Canadian Underwriter

Meet CatIQ’s new president and CEO

June 28, 2022   by Jason Contant

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Laura Twidle will be the new president and CEO of Catastrophe Indices & Quantification Inc. (CatIQ), taking over from company founder and well-known insurance industry figure Joel Baker on July 1.

Twidle has served as CatIQ’s managing director since 2019. Caroline Floyd, currently assistant director of catastrophic loss analysis, will become director.

“I am fortunate to have been surrounded by amazing colleagues, like Joel and Caroline. Joel created CatIQ in 2014 and has lead the organization intrepidly since inception,” Twidle told Canadian Underwriter. “We are thrilled he will remain on as vice chairman as his industry expertise is invaluable.”

Twidle noted that Floyd joined the team in 2020 and “has been a major contributor to CatIQ’s success” over the past couple years. “We look forward to serving the industry and listening to the data needs as we march on in this uncertain time of more frequent extreme events,” Twidle said.

Baker, who is synonymous with the National Insurance Conference of Canada (NICC) and MSA Research’s Quarterly Outlook Report, established CatIQ and has served as president and CEO since its inception. He will take on the role of vice chairman of CatIQ.

“Laura has come into her own as a leader of CatIQ and I’m moving into a more of an advisory role as vice chairman,” Baker told Canadian Underwriter. “This is a natural progression following the sale of CatIQ to PERILS back in July of 2019. I still have my hands full as CEO of MSA Research, [National Insurance Conference of Canada], Northwind Institute and our newest venture, The Haliburton Post House [a private retreat in Ontario’s Haliburton Highlands area].

“CatIQ will always have a special place in my heart,” Baker says of the company he established in 2014. “As any entrepreneur knows, each company is like a baby. It has now grown up.”

In her new role, Twidle will report to Luzi Hitz, CEO of PERILS A.G. Zurich. Switzerland-based PERILS acquired CatIQ in July 2019. As a subsidiary of PERILS, CatIQ delivers detailed analytical and meteorological information on Canadian natural and man-made catastrophes.

Hitz said Twidle has been a “leading figure in [CatIQ’s] growth and brings an incredible level of insight into the Canadian Cat arena to the role.”

Hitz further commented: “Laura and Caroline are both very dynamic, motivated and committed people who, in an ever-changing risk and technology environment, will help drive CatIQ forward. I am also glad that CatIQ founder Joel Baker will be staying on as vice chairman and that we will continue to be able to rely upon his exceptional knowledge of the Canadian insurance industry.”

Twidle thanked Baker for his mentorship and dedication to CatIQ. “I believe the loss and exposure metrics CatIQ provides will be of substantial value to the industry as they focus more on climate change and the extreme events taking place in our own backyard.”

Twidle joined CatIQ in 2017 as director of catastrophic loss analysis and became managing director in 2019. She has been a member of the steering committee of the Canadian catastrophe conference, CatIQ Connect, since 2017 and has spoken at various industry events relating to the impact of extreme weather.

Twidle holds a Master of Science degree in atmospheric and oceanic sciences from McGill University in Montreal, and a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology and mathematics from Central Michigan University. Before joining CatIQ, Twidle was a meteorologist at an engineering firm.