ClearLife was started by Mark Venn in late 2007.  Mark had spent three years building a life settlements business within Mizuho International and wanted to explore the opportunities for providing advisory services for the life settlements market.  A reunion with some former colleagues led to Mark talking to Chris about building “Bloomberg for life settlements” – a platform that would allow for communication between market participants and create a common language to express value and risk.  Chris joined Mark in August 2008 and set about building what would become ClariNet.  In early 2009, Thierry joined the team and brought his experience of web development to the project.

We released ClariNet LS into production in June 2009 and secured our first subscriber – an affiliate of a major US private bank – later that year, followed by a rapidly growing investor in mid-2010.  The slowdown in alternative asset markets occasioned by the financial crisis led to some challenging times in the next couple of years, but we kept our focus and continued to add to Clarinet LS’s functionality and worked hard at promoting it at trade shows and conferences.  We count several well-established investors in our subscriber base and we continue to add new subscribers and develop ClariNet LS’s “network effect” for the life settlements market. As at August 2018, investors value, trade and manage over US$30 billion in face amount of life settlements using ClariNet LS and we continue to add new subscribers to the platform on a regular basis.

In 2015, we began working on opportunities to take some of the experience we gained from ClariNet into other asset classes.  One of these initiatives is our lifetime mortgage platform, ClariNet LM, which came about through discussions with the actuarial team at a major international accounting practice.  ClariNet LM represents a departure from the approach we took with ClariNet LS in that it is offered as either an Excel-based desktop solution or a web-based, fully integrated valuation and risk analysis platform. We have a vision for how the lifetime mortgage market will develop as it matures and we look forward to expressing that vision through enhancements to ClariNet LM.

We operate a “virtual office”, with team members working from home.  The flexibility this offers makes it easier to serve our customers, who are located across the globe from Australia to the west coast of the United States of America.

You can find more information on our team leaders below.

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Meet the team

Mark Venn
Mark VennManaging Director and Chief Executive Officer
Prior to founding ClearLife, in 2005 Mark established Mizuho International plc’s Asset Finance Group, a principal investment team formed to focus on the life settlements market. Through this process, Mark gained invaluable experience in designing and developing business workflow procedures, information systems and risk management tools tailored to the specific requirements of longevity and risk. He also initiated and maintained relationships with key service providers and counterparties in the life settlements market.

Over two years, Mark grew Mizuho’s life settlements portfolio to over US$1.2 billion in face amount. While at Mizuho, Mark also founded the Institutional Life Markets Association (“ILMA”).

Mark joined Mizuho in 2000 with two colleagues to co-found Mizuho’s Structured Credit Products Group, which completed US$3 billion in synthetic US high yield CDOs. From 1993, Mark worked for Credit Suisse First Boston and Credit Suisse Financial Products and was based in Hong Kong, London, New York and Tokyo over this period, specializing latterly in credit derivatives and synthetic CDOs.

Mark holds a master’s degree in law from Cambridge University and qualified as a barrister in 1990. He is the co-author of “Life Settlements and Longevity Structures” (published August 2009 by Wiley Finance) and the author of “Guide to Life Settlements” (published June 2010 and commissioned for distribution to over 5,000 independent financial advisors in the UK).

Thierry Suzanne
Thierry SuzanneDirector and Chief Technology Officer
Thierry has extensive software and infrastructure experience and started working on the internet and the web in 1996. Before joining ClearLife, Thierry worked at Axa Investment Managers, working on a wide range of web based products, including fund management and other back office solutions. He was the technical lead on a major intranet project.

Thierry was previously part of an IT start-up working on an Enterprise Mailbox Management System subsequently acquired by a market leader.

Prior to this, Thierry worked at Thomson Financial (now Thomson Reuters) for 6 years. He worked mainly on real-time and snapshot market data components and feeds as well as a major retail financial web site. He was managing the infrastructure for a high-availability high-performance enterprise data delivery network.

Thierry holds a degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Coventry University, UK, and a degree in telecoms and computer networks from Université de Savoie in Annecy, France.

Chris Stuart
Chris StuartDirector
Before joining ClearLife, Chris worked in the Asset Finance Group at Mizuho International, where he was responsible for developing pricing models for life insurance products. During his time at Mizuho, Chris also worked in the Structured Credit Products Group where he built the pricing and risk management infrastructure for trading credit derivative products.

Chris joined Mizuho in 2002 from Credit Suisse First Boston, where he spent time in London and New York, working in a number of quantitative research roles. During his time there, he developed complex pricing models for many different asset classes and markets, most recently working with trading and structuring desks on the modeling of securitization transactions.

Chris holds a master’s degree in software engineering from Imperial College, London.