NU Online News Service, April 21, 1:57 p.m. EDT

Zurich-based PERILS AG, a new company established to aggregate and provide European catastrophe insurance data, announced that Luzi Hitz has been appointed chief executive officer.

Mr. Hitz previously managed the international property and casualty treaty business for Pf?ffikon, Switzerland-based Glacier Group, an insurance and reinsurance organization. Prior to his Glacier post he was Swiss Re’s head of property and casualty treaty underwriting for the Greater China region.

PERILS AG said Mr. Hitz, a Swiss citizen, has spent 14 years in the reinsurance industry in various posts and has published and spoken on catastrophe insurance-related topics.

The company said the new CEO will build the PERILS team and develop the PERILS offering, initially providing industrywide exposure and loss information on European wind risk (winter storms) and over time expanding to include other perils and regions.

Mr. Hitz said he believes that “PERILS will become an indispensable industry benchmark and will greatly enhance the risk transparency and understanding of catastrophe exposures throughout Europe and beyond. This will benefit both the demand and supply sides of our industry, creating new economic value which will form the basis of PERILS’ success.”

PERILS said it will offer two main products to its clients: aggregated industrywide insurance exposure data (insured values) by risk type and CRESTA Zones, and industry loss estimates per risk type and CRESTA Zones, following large natural catastrophe events.

Both aggregate exposure and event loss data will be provided on a subscription basis. The firm said that to illustrate its methodology, later this month it intends to publish its loss estimate of windstorm Klaus, which hit Spain and France on Jan. 23 and 24, later this month.

The new firm said its industry exposure data and loss information will have significant value to subscribers, by improving the modeling, risk management and underwriting of natural catastrophe risk.

It added that greater transparency on industry losses will further facilitate the establishment of “accurate and robust loss triggers for catastrophe bond structures, industry loss warranties (ILWs) and other capital markets products.”

PERILS said it is an industrywide initiative with “a governance structure established to ensure absolute independence,” having both subscriber and shareholder representatives serving on the company board “to ensure broader industry interests are fully served.”

It promises that data integrity and the confidentiality of data provided by insurers “will be maintained by sound infrastructure and aggregation processes, as well as strict contractual provisions for data confidentiality.”

PERILS AG shareholders consist of Allianz, AXA, Groupama, Guy Carpenter, Munich Re Group, PartnerRe, Swiss Re and Zurich.

More information is online at www.perils.org.