions, especially for Stratospheric Ozone including some of the first analysis of the Antarctic Ozone hole using satellite data. In 1985, Dr. Alpert joined the National Meteorological Center’s Development Division (forerunner of NCEP/EMC), where he implemented the Global Medium Range Forecast model orographic gravity wave drag and mountain blocking. He continues to work on modeling issues such as sub-grid scale interactions, e.g, non-orographic gravity waves in NCEP’s models. Within the Global Climate and Weather Modeling Branch he develops and improves numerical weather prediction for the NWS/NCEP through a broad program of modeling research including service orientated architecture, integration of atmosphere and ocean data on OPeNDAP servers, and the new Global Forecast System (GFS) Semi-Lagrangian Global Spectral Model, T1534 (13km), implemented January 15 2015, the largest increase in weather service model resolution ever. Dr. Alpert lives in Columbia Maryland and has lectured on Meteorology at the University of Maryland/College Park and Howard Community College/Columbia.
Sandeep Ramachandran, Senior Vice President, Weather & Commodity Markets, Axis Capital
Sandeep Ramachandran is a Senior Vice President and co-head of the Weather and Commodity Markets unit at Axis Capital. In this role, he is responsible for managing their global weather and energy business. Mr. Ramachandran currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Weather Risk Management Association as Treasurer. Mr. Ramachandran has previously been associated with the weather and energy risk management industry for over 15 years in various roles with Morgan Stanley, Swiss Re, Enron and Koch Energy Trading. Mr. Ramachandran has an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering and Operations Research from Princeton University.
Peter DiFiore, Portfolio Manager, Cartesian Re Management Fund
Dr. Peter J. DiFiore is lead portfolio manager for the alternative asset manager Cartesian Re. Prior to joining Cartesian, Peter worked as a consultant in the insurance linked securities practice of Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (RMS). At RMS, he managed the risk analysis and marketing of multiple catastrophe bond transactions including the first structures utilizing innovative hybrid parametric modeled industry loss indices. He also provided analytical support for development of a novel ILS portfolio management platform. Peter has advised multiple financial institutions on risk management in the natural catastrophe and life & health markets. Peter holds a PhD from the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University and a BS in Chemistry from North Carolina State University.
Mariagiovanna Guatteri, Director, Swiss Re
Mariagiovanna Guatteri is a Director at the Insurance Linked Securities trading desk at Swiss Re. She joined Swiss Re in 2003 as earthquake modeler in Swiss Re Cat Perils Team, and joined the ILS trading team of Swiss Re Capital Markets in 2006. In her current function, Mariagiovanna trades several Insurance Risk products, including Cat Bonds, Industry Loss Warranties, Cat Swaps and has been involved in the development and execution of various parametric structures. She is also responsible for Swiss Re cat bond portfolio management. Mariagiovanna Guatteri received her PhD in Geophysics and Masters in Statistics from Stanford University, CA.
Ron Marshall, General Manager, Toyota Tsusho America
Ron Marshall is the general manager of Toyota Tsusho America’s agribusiness group. Toyota Tsusho America is the North American arm of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, a Japanese Sogo Shosha, focused on trading a diverse basket of commodities across the globe. Toyota Tsusho’s agribusiness group joined the Toyota Tsusho family in 2006 through a merger with Tomen Corporation. Mr. Marshall has primary responsibility for managing the grain/oilseed origination, and trading businesses for Toyota Tsusho America. He is also responsible for identification and development of new projects in the food and agribusiness sectors both in North America and across the globe. Prior to joining Toyota Tsusho America, Mr. Marshall worked as a strategic management consultant focused on risk management, strategy, feasibility, and due diligence. He has worked with a diverse group of clients in the international trading, food and agriculture focused private equity, grain/oilseed and livestock production; and the agriculture lending sectors. Prior to his work as a consultant, Mr. Marshall worked at Bunge North America in varies commercial management roles focusing on international and domestic oilseed, grain and feed markets. Mr. Marshall received his BA in Business Administration from Michigan State University.
Dan Cekander, Futures Research, Jefferies
Dan Cekander received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. As a Grain Merchandiser for Consolidated Grain and Barge, Mr. Cekander traded cash grain and barge freight on the Illinois River and ran a central hedge desk for grain futures. Since 1981, he functioned as a Grain Analyst and Grain Broker performing fundamental analysis on grain markets, commodity price forecasting and risk management for commercial grain customers and hedge funds. Mr. Cekander is currently Vice President of Futures Research at Jefferies, LLC.
Tom Neher, VP – Senior Originator, Global Food and Agriculture Group North America, Swiss Re
Tom is Vice President- Senior Originator of the Global Food and Agriculture Group North America with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. He works with large Agribusinesses offering customized, tailor-made risk transfer solutions. Before joining Swiss Re, Tom was part of the Farm Credit System as a Grain Industry Specialist with AgStar Financial Services. Tom previously held positions with Archer Daniel Midlands and Benson-Quinn Company, where he was a grain merchandiser, commodity marketing consultant, risk management director, floor broker and member of the Kansas City board of Trade. Early in his agribusiness career Tom was a part of his family’s agricultural seed business. He also operated a diversified dry land and irrigated farm; along with a swine farrow to finish operation. Tom is a graduate of McPherson College and completed graduate studies in Clinical Psychology at Emporia State University and Rural Sociology at Kansas State University.
Nelson Neale, Director of Member Products and Risk, Land O’Lakes
Nelson Neale is the Director of Member Products and Risk for Land O’Lakes, a $15B agricultural and dairy cooperative located in Arden Hills, MN. In this role, Nelson is responsible for the development of a broad range of member products and services that provide mutual value to both the cooperative and members. In particular, he leads the cooperative in the development of derivative and insurance programs that allow members to better manage their risk and margins. Prior to Land O’Lakes, Nelson built a 15 year career in energy and agricultural commodity risk management and strategy development. He most recently served as a member of the Global Risk and Trading practice of Oliver Wyman in New York City where he directed engagements focused on trading, hedging and risk management strategies for oil and gas companies in Russia, Austria and Canada. He has also previously served in risk management and research roles with Tyson Foods, UBS Investment Bank and Enron. Nelson holds a PhD in engineering from Rice University.
Brian O’Hearne, President and CEO, eWeather Risk, Inc.
Brian is President and CEO of eWeatherRisk, Inc. the next generation in weather risk management. eWeatherRisk brings a new level of flexibility to the weather derivatives market allowing clients and partners the ability to develop, price, execute and manage weather risk instruments in real time. Brian was formerly Managing Director, Head of Americas, Environmental and Commodities Markets for Swiss Re responsible for leading weather, energy, emissions and agricultural product trading, business and product development and risk management. Brian is a Past President of the Weather Risk Management Association, the global industry association whose market volume grew from $4 Billion to $45 Billion during his 2 year leadership. Brian was previously President and CEO of Guaranteed Weather in Overland, Park, Kansas, President and CEO of Aquila Re Ltd. and Aquila Merchant Services-International based in Bermuda and prior to Aquila was Vice President Corporate Finance at Koch Industries in charge of Structured Finance as well as Director of Tax Planning. Brian received his LLM, MBA, JD and Chemistry degrees from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and has over 30 years of experience in the energy, agriculture, weather and risk management fields.
Brad Hoggatt, Chief Portfolio Manager, MSI Guaranteed Weather
In his current position as Chief Portfolio Manager of MSI GuaranteedWeather, LLC, Bradley Hoggatt is responsible for the financial performance of the company’s global weather derivative, insurance, and commodity portfolios. Moreover, he spearheads the development of new risk quantification techniques for implementation within the weather-modulated financial continuum. Bradley currently serves on the Weather Risk Management Association (WRMA) Board of Directors as Vice President. Prior to joining MSI GW, Bradley Hoggatt was Portfolio Manager, Europe for Aquila Energy’s Weather Derivatives Group where he was one of the founding members of the team. Mr. Hoggatt’s role at Aquila grew from a pure trading position where he focused on quantifying weather variability on a variety of time and space scales to maximize the risk/return profile of the global portfolio. Mr. Hoggatt has been involved in the weather risk management market since 1999. Before entering the weather market, Bradley was employed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a researcher with emphasis on numerical weather prediction and data assimilation. Mr. Hoggatt received his Masters and Bachelors of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Eric Wertz, Manager, Weather Data Solutions and Meteorologist, MDA Weather
Eric Wertz joined MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland in June of 2009 as an Operational Meteorologist. Eric is involved in multiple facets of operations at MDA. Eric works on US and global forecasts for MDA’s energy forecasting operations while also spending time on agricultural meteorology, data management, and risk management. He has also successfully managed the implementation of multiple projects and operational systems at MDA. Eric is now working in business development and marketing as he assists in scoping out the needs of clients in need of weather risk services. Eric holds both a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from The Pennsylvania State University.
Phil Hayes, Speedwell Weather
Claude Brown, Partner, Reed Smith
Claude Brown is a partner in Reed Smith’s Structured Finance team. Based in London, he has been involved in the weather markets since their earliest days, having advised on the first European weather derivative transaction. His practice covers the structuring, documentation and regulation of weather risk management instruments in Europe, Asia, Australasia, Africa and North America. He regularly advises on weather related structures involving derivatives, securities, insurance and alternative risk transfer instruments and their regulation, both as financial and environmental products. He has assisted WRMA and ISDA in the development of their weather derivative documentation suite and regularly speaks on the legal and regulatory aspects of weather risk management products at conferences and seminars. He sat on WRMA’s Board of Directors from 2001 to 2005.
Dr. Jim McCaa, Vaisala