Clemmons to lead WRMA through challenges ahead

Previously a director on the WRMA board, she replaces Ravi Nathan, general manager of weather risk for Kansas City-based energy trader Aquila, who is stepping down after a two-year term. Nathan remains on the WRMA board of directors as immediate past president.

Clemmons started her career in the investment banking division of NationsBank before moving to Enron in 1992, where she built the company’s emissions allowance trading desk. She also developed Enron’s weather trading operation and executed the first weather risk transaction in 1997. She co-founded WRMA in June 1999.

John Polasek, a director of weather risk at Houston-based Entergy Koch trading, and formerly WRMA’s treasurer, moves up to become WRMA vice-president. Meanwhile, Colt Heppe, a partner at New Jersey-based energy brokers, United Weather, becomes joint Americas committee chairman, along with Jeff Porter, co-head of weather derivatives at Hess Energy Trading in New York.

The elected officers gained warm applause at WRMA’s annual business meeting in Miami on Friday morning, but some delegates raised concerns about the direction the Washington DC-based trade body is taking.

Although WRMA has recently appointed a director of government affairs, Peter Rose, some delegates said WRMA has to do more in its lobbying efforts for data standardisation and better educate potential end-users about the value of weather derivatives hedging. Philip Kuehl, a senior consultant of Maryland-based research firm Westat, warned WRMA to look beyond the US for more members and to make further use of regional WRMA committees.

Kuehl, who was presenting a paper on WRMA’s strategic plan, also said WRMA should co-operate more with the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (Isda) to promote industry standards.

Nathan said WRMA would establish a policy development and implementation task force to facilitate the removal of regulatory barriers that are hindering global growth in the weather risk market.

A key goal, according to Kuehl, is to increase the number of participants responding to the WRMA annual survey. Although WRMA has more than 70 member companies from 10 countries, only 19 companies responded to this year’s survey.

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