Young risk professional of the year: Alex Mican, PCS, Verisk

Any one of Alex Mican's accomplishments in 2020 would have been impressive. Put together in the face of a particularly challenging year, they make him the worthy winner of the young risk professional award.

Mican, who is director for specialty lines product development at PCS, a Verisk business, contributed to the industry's knowledge on Covid-19 and basis risk from publicly available data at a time when some of the most important loss information could not come through normal channels. His updated analysis of the Boeing 737 MAX loss made a difference in renewals.

And Mican's work on large cyber programmes brought industry data and analytics for that class of business further in one year than it had come in the past five. It also provided the market with a worse-case scenario view on one of most terrifying cyber losses that hit the US – SolarWinds, which was identified in December 2020.

Mican worked diligently to find data on the 2020 US riots to support the development of industry loss estimates during a period of considerable market uncertainty. He also leveraged his experience earlier in 2020 developing industry loss estimates for the 2019 Chilean riots, and his work was used to improve reserves and other areas of event understanding.

Outside work, Mican took over the presidency of the US Reinsurance Under 40s organisation in the middle of 2020 and helped develop online educational and charitable events which led to an increase in membership requests for the organisation. It is a body of work that should stand the test of time, says Tom Johansmeyer, head of PCS.

Johansmeyer says: "If the future users of what he produced in 2020 don't remember his name and whisper it in appreciation, then they'll be witness to the failure of their own humanity. I wouldn't be surprised if Alex's work in 2020 will save someone's life – or at least livelihood – the next time a pandemic occurs."