Logo de la chaire de recherche Groupama Rhône-Alpes-Auvergne d' emlyon business school

Climate warming is a major source of instability for all economic sectors and insurance is no exception.

More precisely, the economic and environmental situation results into a risk mutation on the one hand (where the nature of hazards is evolving), and the onset of a high-level of uncertainty on the other hand (uncertainty being the moment when risks can no longer be modeled, or very seldomly).

Among the risks most affected by climate change and which represent major cost items for the AURA region, are clay and hail hazards. Mainly caused by drought, clay soil movements generate a high hazard exposure of buildings. Hail events are linked to more frequent and more violent storms.

In this context, emlyon business school and Groupama have built a research chair dedicated to understanding the impact of climate hazards on property insurance. For the next four years, the chair shall provide research output leading to scientific publications and organize seminars and symposiums on these topics.

About the chair

emlyon business school, whose Faculty is conducting research analyses in insurance, finance, probabilities, statistics, risks and uncertainty, and environmental transition, is starting a research chair with Groupama Auvergne Rhône Alpes to elaborate conceptual devices allowing to understand the challenges of insurance in the face of climate change, in which research will focus on clay-related hazards.
Conducted by two senior professors Olivier Le Courtois and Lorenz Schneider, this chair also associates junior professors and a group of international professors. Additionally, the chair allows to fund a student undertaking a doctoral thesis. Scientific events shall promote the chair's specific output. The “Climate Risk and Property Insurance” chair is part of the QUANT research center of emlyon business school. The studies of this research center all focus on mathematic modeling applied to economic sciences and management. Two major questions arise regarding property hazards: 1. Can we model them as such, and if so, how? 2. Can we model them as consequences of climate evolutions?

Both endogenous and exogenous modeling are to be designed in a context of environmental instability. The ability to model risks depends on the ability to manage them, and consequently, on the ability to continue to provide an insurance coverage to individuals, companies and farms. Indeed, providing this service cannot become a net source of costs for insurers, in a context of withdrawal from re-insurers. Additionally, redefining underlying risk structure - their potential instability and their non-linearity - shall obviously go hand-in-hand with redefining contracts. This can be achieved by redefining the risks covered, based on deductible modifications, prevention, etc. In any case, modeling reconstruction and pricing taking into account climate hazards, need to be associated with the reconstruction of the protection offer.


No region in France is spared by the on-going climate change. If coastal flooding first comes to mind, we must not overlook how major the impact of property hazards can have on populations and agriculture across the whole territory: clay soil movements, hail, floods, etc. This context is especially complicated for insurers whose goal is to continue protecting populations, by providing provisions available to the greatest number of people. Being able to work on these subjects as part of the emlyon-Groupama RAAU chair is a great satisfaction.”


I cross bridges over the Rhône River several times a day, and I also take bike rides along its banks on a regular basis. Everyone can see the behavioral changes in the flow regimes of the river. One of the great challenges presented by climate change is the efficient management of weather-related risks, such as floods or droughts. It is paramount for our region that real properties including agricultural properties can continue to be insured within affordable prices. Working together to find smart solutions to these issues, is a challenge we are looking forward to addressing in this common project between Groupama and emlyon.”


The chair emlyon business school – Groupama RAAU “Climate Risk and Property Insurance” aims at developing a conceptual framework, theoretical and quantitative, describing the impact of climate change on property risk insurance, focusing in priority on clay hazards. The objective is to conduct a research, notably a doctoral one, around the probabilistic modeling of climate risks, to gain a better understanding of how to adapt the mechanisms of property insurance to environmental transition.

In particular:

  • Risks generated by extreme weather conditions and changes in seasonal models
  • Extreme risks, extreme value theory and joint distribution of extreme events.
  • Reliability of climate data
  • Stability of climate paradigms

Lastly, one of our main objectives is to widely disseminate our research output on climate risk and property insurance via publications and scientific events.

About Groupama Rhône-Alpes Auvergne

Groupama is a French mutual insurance company, born 150 years ago, at the heart of the farming world in Mions, near Lyon. With 311 agencies and 8 management centers, Groupama Rhône-Alpes Auvergne is a major insurer for the region which supports the territories' development, right where its policy-holders and collaborators actually live. To be as close to real life as possible, the company relies on a mutualist model, based on values of proximity, solidarity and responsibility. More than 2,387 collaborators and 3,600 representatives embody the company's model and values in their daily actions, at the service of the member-policy holders.


Our region has been one of the most hit by large-scale climate events over the past few years. These extreme episodes have considerably impacted the lives of our policy-holders and our cost of claims. To address these upheavals, we have created in September last, a new department called “Climate change and emerging risks” to adapt our model. We are proud to be partnering with emlyon business school right from the start of this chair, which marks our engagement in addressing the important issues of climate change. Research results will allow us to better anticipate, measure and design solutions to address such risks, so that our member-policy holders can build their lives safely.”


Olivier LE COURTOIS, Professeur à emlyon business school

Olivier Le Courtois

Professor at emlyon business school

Olivier Le Courtois is a professor in finance and insurance at emlyon business school. He has specialized in probabilities and analysis applied to finance and insurance modeling, and in economics. Olivier Le Courtois graduated from École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, he has a French “agrégation” in physics, and a doctorate with an authorization to direct research in management science. He is an actuary of the “Fellow of the Society of Actuaries” (FSA, Quantitative Finance and Investments), with the following certifications: CFA, CERA and FRM. Founder and former director of the CEFRA research center of emlyon business school dedicated to extreme risk analysis, he has a solid experience in consulting. Drawing on a strong competence in extreme risk modeling in finance and insurance, he wrote a book published by Imperial College Press and many other publications. His research articles are published in academic journals such as Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, the Journal of Banking and Finance, the Journal of Mathematical Economics, Mathematical Finance or the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control. His research contributions received eight awards, including the prestigious Kulp-Wright book award of the American Risk and Insurance Association.

Lorenz SCHNEIDER, Professeur à emlyon busiiness school

Lorenz Schneider

Professor at emlyon business school

Lorenz Schneider is a professor in finance and insurance at emlyon business school. Lorenz Schneider was a professor at the Technical University of Munich as part of the prestigious programs August-Wilhelm Scheer and KPMG. He worked for six years as a quantitative analyst on raw materials and hybrid derivatives at Dresdner Kleinwort in the “Square Mile” of London. He holds a doctorate in mathematics from the université Paris VI Pierre et Marie Curie and an Authorization to Direct Research from the université d'Aix-Marseille. He focuses on multifactor models applied to forward curves of raw materials, taking into account scholastic volatility and correlation, distribution of assets obtained via maximum-entropy methods, assessment of securities on emerging communication markets, and fair value evaluation of leaders' remuneration. Lorenz Schneider teaches probability theory, how raw material and energy markets work, credit risk, along with C++ and C# digital techniques. He was published in numerous international academic journals, including Finance and Stochastics, the Journal of Banking and Finance, the European Accounting Revue, Annals of Operations Research, and Software: Practice and Experience. He contributed to draft two algorithms which calculate and measure calendar dates used in Linux kernel and by Microsoft .NET.

Pierre Crouzet-DG Groupama Rhône-Alpes Auvergne,emlyon

Pierre Crouzet

Groupama – Rhône Alpes Auvergne Director of Emerging Climate Risks

With a legal background (LYON 3 DEA de droit de l'Environnement), Pierre Crouzet entered GROUPAMA EST CENTRAL in 1988 (Nantua) as legal writer. He joined GROUPAMA RHONE ALPES in 1995 to work on the management of different legal teams. He took on a position at GROUPAMA GAN PACIFIQUE (NOUMEA and TAHITI) from 2001 to 2004, then came back in 2005 as Technical Director at GROUPAMA RHONE ALPES AUVERGNE, followed by the Department of Insurance Professions from 2013 to 2023. He eventually took on the Department of Emerging Climate Risks

Lorenz SCHNEIDER, Professeur à emlyon busiiness school

Aleksandr Pak

Doctoral student

Aleksandr Pak, doctoring student in the chair, has a Master in advanced mathematics from the ENS de Lyon. With a major in probabilities and statistics, he also came to discover through his academic track, multidisciplinary domains in which probabilities play an essential role, such as machine learning or quantitative finance. He has a solid technical background in mathematics along with digital simulation skills. His experience is also made of a research internship at EPFL, where he worked on Bayesian approaches and statistical physics, and a research internship at ENS de Lyon, where he got into random matrix theory.


Partnerships - emlyon

Ludivine Toutounji
Assistant Director in charge of Corporate Relationships

Groupama - RAAU

Alexandra BRUN
Corporate communication for Groupama Rhône-Alpes Auvergne alexandra.brun@groupama-ra.fr