Aerial view of the riverThe Ditton Corner plot from the airFen Ditton - an aerial view

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Four men in a tub: clean-living in California

Small Change

Coburn family life took on a distinctly transatlantic flavour as Andrew’s business merger with an American company meant a few dollars to us all, late night phone calls, US business trips and a couple of family holidays in California.

Henry and Alice are bilingual - they can order fries and soda in both American and British. Andrew learned how to leverage his business connections, teleconnect with his co-workers and envision hyperlinking with the thin client paradigm. Helen knows when she feels like a grande latte or would prefer a mochachino.

Cabin Fever

The American connection has also taken its toll. Andrew has clocked up 48,000 miles (about a fifth of the way to the moon) and spent nearly a week of jumbo jet cabin time in frequent trips to California in 1998. 


The opportunity gave the family some quality bonding time with our US friends, seeing, no - hanging out with - the Schatz family in Nevato (look after our house, guys) and cruisingthe 58 views of the Golden Gate bridge with Mary and Catherine Comerio and family.

Californian Whine

The heroic failure has been the lack of time to visit the wine regions of Napa Valley and convince ourselves that New World Merlot does have something going for it after all.

Killer whales and other beasts at Marine World 

Marineworld splash

Pedalina power in Santa Barbara  

Santa Barbara shoreline


Home News

New School

Alice entered Form 1 at St. John’s College School. Year one is, of course, the Romans. This entailed dressing up and hosting a Roman banquet. Thankfully, they don’t do orgies until the lower sixth. Henry has a place at St. John’s for September 1999.

New school for Alice

The new schoolgirl and her brother


Family life imitates art with the Angel of the North

Angels of the North - visit to Anthony Grimley’s new sculpture in Gateshead


Our Man at the Match: Ronaldo Coburn

World Cup Football Report
    Brazil 3
    Chile 1

End-to-end stuff at the Parc des Princes, Paris, as the celebrity crowd were treated to an exhibition of Latin American football. Ronaldo dazzled the terraces and kept off the coke. Brazil of course, went on to lose in the World Cup final to France by a nose.



Livin' in a Lighthouse

Springtime, and Helen ran away to live with a lighthouse keeper on the bleak Northumbrian coast. Andrew and the children came too, for an elevated holiday in the Souter Lighthouse.

Oh Darling

Regaled with tales of Grace Darling’s heroism, we fought off flocks of inquisitive puffins in the Farne Islands, collected flotsam and jetsam and drank deeply of the local brew.

Avast Behind!  Seafaring folk in Souter...


Absolutely fabulous.  The May Ball party commences.

Taking preprandials at the fabulous Peterhouse May Ball with the Cooper-Ruffles and the Shahs.







Well how do you think a mince pie feels?

The Reluctant Mince Pie

Henry (4) brings a new approach to method acting in the Christmas play at nursery - well, how do you think a mince pie feels?

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That’s More Like It

Henry (still 4) puts much more enthusiasm into the role of Ninja warrior in his own production of Captain Bloodbath the Alice Slaughterer.












Business Section

Sold to the Man in the Zebra-Skin Jacket

In its fourth year, CARtograph was acquired for $12m by Daily Mail & General Trust. The DMGT also bought Risk Management Solutions in USA for $84m and merged the two companies to create a global risk management business.

Cambridge Architectural Research Reinvests

C.A.R. received a major payout for its shareholding in CARtograph. Although a fair dent was made in this by the wild parties that ensued, the remainder was used to create an investment fund for internal business development.

CAR Design

Fresh initiatives include a new emphasis on architectural design with the addition of two new directors. Project areas include innovations in building performance modelling, such as computational fluid dynamics.

Dr. Mulligan Abroad

Helen has been working on studies for New Hall college and a new leisure centre in Cambridge. Further afield two EU-funded research projects have kept her busy, with trips to Budapest, Athens and Murcia in Spain.

Improving Eden

C.A.R. has also embarked on the long-awaited remodelling of the Eden Centre conservatory - bringing a new look to the ideas hot-house in the middle of the office.


CURBE Launch

This year saw the launch of the Cambridge University Centre for Research into Risk in the Built Environment. Andrew helped Robin Spence found the Centre and is on the steering committee. The Centre has industry sponsors (including RMS) and is focussed on applied research, driven by users.


Andrew Coburn, a founder shareholder in CARtograph, became one of five Senior Vice Presidents of Risk Management Solutions and took on the job of Managing Director of RMS Europe.

This involved merging the CARtograph team into the RMS operation, restructuring and relocating the remaining team to new offices in London. This exercise was fairly painful, involving the redundancies of 13 people, several of them personal friends and valued colleagues.

The staff of CARtograph face the final curtain

A Global Business

RMS is the leader in its field. It provides risk management services and products to insurance companies worldwide, with operations across USA, India and increasing internationalisation. This year saw the start of a joint venture in Japan and the opening of a new office in Paris.

RMS opens an office in Paris


Press cutting from the Times

1998 has seen the release of major new software products and the completion of a comprehensive suite of international catastrophe models. Equally promising is the development of a new generation of internet-based technology for insurance.

Capital Ideas

One of the major growth areas for the company is the take-up by the capital markets of risk bonds - using RMS analysis to securitise risk for investors. This, combined with a growing interest in analysing the financial risk involved in weather, provides a new area of business opportunity for RMS in 1999.

Joining RMS has also been an opportunity to work with several contacts from the past, including Professor Haresh Shah from Stanford University, Andrew’s Ph.D. reviewer from 1987, who is on the RMS board.



Cheshire Cat Productions 1998