Welcome to Risk Cooperative’s innovation center, where we work on advanced research projects to launch pioneering fintech and insuretech solutions.
The RC Labs team works on a variety of projects leveraging cutting edge technology platforms, and partnerships with leading academic and higher learning institutions to help develop better ways of addressing new and emerging risk classes and improve the overall management and delivery of risk transfer solutions. A main focus area of RC Labs involves blockchain and digital transformation of the $5.5 trillion dollar risk transfer industry, while creating a portfolio of proprietary programs.
RC Labs solutions include:
Risk Cooperative’s proprietary, evidenced-based approach to innovation identified unmet market needs and breakthrough delivery methods.
In partnership with the world’s leading insurers and technology firms, Risk Cooperative’s lab employs a proven scientific method of rapid prototyping across the insurance value chain.
As a pioneer in the blockchain space, Risk Cooperative leverages real-world applications of blockchain, building value chain efficiencies and trust, while piloting self-sovereign and parametric offerings.
Embedding insurance at the software, product or service layer, Risk Cooperative’s breakthrough approach offers massive scalability, product differentiation and risk diversification.
With a portfolio of proprietary products, structured as stand-alone investments, Risk Cooperative’s intellectual capital and product portfolio is far reaching, including cyber solutions, physical security and payments.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous damage, claiming millions of lives while wreaking havoc on the global economy. While companies have adopted more technology solutions to combat business disruptions, their overall financial resiliency remains particularly vulnerable. Companies are not alone in their predicament; the average household faces economic headwinds in the wake of the pandemic. The World Bank estimates as many as 150 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty by 2021 as a result of COVID-19 and its economic impact. With a third of adults around the globe remaining unbanked, and a growing protection gap (which is the portion of economic losses not covered by insurance), building financial resiliency into our global economy is more critical than ever.
Breaking the cycle of generational poverty for large segments of the world’s population requires greater access to advanced financial instruments, such as insurance. A recent study by SwissRe’s Sigma research group estimates the current protection gap at US$ 1.2 trillion, a record high. When one considers the rising number of extreme weather events, and global economic disruptions like COVID, even the world’s largest economies will not be spared. Those in emerging economies, with no access to financial instruments like insurance or savings, will be the most vulnerable demographic impacted when these events occur. Small scale farmers, who rely on natural resources and their agricultural efforts as the primary source of food and income, are a prime example. This lack of protection increases the likelihood of permanent displacement or voluntary resettlement due to land dry, and crop failure due to the absence of viable financial protection available to assist in rebuilding and recovery. Technologies like blockchain can facilitate creating greater financial inclusion while providing insurance companies the efficiencies and verifications necessary to avail risk transfer solutions to these segments.
To date insurers have merely skimmed the surface in terms of blockchain applications, however the use cases are gaining momentum. Applications of blockchain technology have the potential to drive radical change in the insurance industry while improving transparency and outcomes across the entire value chain. The trust and transparency of blockchain affords all parties in an insurance transaction is also critical to entice would be buyers of these new services that there is more than a promissory statement.
Insurers have been increasing their adoption of technology to help better underwrite and manage risks, as well as maximize efficiencies for operating margins. Yet only a select few have been planning beyond the standard applications, and researching how these innovative platforms can also facilitate new market expansion efforts. This has been easier to do in the emerging and developing markets as blue oceans. Microinsurance and parametric solutions have been developed to provide cost-efficient products to emerging markets. One such endeavor was recently launched between Oxfam and the insurtech Etherisc, providing blockchain-based insurance for smallholder farmers in Sri Lanka. This program insures against extreme weather events using weather data as a parametric trigger, coupled with smart contracts. This means claims can be automatically paid via the blockchain platform based on the preset coverage triggers and weather data to farmers’ phones. Similar solutions have been developed to assist small farmers in South America and Africa.
While initially there was hesitation from farmers to purchase insurance, either due to cost prohibitive factors or merely a lack of understanding, these blockchain-based platforms are helping to overcome any uncertainty. Access to these types of financial instruments helps farmers withstand unexpected financial shocks because of extreme weather events, therefore reducing the likelihood of backsliding into poverty. It also establishes a more resilient overall agriculture segment within these emerging economies, ultimately leading to upward financial mobility. For some insurers, accessing these smaller policy holders is not the only obstacle. As many emerging economies are plagued with corruption, Insurers take a cautious approach when exploring new market entry for their services. The application of blockchain solutions It also creates more traceability and trust as mentioned earlier, which helps eliminate concerns around fraudulent or other nefarious activities. This further enhances the strict compliance and regulatory aspects financial services firms like insurers need to abide by.
These applications of insurance and blockchain technology in the agriculture sector highlight just a fraction of the opportunities to help drive greater financial inclusion and reduce the protection gap. While the insurance industry has been growing largely via consolidation over the past few years, it will further face constrains with markets hardening and capacity for large traditional risk classes becoming more scare. This is yet another area where blockchain applied to the insurance industry can provide underwriters the comfort needed to underwrite emerging risk classes while reducing operation friction that would normally price out the lower echelon of the market. Reducing this friction while increasing customer visibility (and therefore trust) can help eliminate underinsurance scenarios or risks that were otherwise deemed uninsurable. This has been demonstrated via research , where a 1% rise in insurance adoption translated into a 13% reduction in uninsured losses and a 2% rise in GDP.
Insurers need to adopt blockchain to not only operate more effectively, but also underwrite more broadly. COVID-19 will have long lasting implications on the way society operates and how business is done. While technologies will allow us to work remotely, and vaccines will hopefully eliminate this virus, the financial implications across the most vulnerable members of our society will last for generations to come. As the protection gap highlights, the world has grown more susceptible to economic shocks largely due our highly interconnected commerce. Insurance and blockchain applications can represent a powerful and under-utilized resource to help drive financial inclusion, build resiliency, and protect those who are most vulnerable.
As leaders gathered for The World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings in Washington, D.C., the question of how to confront and reverse the tide of extreme poverty features prominently on the agenda. So much so, that three banners are strewn from the Bank’s headquarters with this very call to action. Looking at …
As leaders gathered for The World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings in Washington, D.C., the question of how to confront and reverse the tide of extreme poverty features prominently on the agenda. So much so, that three banners are strewn from the Bank’s headquarters with this very call to action. Looking at this critical item of human progress through the longer arc of history, set against our current global challenges, and the jury remains adjourned on how we can accelerate human development. This is especially true with so many world leaders reaching for the hand brake on global cooperation and integration. Critically, ensuring that the opportunity gap that has left billions of people behind is narrowed and eventually closed depends on leadership, innovation and, most of all, innovation. These efforts should be accelerated and the gathered leaders in Washington must lead by example.
The first gap of human economic development was crossed when our species became an agrarian and sedentary society, leaving behind our stonework and early metallurgy. The next steps towards the death of distance and the bridge toward puling more people into an economic updraft accelerated with the advent of the wheel and getting beasts of burden to yield. Advancements in science, math, technology and socio-political organization pulled the early adopters up the ladder making them the masters of the known universe – albeit a flat one as the limits of earthly navigation created frightful tales of dragons over yonder horizon. As a cornerstone of this bridge, notwithstanding its attendant externalities, innovation and technology remains the beating heart of human progress. From Gutenberg’s printing press breaking down informational silos of hand-made illuminations in both gold and in wisdom, which created incalculable economic and political power for its bearers, originally the clergy.
Fast forward to the mercantilist era when trade took to the high seas and the prototypes of the modern multinationals, the European trading houses such as Portugal’s Casa da India or the British East India Company and harnessing the wind propelled the next wave of change and economic progress – again, albeit one-sided. This maritime world brought with it previously “undiscovered” lands, people and treasures, along with the attendant spread of communicable diseases, slavery and other scourges. The next waves, the advent of industrialization and electrification, at once shifted human economic progress from the extent animal and human muscle could bear us, with electrification lighting the way. The era of steam and industrial progress like others before it created incalculable wealth for the early adopters of these technological revolutions, respectively the Robber Barons and industrialists whose progeny still wield vast wealth till this day. However, their carbon hungry economic model, was not free of economic consequences as it has unleashed anthropogenic climate change, one of our gravest planetary threats.
The death of distance was further accelerated by the twin miracles of the telegram and early aviation, which saw human imagination and technological innovation soar to new heights, new speeds and over greater distances. Alas, telephony and the early internet, which collapsed the amount of time new technologies required to reach more than 100 million users around the world from thousands to hundreds of years and eventually to decades or mere months. With this wave the Robber Barons progressively handed the baton of global economic and political power to their offspring, the Tech Titans, who have amassed a hitherto unimaginable amount of wealth in both financial, technological and human capital by harnessing data, the world’s first limitless asset. Enough such that their ambitions, whether it is to kill the 100-year old dominance of the internal combustion engine, whose horse power has pulled the world’s economy forward while its noxious fumes choked us along the way. This same ingenuity has not only collapsed distance, it has collapsed the very forces that keep us earthbound, as the commercialization of space is now within reach, with the goal, some would argue, our very survival. Like the Robber Barons, the age of Tech Titans is not without negative externalities as they have inadvertently opened Pandora’s box of cyber risk and society scale social engineering courtesy of our technological dependencies. Even still, our last miles of economic progress will be paved with code and not oil, asphalt or steel, for the limits of financial inclusion and ending extreme poverty using yesterday’s tools has been reached.
Advancing to today, a world where more than 3 billion people remain unbanked or under-banked, more than 1 billion people have no identity and 260 million are globally displaced by war, famine, failed states and climate change and yesteryear’s model of economic progress is not only under strain, it appears broken. How then can development institutions like the World Bank Group or the United Nations, whose Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, seem fleeting as advanced economies retreat behind walls of economic nationalism and populist sentiments? With this retreat, they have also tightened their purse strings and what little financial support went into development coffers in the form of official development assistance, ODA, has flatlined. Is it possible that industrialization, capitalism and globalization, the tripartite forces that have accelerated human progress have reached a point of diminishing returns? How then do we rise to the occasion of eradicating extreme poverty, an issue with wide disagreement on where the poverty line begins, let alone reaching the ambitious 17 SDGs and the more than 100 sub-priorities? A task that will require that development agencies shift the locus of their activities from crowding in public largess and technical support, to serving as a point of leverage for moving from the billions to the trillions needed to brighten the rather bleak global outlook.
If the first mile of human development was wide-scale collaboration as sedentary agrarian societies, the last mile of pulling 3 billion into the financial system and therefore out of extreme poverty cannot be reached without technology at the core. For this, an economic system of low-trust, high-friction and systemic corruption-inducing opacity is anything but participatory. The result is that most corners of finance and economics, particularly those that aim to import their traditional operating models to the so-called base of the pyramid struggle to find yield given their prohibitively costly financial models and zero-trust propositions. As an example of disproportionality, we have a banking system whose onerous know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) rules would rather send no money across borders for fear it may fall into a few wrong hands, while leaving billions of people hopelessly on the margins. These people become easy recruits to turn to nefarious activities such as piracy, terrorism, human traffic, among others and a global vicious cycle is born. This pernicious issue is not only present in the developing world, it is very much at play in many advanced economies, such as the U.S., where a perilously large percentage of the population not only struggle to make ends meet, they are themselves over-leveraged, under-banked and under-insured.
As capitalism appears to have reached its point of diminishing returns coinciding with the collapse of institutional trust, paragons of business such as Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan’s Chairman and CEO and Harvard Business School’s Dean, Nitin Nohria, are coming to its defense. Indeed, living in a world where 26 billionaires control as much wealth as 50% of the world’s poor does not augur well for the future – notwithstanding the targeted largesse and philanthropic efforts from these people and their eponymous foundations. The best place to start to end extreme poverty is to look for and eliminate the points of friction in the global economy, while identifying and fully incorporating the costs of doing nothing that poses a financial double-jeopardy. Why it still costs 10 times more to send a cross border payment or remittance anywhere in the world no matter how small the sum, is one such example. Remittances are the world’s most important and persistent cashflow at more than $625 billion and growing, and one of the key ways the world’s diaspora populations and economic migrants turn the flywheel of global development and stability. Mercifully, efforts are under way to help the world’s largest asset managers rethink financial and social equilibrium, such as the Responsible Asset Allocators Initiative, as much as the accelerating pace of fintech innovation will help bridge the last financial mile.
Risk Cooperative CEO, Dante Disparte moderates a panel titled The New Abnormal: Solving for Sustainability and Resilience at Davos 2019.
Risk Cooperative CEO, Dante Disparte moderates a panel titled The New Abnormal: Solving for Sustainability and Resilience at Davos 2019.
Power Ledger is pleased to announce the appointment of Dante Disparte as a strategic advisor and ambassador for the Americas. Mr. Disparte is an entrepreneur and global risk expert who founded Risk Cooperative, a coverholder at Lloyd’s, to respond to global protection and recovery gaps from risks, such as climate change, cyber threats, political risk …
Power Ledger is pleased to announce the appointment of Dante Disparte as a strategic advisor and ambassador for the Americas.
Mr. Disparte is an entrepreneur and global risk expert who founded Risk Cooperative, a coverholder at Lloyd’s, to respond to global protection and recovery gaps from risks, such as climate change, cyber threats, political risk and more. Power Ledger’s development of a decentralized renewable energy trading platform enables a wholesale redesign of resilient energy infrastructure, particularly for vulnerable, last-mile communities and their development and reconstruction efforts.
Following an unprecedented wave of natural and man-made disasters in 2017, including the devastation in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, which has endured the second most severe blackout in history, the case for future-proofing the world’s energy matrix is urgent.
Mr. Disparte’s appointment will help spur the needed investments, policy changes and market expansion throughout the Americas to accelerate a wave of energy innovations, democratizing access to clean, resilient and renewable energy.
“Power Ledger has designed a scalable renewable energy platform leveraging blockchain to enhance trust, security and energy resilience to shocks,” said Dr. Jemma Green, Power Ledger’s co-founder and chair.
“We could think of no better ambassador for Power Ledger than Dante who has devoted his career, voice and mind to addressing risk, readiness and resilience. As the founder and chair of the Business Council for American Security with the non-partisan American Security Project, Dante is perfectly positioned to help Power Ledger improve energy security in the Americas,” Dr. Green continued.
In an industry first, data security technology firm Secured2 has released a cyber warranty programme that combines security with data-breach indemnification. The programme provides up to US$5 million in indemnification benefits and is offered by a partnership that includes Secured2; Risk Cooperative – a specialised risk advisory firm; Lloyds of London – the cover holder …
In an industry first, data security technology firm Secured2 has released a cyber warranty programme that combines security with data-breach indemnification.
The programme provides up to US$5 million in indemnification benefits and is offered by a partnership that includes Secured2; Risk Cooperative – a specialised risk advisory firm; Lloyds of London – the cover holder for cyber insurance; and Ridge Global – a specialised risk-advisory firm.
“To solve the ‘risk’ problem associated with today’s cloud solutions the innovative approach we are taking takes risk off the table by providing a warranty against a data breach and providing reassurance by providing a level of security that can be indemnified,” said Daren Klum, CEO of Secured2. “Being the first solution in the world that can both secure and indemnify users against a data breach changes the game entirely.”
The key elements of the warranty programme include the Secured2 product built into Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure which provides the critical components necessary to secure data in today’s high-risk environment. The current platform consists of secure email, secure data delivery, secure cloud storage and document collaboration across the business continuum.
The programme also consists of the ‘cyber warranty’ which allows every customer who takes advantage of Secured2’s innovate technology to be covered.
Secured2’s partnership with Risk Cooperative and Ridge Global provides customers with access to cybersecurity technologies. As a Lloyd’s of London cover holder, Risk Cooperative has access to proprietary risk transfer solutions helping organisations mitigate potential cyber threats.
“Cyber risk is increasingly defining the 21st century, with virtually every facet of the global economy exposed to this insidious threat,” said Andres Franzetti, chief strategy officer and founding member of Risk Cooperative. “Working with Secured2, and its leading-edge technology, we strive to help make organisations more resilient and improve its risk profiles.”
Set on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, the third annual Blockchain Summit, hosted by BitFury, a leading full service Blockchain company, and Bill Tai, a venture investor and technologist, has come to a close. This event was an intimate, if perfectly balanced, gathering of technology, policy, investment and business leaders from around the world and …
Set on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, the third annual Blockchain Summit, hosted by BitFury, a leading full service Blockchain company, and Bill Tai, a venture investor and technologist, has come to a close. This event was an intimate, if perfectly balanced, gathering of technology, policy, investment and business leaders from around the world and across sectors. Topics ranged from the public policy implications of what is being heralded as a foundational technology, to new emerging business models that can ride on the very rails that enabled the global bonanza of digital currencies like Bitcoin. A key question that underpinned the Summit is if Blockchain could not have existed without the Internet, what could not exist without Blockchain?
Blockchain technology can undoubtedly change industries, especially those that labor under often byzantine, opaque and friction-laden business models. While many of the early pioneers are focusing on finance and insurance, the opportunities for this radical technology may very well reorder society as we know it. The remarkable case of Estonia, for example, shows a country reinventing itself into a future-proof digital state, where citizen services are rendered nearly instantaneously and to people all over the world. Similarly, promising work inspired by the famed Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto, on improving land registries is being carried out by BitFury in a host of countries. With land and property being the two largest assets people will own – and the principal vehicle of value creation and wealth transfer – an unalterable, secure and transparent registration process should give the world comfort and elected leaders longevity.
What drives this unique technology is the power of distributed singularity, from which Blockchain’s identity pioneers like Dr. Mariana Dahan, who launched the World Identity Network on Necker Island, and Vinny Lingham of Civic, draw their inspiration. Blockchain operates on the basis of a distributed ledger (or database) system, inexorably marching forward recording and time-stamping transactions or records.
Washington, D.C. (October 19, 2016) – In Global Risk Agility and Decision Making (Macmillan, 2016), Dante Disparte and Daniel Wagner, two leading authorities in global risk management, make a compelling case for the need to bring traditional risk management and decision making approaches into the twenty-first century.
Based on their own deep and multi-faceted experience in risk management across numerous firms in dozens of countries, the authors call for a greater sense of urgency from corporate boards, decision makers, line managers, policymakers, and risk practitioners to address the plethora of challenges confronting organizations.
Set against turbulent times, where the convergence of man-made and natural risks are making traditional risk models increasingly obsolete, they argue that remaining passively on the sidelines of the global economy is dangerous, and that understanding and actively engaging the world is central to achieving risk agility. Their definition of risk agility taps into the survival and risk-taking instincts of the entrepreneur while establishing an organizational imperative focused on collective survival.
The agile risk manager is equal parts sociologist, anthropologist, psychologist, and quant. Risk agility implies not treating risk as a cost of doing business, but as a catalyst for growth. Wagner and Disparte bring the concept of risk agility to life through a series of case studies that cut across industries, countries and the public and private sectors. The rich, real-world examples underscore how once mighty organizations can be brought to their knees―and even their demise by simple miscalculations or a failure to do the right thing. The reader is offered deep insights into specific risk domains that are shaping our world, including terrorism, cyber risk, climate change, and economic resource nationalism, as well as a frame of reference from which to think about risk management and decision making in our increasingly complicated world.
Tom Ridge, first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and Chairman of Ridge Global says of the book: “You have to manage risks before they manage you. Global Risk Agility provides a practical platform for greater risk governance at all layers of an organization and society. With this compelling work, we can no longer plead ignorance to the era of man-made risk, nor can we afford a slow search for causality. It is time to mount our defenses to the effects of cyber risk, terrorism, climate change and other interconnected threats, which Disparte and Wagner masterfully deconstruct in this book.”
This easily digestible book, available on Amazon, will shed new light on the often complex discipline of risk management. Readers will learn how risk management is being transformed from a business prevention function to a values-based framework for thriving in increasingly perilous times. From tackling governance structures and the tone at the top to advocating for greater transparency and adherence to value systems, this book will establish a new generation of risk leader, with clarion voices calling for greater risk agility. The rise of agile decision makers coincides with greater resilience and responsiveness in the era of man-made risk.
About Risk Cooperative
Risk Cooperative is a specialized strategy, risk and capital management firm founded around the question: what would you do in a world without risk? With this guiding principle, Risk Cooperative addresses the most pressing strategic questions of market expansion and innovation, strives to minimize risk from management decisions, and works to level the playing field for small to medium-sized enterprises in the capital markets. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Risk Cooperative focuses on three often separate disciplines — strategy, risk and investment — bringing them together as a part of our methodology to unlock value from risk. To learn more visit www.riskcooperative.com.
Andres Franzetti, CRM
Chief Strategy Officer and Founding Member