Biographies

Mark Boggett

CEO, Seraphim Capital

Mark Boggett is CEO of Seraphim Capital a London based venture firm. The team manage the recently launched Seraphim Space Fund, a pioneering new fund backed by a range of leading space corporates seeking investments in space related start-ups. He is also director of UK Space Tech Angels and is Chairman of the London Co-investment Fund – one of the most active seed investors in Europe. Prior to Seraphim he was at YFM Equity Partners serving on their main board for a number of years and working on the British Smaller Company VCT 1 and 2. He has a Degree in Accounting & Finance, MA in Economics & Finance from the University of Leeds and a range of professional investment qualifications.

Robert Cleave

Chief Revenue Officer, Vector

As Chief Revenue Officer, Robert, aka “Cleave”, manages all revenue-generating activities at Vector, helping shape the company’s market position, providing customer advocacy, and supporting product development. Cleave brings over 30 years in the space industry as an engineer, program manager, and general manager with P&L responsibility. His vast experience spans legacy space to new-space, starting his career as an engineer on GPS, scientific and commercial satellites, and rovers to Mars. Cleave founded the world’s first company to commercialize X-band frequencies (XTAR, LLC) and was recruited by Lockheed Martin to manage business development activities of a $2B organization, subsequently becoming President of their commercial launch services business unit and Vice President of their commercial satellite business unit. A prolific author, TED speaker, and patent holder, Cleave is also active in multiple non-profits and is currently an advisor and investor on diverse start-ups.

Peter Elson

Chief Executive Officer Aerospace, JLT/Marsh

Since joining in 2009, Peter has helped JLT create one of the industry’s leading aerospace insurance brokers. He has focused on developing and executing JLT’s growth strategy, as well establishing a new space risks team which has demonstrated its capability by delivering a series of market-leading risk programmes to clients.

During the course of his career, Peter has worked with airlines, aerospace manufacturers, airports, most of the world’s leading spacecraft operators, space agencies, and rocket launch service providers. Peter’s client work encompasses sales, relationship and account management, programme and policy coverage design, market negotiation and syndication, and claims settlement.

Peter has a BA (Honours) degree in Economics and Politics from the University of York. He is an EMCC accredited Executive Coach, visiting university lecturer, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has served on a U.K. Ministry of Justice appointed Independent Monitoring Board; he Chairs the Board of Hope for Justice, an international group of charities dedicated to ending human trafficking and slavery; and he sits on the Advisory Board of the University of York School of Management.

Devin Fairbanks

Vice President, Starr Aviation

Devin Fairbanks launched her career in the Space Insurance business in 1998 when she started employment at XL Aerospace (Brock bank Syndicate/ XL Mid Ocean). She has a BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and an MPA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), where she specialized in International Public Administration, specializing in Central & South America. She is fluent in the Spanish language. Devin has been a licensed Casualty and Property Broker-Agent since 2005 and is licensed is all 50 states. She has been involved in the Space Insurance business for over 20 years and continues to build effective working relationships with all major Space Insurance brokers. As an underwriter for Starr Aviation since fall of 2005, she has been instrumental in structuring a profitable book of Space business.

John Finney

CEO / Founder, Isotropic Systems

A satellite and telecoms industry veteran with over $2 billion in new revenue creation directly attributed to his leadership, John Finney pioneered significant success for start-ups Huawei (founded Huawei in Europe) and O3b (founding employee and Chief Commercial Officer) along with other major leadership roles such as global business unit leader for Alcatel-Lucent.

John has been identified as a Top 40 Executive by Global Telecoms Business three years in succession.

Tim Fuller

Managing Director, Seradata

Tim is Founder and Managing Director of Seradata, producers of the renowned SpaceTrak launch and satellite database.

Tim has more than twenty years’ experience in business-to-business aerospace data publishing. He was Sales Director and then Managing Director of AvSoft Ltd, publisher of the ACAS aviation fleet database, and was instrumental in growing the business. Tim joined Flightglobal in 2004 through the acquisition of AvSoft, becoming Publisher of Flightglobal’s fleet and news services. Tim formed Seradata and executed the MBO of SpaceTrak in 2013. He is the company’s product development and commercial lead.

Tim has a degree in Engineering with Business Studies from the University of Portsmouth and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Leslie Kovacs

Vice President of Business Development, Firefly

Leslie Kovacs is President of Firefly Black and Vice President of Business Development at Firefly Aerospace, an emerging small launch provider. Les was formerly Senior Director of Executive Branch Affairs in Washington, DC for United Launch Alliance, where he was responsible for leading ULA’s interaction with government agencies including the national security and intelligence space communities, the White House, and NASA.

Les has over 30 years of operational experience in space and space launch operations. He was operations manager and launch site manager for Orbital Sciences’ Antares launch vehicle at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, and prior, led operations for Orbital Science’s X-34 rocket plane. Les has developed architectures for Lunar and Martian surface habitation and led concept of operations efforts for numerous launch vehicles to replace the Space Shuttle.

Les is retired from the from the Air Force where he was an Air Force Space Operations Officer. He served in a variety of ballistic missile warning roles and performed launch controller duties at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Les developed the Air Force’s first Spacelift course, where he instructed classes in orbital mechanics, launch vehicle design, and range and flight safety operations.

Chris Kunstadter

Senior Vice President and Head of Space, Axa XL

Chris Kunstadter is Head of Space at AXA XL. He is actively involved in all aspects of AXA XL’s space activity, including technical, financial, and actuarial analysis, policy construction, claims handling, industry outreach, and business development.

Chris is a recognized leader in global space risk management issues. For over three decades, he has worked closely with satellite operators and manufacturers, launch providers, government agencies, and others to enhance industry understanding of space risk management, space situational awareness, and mission success best practices, and has served on numerous failure investigation teams for satellites and launch vehicles.

Chris is a member of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) and Chair of COMSTAC’s Legal and Regulatory Working Group. He serves on the Executive Committee of the International Union of Aerospace Insurers (IUAI) and is a Charter Member of the Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing (CONFERS).

Chris joined XL in 2006, after 23 years at USAIG, where he was Executive Vice President in charge of the Aerospace and IT departments.

Chris received a BA degree in Literature and an MS degree in Engineering from the University of California. He holds a Commercial Pilot license with Instrument and Multi-Engine ratings and is a Certified Flight Instructor. Chris is an avid musician and serves on the boards of several music-oriented not-for-profit organizations.

Pascal Lecointe

Space Underwriter, Hiscox

Pascal Lecointe is Head of Space for Hiscox and manages Hiscox MGA Paris branch. Pascal joined Hiscox London in 2001 as space risks analyst. In 2005 he moved to Paris to underwrite space and contract frustration – export credit guarantee risks.

Prior to this, he had spent 6 years as satellite power and electrical systems architect in the space engineering division of Aéropsatiale (now Thales Alenia Space). He was involved in geostationary telecom satellites projects and subsequently on 2 satellite constellation projects.

Pascal holds an MSc in engineering from Ecole Centrale Marseille (1992) and a MSc in electrical engineering from Ecole Supérieure d’Electricité (1994). He also received an executive MBA in insurance from the Centre des Hautes Etudes d’Assurance (Paris) in 2008.

Pascal is currently Chairman of the International Union of Aerospace Insurers Space Risks Study Group.

Morten Pahle

Managing Director, Aesir Space

Born in Norway, Morten spent the formative years of his life in Rotterdam and subsequently studied in the UK. This ultimately gave him a B.Eng. With Honours in Aeronautical Engineering and an M.Sc. in Statistics and Reliability from the City university in London.

He started his career in the space industry more than 20 years ago as a Reliability and Safety Engineer on a series of meteorological satellites – all of which are still in orbit.

His final role in industry was Group Risk and Insurance Manager at Astrium Satellites (now Airbus D&S) He has held various underwriting roles covering Space, Aviation and Property. In 2012 he founded ViVet, which became one of the leading London Space insurers.

In the end of 2018 he joins Volante Global, establishing Aesir space with the aim of developing a new set of insurance products for the nascent New Space community.

In his spare time he flies light aircraft – sometimes upside down – and likes the challenge of cryptic crosswords. He is passionate about aerospace technology and enjoys what he does.

Jeffrey Poliseno

Chief Executive Officer, Aon International Space Brokers

Jeffrey Poliseno joined Aon in 1998 and took over the responsibilities of Chief Executive Officer in August 2008. In addition to managing the day to day operations of the company, Jeff has additional responsibilities in the areas of business development and customer support activities, including direct account management. Jeff began his insurance career in 1993 with a specialization in space risk management since 1995. Jeff’s expertise is the development and implementation of major space insurance programs including: spacecraft and launch vehicle contractual review and negotiations, insurance policy wording development, insurance program syndication, post-placement servicing and claims handling, and product development.

Jeff graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, earning a B.A. in Economics and is a member of a number of satellite industry groups.

Stéphane Rives

Global Head of Space, SCOR Global P&C

Stéphane is Global Head of Space at SCOR Business Solutions, the large Corporate Risk insurance arm of SCOR.

Stéphane started his career in space high level systems engineering with special emphasis in satellites operations. He built up his professional experience in several companies and organizations across Europe: the European Space Agency (ESOC, Germany and ESAC, Spain), Airbus DS (France) and Hispasat (Spain). In 2006, Stéphane joined SCOR (Paris, France), one of the leading companies of the space insurance market.

Stéphane received an aerospace MS degree from ISAE, Toulouse, France in 1994 and the Management Acceleration Program certificate from INSEAD Fontainebleau, France in 2012.

Keith Ryden

Reader in Space Engineering, Surrey Space Centre

Keith has over 30 years’ experience in the space industry and has worked on small, low-cost, satellites such as STRV1a and 1b (launched in the 1990s) as well as large missions including the UK’s Skynet defence satellites and the European Galileo constellation. Keith’s main expertise is in the space radiation environment, including space weather, and understanding the risks presented to spacecraft and aircraft. He works with both NASA and ESA to measure the space environment and to investigate how it can cause unreliability and failures. He was a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering study panel on ‘Extreme Space Weather Impacts on Engineered Systems and Infrastructure’ (2011-2013).

Currently Keith leads the Space Environment and Protection group at the Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK, where he also lectures on Space Engineering and Electronic Engineering courses. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of the Engineering and Technology (IET).

Jan Schmidt

Head of Space, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions

Jan Schmidt is head of the Space department at Swiss Re and is in charge of Swiss Re’s Space insurance portfolio. Among his management tasks he is involved in the day to day business of assessing and underwriting Space risks from Swiss Re’s headquarters in Zurich.

Jan has 5 years engineering experience, having worked as a rocket engineer for MAN Technologie AG in Munich after graduating from the Technical University of Konstanz in Germany. He then changed across to the insurance world and joined Bavarian Re as a Space Underwriter in October 2000. When Bavarian Re became Swiss Re Germany in summer 2001, Jan relocated to Swiss Re’s headquarters in Zurich and joined the Swiss Re Space team in August 2001. Since May 2008 Jan has been leading the global Space insurance activities at Swiss Re.

Since 2009, Jan has been a member of the Space Risk Study Group of the International Union of Aerospace Insurers (IUAI) and is the past chairman of the Space Risk Study Group. Jan is also a past member of the Global Future Council on Space Technologies of the World Economic Forum and is continuing as a member of the WEF Expert Community.

Jan Skolmli

Chief Commercial Officer, Orbex

As CCO Skolmli is responsible for introducing Orbex to the commercial market and to secure customer contracts and populate the company’s launch manifest.

Prior to joining Orbex is July 2018 Skolmli was ‘Head of Launch’ at SSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.) where he was responsible for developing and executing the company’s satellite launch strategy and securing access to space for SSTL’s satellites.

Prior to that he spent 20 years in the Launch Vehicle industry with Sea Launch Company in various roles, including ‘Director of Insurance’ and ‘Sales Director’.

David Todd

Head of Space Content, Seradata

David is Head of Space Content for Seradata, with overall responsibility for the SpaceTrak launch and satellite database. He is also Editor of Seradata’s news service, Seradata Space Intelligence.

David has been a space analyst and consultant working on the SpaceTrak database since 1997 when he acted as the editor for the launch of the original version, then produced by Airclaims. Since then, David has worked in similar roles for Ascend, Flightglobal and Seradata. Most recently David has been instrumental in the development and marketing of latest version of the database, SpaceTrak3.

David holds three engineering degrees including a Master of Science degree in Astronautics and Space Engineering from Cranfield University. David also holds a science teaching qualification. During his Engineering degree studies, David won the British Airways prize for Air Transport Engineering and a Guinness Peat Aviation Fellowship. David is a life member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.

Joanne Wheeler

Director, Alden

Joanne is one of the leading experts in the field of satellite regulation and commercial contracts, having worked at both Ofcom, the European Space Agency and for over 20 years in private legal practice in this area. She was awarded an MBE for services to the UK space industry in 2017. She is ranked in Tier 1 in legal directories for her satellite and communications regulatory and commercial contracts expertise.

Joanne won the Financial Times European Legal Innovator of the Year award in 2014 for her work with the UK space industry and government. She is a founder and Co-Chair of the Satellite Finance Network (www.satellitefinancenetwork.org) and writes two regulatory columns for international satellite industry journals: Via Satellite; and Satellite Finance. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Aeronautical Society.