Cyence, a San Mateo, Calif., based company that works to empower the insurance industry to model the economic impact of cyber risk, has named John Merchant as director of business development.
He will be working with Cyence’s network of insurance customers to drive strategy and programs applying Cyence’s platform to realize cyber risk business value. Merchant will be based out of Cyence’s New York City office.
“It’s a transformative time where the worlds of insurance and Silicon Valley are merging,” said Merchant in a company press release. “I’m excited to be leveraging the power of Cyence’s data, analytics and models to work with the insurance industry on enhancing risk selection and profitability, driving top line premium growth and broadening risk appetite by managing accumulation.”
For nearly a decade, Merchant has worked with some of the world’s largest insurance companies to develop cyber-focused lines of business. Most recently, he oversaw the launch of the U.S. cyber underwriting division at Validus Specialty Underwriters.
Previously, Merchant led similar efforts for both Nationwide, where he grew its cyber and technology services, and AIG, where he led strategic sales and distribution for the full suite of AIG and Lexington cyber insurance products. Merchant has also held senior, cyber insurance-focused roles at Hartford Financial Products.
“He has a deep understanding of the challenges the insurance industry faces around selecting and accumulating cyber risk,” said Jennifer Livingstone, vice president of business development at Cyence, in the release. “John’s cyber insurance domain expertise, technical underwriting experience, and market knowledge strengthens Cyence’s ability to partner with our customers on risk models robust enough for capital deployment.”
Cyence’s approach to helping the insurance industry understand the impact of cyber risk in the context of dollars and probabilities combines economic/risk modeling and cybersecurity and big data analytics to create an economic cyber risk modeling platform. Its platform and analytics are used by the insurance industry to help understand and manage cyber risk, as well as launch new insurance products.
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