Toby Hobson

Case Study: Marsh Insurance

A risk trading platform for insurers and underwriters. Primarily focussed on the UK/EU mid-market sector.

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Marsh Insurance

A risk trading platform for insurers and underwriters. Primarily focussed on the UK/EU mid-market sector.

Key Features

  • Electronic risk trading
  • Low level optimisations

My Role

As technical lead I was responsible for the development of the platform. In particular, I was responsible for managing the offshore development team.

The Challenges

We had a large offshore team with varying levels of ability. Some developers were excellent however many were not. This resulted in a significant management overhead. The internal governance programme meant that the project was subject to review on several occasions. During the review process all development was halted. This proved to be a great challenge. The stop-start nature of the project meant that we lost some of our best developers.

The Solution

J2SE based native application with a Spring based backend. We performed many low level optimisations including:

  • Off heap memory
  • C++/JNI components
  • Direct byte buffer manipulation
  • GC tuning

What did I learn

Stopping and starting a project can be very costly, especially if the suspensions are unplanned.

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