To be successful in business, you often need to take calculated risks. But how do you know you’re taking the right ones? This is where Hirbod Assa and his expertise could come in handy. As a Senior Lecturer in Finance and Fintech at Kent Business School, his research covers fintech, insuretech, machine learning and risk management. Here, we meet with Hirbod to discover the work he does to support business and industry.
First of all, Hirbod, what exactly is ‘insuretech’ and ‘fintech’?
Most people are familiar with financial technology (or fintech) which is any technology that’s used to augment, streamline, digitize or disrupt traditional financial services, including software and algorithms. Insuretech is a subset of this which refers to the use of technology to improve the efficiency of the insurance industry. It could be something as simple as enabling access to insurance documents via an app, or as complex as using algorithms to analyse customer data to inform more tailored insurance services.
So how can businesses benefit from your expertise?
My expertise is in machine learning and risk management as well as fintech and insuretech. I work with finance and insurance industries to use quantitative modelling to solve business problems and inform the creation of new products or services. I have worked with prestigious companies, including Lloyds band and MUFG as well as smaller ones and start-ups which resulted in high investment outcomes.
Can you give us some examples?
Here I give two examples that I like most. Between August 2019 and September 2020, I worked with Longline Environment, an aquaculture technology company, on a project funded by the Walton Foundation. The project was the first of its kind as it used mathematical and statistical techniques to investigate the feasibility of introducing insurance contracts on shrimp losses in Indonesia. The insurance products informed by this project will facilitate investment in shrimp farming, significantly improve the livelihood of shrimp farmers and improve the quality and production of shrimp.
Another successful project I have worked on was a feasibility study with Stable Group whose aim is to help farmers minimise the risk posed by volatile commodity prices. The company have since launched in Bermuda and recently raised $46.5 million in a Series A round of funding led by venture capital firm, Greycroft.
How can my business work with you?
If you have a business problem which could benefit from my area of expertise, there are many options available to work with me. One way is through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership. The benefit of a KTP is that it is part-funded by Innovate UK and supported by an academic team who can advise on and support you to meet project outcomes to ensure you get the most out of the collaboration. Get in touch with the University of Kent’s business and innovation gateway team at email@example.com to start a conversation.