’Our restated strategy remains to deliver strong growth in high-potential markets,’ says chief executive 

Paris-based managing general agent (MGA) Descartes Underwriting has appointed Matthew James as its new commercial director for the UK and Ireland.

The role will see James lead the development of Descartes’ new generation of parametric insurance products in London.

He takes over from Paul Jones, who is leaving the MGA after nearly three years to pursue other opportunities.

“I’d like to thank Paul for his contribution to our development over the years,” Descartes co-founder and chief executive Tanguy Touffut said.

“His work, particularly in educating new brokers to the benefits of parametric and developing and distributing coverages for peak peril exposures, has been invaluable. I wish him every good fortune.

“We’re really excited to have attracted someone of Matthew’s experience and ingenuity as the new head of our London office.”


James joins Descartes after spending 10 years with WTW, where he specialised in structuring novel parametric products designed to manage the weather-risk exposures of clients across various sectors.

He also served a stint as head of business development in London for OTT Risk, a parametric MGA.

“His experience working with clients as a broker, assessing their climate and insurance challenges then crafting parametric solutions, will bring a new perspective to our work,” Touffut said.

“Our restated strategy remains to deliver strong growth in high-potential markets and Descartes will continue to deliver, in London and around the world.”

James added: “I am super-pleased to be joining Descartes.

“They are renowned as a leader in parametric insurance and I’ve followed their growth closely since their birth in 2018. The team of data scientists in Paris and London boasts some serious brains.”