Jack Kenneally

science meets business in space

After completing a Masters’ degree in Physics at Imperial College, London Jack knew that he was looking for a job where he could use his technical expertise in a business environment rather than being focused purely on engineering or manufacturing.  “I had not thought about insurance and, if I had, I would probably have thought it a bit dull” he confessed. Nevertheless, a job advert for Occam Underwriting for their space team caught his eye and rest as they say is history.

“The great thing about this job is that it is not just about sitting at a computer – it is as much about the people and the business.” In order to get under the skin of the risks that space businesses face you need to see their facilities and understand what they are trying to do. In space insurance this means getting to visit world leading engineering facilities and learning about the latest in rocket and satellite technology. Jack’s most memorable trip was to Svalbard in the Arctic Circle to see a ground station communicating with satellites in polar orbit.

He joined the business seven years ago and has worked his way from an initial role looking at renewable energy to being part of their market-leading space team. “For me, joining a small business was really important so that I felt really part of the business and could not only see how it took risks, but also how you grow and develop a company.”

Jack started his career as an analyst so his background in maths and science meant he was able to look at the statistical analysis of an accident occurring to a satellite launch, or something going wrong once it was in orbit. This gave him experience understanding what price to charge for the insurance policy. It also gives him the confidence to talking to businesses who are at the cutting edge of modern engineering and technology.

Being part of a place like the London insurance market that specialises in risk makes for a dynamic working environment. “London is all about meeting people face to face, really building strong relationships with your business partners and having fun as well as working hard. Finding out how much it is about people as opposed to technology was a big surprise for me, but it was a good surprise!”.