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Scoot Science announces Grant Cavanaugh as Chief Investment Officer

Santa Cruz, Calif. (Aug 8, 2020) Grant Cavanaugh has joined Scoot Science as Chief Investment Officer, after previously working in the Climate Unit at Nephila Capital, the largest insurance and reinsurance-linked fund manager. Scoot Science, a California-based ocean monitoring and forecasting company, is dedicated to supporting new sources of debt, equity and reinsurance financing to maritime operations by translating ocean dynamics into business outcomes.

Serving as a director and advisor to Scoot since 2018, the move marks a return to ocean risk for Cavanaugh, whose Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from University of Kentucky focused on risk transfer related to El Niño and similar global ocean phenomena. Since 2015, Cavanaugh has supported pension funds looking to put their assets to work as the capital behind insurance and other risk transfer structures that companies use to manage earnings volatility caused by weather and climate. His work at Nephila Climate, Nephila’s unit dedicated to weather, climate, and environmental, social & governance risks, suggests Scoot’s ambition to connect international capital markets to ocean operations.

Despite aquaculture's consistently high and uncorrelated returns to broader financial markets, key capital markets participants have remained largely absent in the sector due mostly to environmental risk. Aquaculture operations are inherently risky endeavors and becoming increasingly vulnerable to the unpredictable effects of climate change.

We can demonstrate to innovative capital providers that these aquaculture firms are what we know them to be: sources of high uncorrelated returns, that with the third-party monitoring of Scoot Science, belong in ESG and impact portfolios. That will mean the industry will get the debt, equity, and insurance it needs to grow

Grant Cavanaugh

With Scoot's accurate maritime risk evaluation and modeling tools, the new Risk and Finance Division headed by Cavanaugh will bridge the gap that has existed between capital markets and aquaculture for the past 40 years.  Providing capital markets the ability to quantify ocean risk, Scoot looks to partner with forward thinking funds, insurers and producers to help find solutions for future generations.

Salmon farming in particular employs some of the most comprehensive forms of data collection in the modern agricultural economy. For decades salmon farms around the world have been collecting and stockpiling environmental data, utilizing it to focus solely on fish growth. For too long this data has been underutilized with respect to ocean risk. Scoot looks to capitalize on this legacy data, through rigorous oceanographic analysis to identify patterns that lead to loss events. Scoot Science’s unique team of oceanographers and data scientists brings domain expertise to historical analyses and subsurface forecasting for the aquaculture industry.

What is so exciting about Scoot, is they have the oceanographic tools and talent to build a solid foundation for the ocean economy of the future. More importantly, it means that many ocean operations will get the recognition they deserve as sophisticated businesses working on the frontlines of climate change, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in sustainable food production.

Grant Cavanaugh

Download press release as .pdf here

Date Written
Sep 09, 2020
Scoot Science