Careers at Risk Management Solutions (RMS)
RMS’s mission is to create a more resilient and sustainable global society through a better understanding of catastrophic events.
Hemant Shah was a graduate student in the engineering program at Stanford University. He took a class at its business school, where he was required to write a business plan. He and his friend came up with an idea for a venture called Risk Management Software. Its purpose was to create models to help insurance companies estimate the financial risks posed by earthquakes, and price accordingly.
The plan received positive feedback from faculty members. Encouraged, in 1989 Shah partnered with five colleagues to launch Risk Management Software (RMS) as a company. They received early funding from his father, who wrote them a $50,000 check. Unfortunately, venture capitalists were skeptical, partly because the team could not estimate an addressable market for the service.
For the first two years the firm relied heavily on investments from family and friends, and no one earned salaries. It also approached potential customers with requests for funds so it could develop a prototype for its software. It successfully obtained money from a number of early adopters, including Munich Reinsurance Group, which was promised credit against any future licenses it purchased.
RMS built a prototype, and was finally able to obtain venture capital in funding in 1992. One of the investors was Sutter Hill Ventures, which contributed $3 million. The funds enabled it to build out the business. A key change occurred when the company decided to broaden its purview beyond earthquakes to catastrophes in general. It later changed its name to Risk Management Solutions.
Benefits at Risk Management Solutions (RMS)
Business model of Risk Management Solutions (RMS)
RMS has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offerings at financial services organizations, including insurers, reinsurers, brokers, and capital markets. It also assists governments and other public agencies in efforts to protect the public.
RMS offers three primary value propositions: performance, convenience, and brand/status.
The company demonstrates strong performance through tangible results. It has achieved the following outcomes for its Analytical Services solution:
- Reduction of model deployment time by 90%
- Achievement of a 99.7% data processing acceptance rate
- 24-hour rapid turnover capability
- Serving of 98% of clients within their individual service-level agreements
The company offers convenience by making life simpler for clients. It maintains a section on its website called “Current Catastrophes” that identifies and describes recent catastrophic events such as storms, flooding, and coastal surges.
The company has established a powerful brand due to its success. It touts itself as the world’s leading catastrophe risk modeling firm. It has over 1,000 employees operating out of 11 global offices. Lastly, it has over 400 customers in more than 100 countries. They include the following:
- 9 of the top 10 U.S. commercial insurers
- 9 of the top 10 global reinsurance brokers
- 7 of the top 10 U.S. personal lines insurers
- 34 of the top 40 global reinsurers
- 70% of Lloyd’s managing agents
- 90% of insurers and reinsurers in Bermuda
RMS’s main channel is its business development team. The company promotes its offerings through its website, social media pages, and participation in webinars, webcasts, trade shows, speaking engagements, and conferences.
RMS’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its services while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website features a “Resources and Insights” section with useful tools such as publications, infographics, videos, and catastrophe updates.
The site also provides access to an e-mail newsletter. Despite this orientation, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.
RMS’s business model entails designing, developing, and delivering its software and related services to its customers.
RMS’s key partners are as follows:
- Model Partners – Include Applied Research Associates, Catalytics, CATRisk Solutions, COMBUS, ERN, JBA Risk Management, Risk Frontiers, and QuakeRisk.
- App Partners – Include Analyze Re and SpatialKey.
RMS’s main resources are human resources, namely the engineers, analysts, and financial industry experts that design and develop its software and services.
It also relies heavily on its business development team to promote its offerings and its customer service employees to provide support.
RMS has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation. Its biggest cost driver is likely sales/marketing, a fixed expense.
Other major drivers are in the areas of customer support/operations and research/development, both fixed costs.
RMS has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from the sale of its products to customers.
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