Press Release

Kamakura Names Dr. Sou-Cheng T. Choi as Chief Data Scientist

NEW YORK, March 23, 2020: Kamakura is honored to welcome Dr. Sou-Cheng T. Choi, who joined Kamakura as Chief Data Scientist on February 1. Dr. Choi previously served as the Principal Data Scientist and Lead Researcher in Machine Learning for the automotive and life innovation groups at Allstate Corporation, where she developed real-time risk models using advanced machine learning technology.

Dr. Sou-Cheng T. Choi, Chief Data Scientist at Kamakura Corporation.Dr. Choi worked for Kamakura 20 years ago, prior to receiving her Ph.D. in Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford University. She will be responsible for designing and launching innovative analytical models incorporating artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other big data capabilities, as well as developing best-practice statistical methods for Kamakura Risk Information Services (KRIS) and Kamakura Risk Manager (KRM).

Dr. Choi’s research specialties include scientific computing, mathematical algorithms, software development, big data analysis, and building highly accurate machine learning and prediction models. Some of the recent successful projects include:

  • Accurate prediction of real-time traffic speed with ensemble models of generalized linear models (GLMs), GBMs, Xgboost, and neural networks;
  • Building risk models from historical and real-time data related to traffic, road characteristics, accident and incident records, weather data, and digital maps;
  • Linking unstructured data, such as survey form answers, to structured data for life insurance applicants through natural language processing;
  • Training of binary classification based on gradient boosting models (GBMs) for predicting with more than 95% balanced accuracy the healthiness of life insurance applicants.

Dr. Choi also serves as Research Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics at Illinois Institute of Technology. Her research papers and presentations are available on the Kamakura website.

“Best-practice risk management techniques are essential in the current environment. Many of the largest financial institutions and fund managers continue to suffer from the weaknesses of legacy risk infrastructure, and it is vital for them to incorporate accurate simulation techniques. It is an honor have Sou-Cheng rejoin us as she combines leading edge research, academic excellence, and collaboration skills that will lead us over the next decade,” said Kamakura founder and Chairman Dr. Donald R. van Deventer.

“Sou-Cheng has been at the forefront of her profession, bringing cutting-edge computer and mathematical skills to financial risk management and modeling tools. In 2012, Dr. Choi, along with Michael Saunders and Christopher Paige, received the prestigious SIAM Activity Group on Linear Algebra (SIAG/LA) Prize, which recognized her tremendous impact of their algorithmic research related to Krylov subspace methods for solving equations critical to some of the world’s most innovative financial firms and technologically advanced companies. It is exciting to have her on board to apply her research, knowledge, and skills to refining our existing risk models and developing new ones to benefit our customers,” added Martin Zorn, President and Chief Operating Officer.

We are fortunate to add Sou-Cheng to our team. Her experience will be a valuable contribution to our market-leading risk models, analytics, and software.

About Kamakura Corporation
Founded in 1990, Honolulu-based Kamakura Corporation is a leading provider of risk management information, processing, and software. Kamakura was recognized as a category leader in the Chartis Report, Technology Solutions for Credit Risk 2.0 2018. Kamakura was named to the World Finance 100 by the editor and readers of World Finance magazine in 2017, 2016 and 2012. In 2010, Kamakura was the only vendor to win two Credit Magazine innovation awards. Kamakura Risk Manager, first sold commercially in 1993 and now in version 10.0.5, is the first enterprise risk management system for users focused on credit risk, asset and liability management, market risk, stress testing, liquidity risk, counterparty credit risk, and capital allocation from a single software solution. The KRIS public firm default service was launched in 2002. The KRIS sovereign default service, the world’s first, was launched in 2008, and the KRIS nonpublic firm default service was offered beginning in 2011. Kamakura added its U.S. Bank default probability service in 2014.

Kamakura has served more than 330 clients with assets ranging in size from $1.5 billion to $3.0 trillion.  Current clients have a combined "total assets" or "assets under management" in excess of $26 trillion. Its risk management products are currently used in 47 countries, including the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and many other countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

To follow risk commentary by Kamakura on a daily basis, please follow:
Kamakura CEO Dr. Donald van Deventer (
Kamakura President Martin Zorn (
Kamakura’s official twitter account (

For more information, please contact:
Kamakura Corporation
2222 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 1400, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Telephone: 1-808-791-9888
Facsimile: 1-808-791-9898
Web site: