AXA XL in leadership overhaul

"Now is the time to optimise our structure," suggests CEO

AXA XL in leadership overhaul

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

AXA XL, the property & casualty and specialty risk division of AXA which came to life when the latter snapped up XL Group in 2018, is getting a management make-over.

Lifting the lid on the move, AXA XL chief executive Scott Gunter declared: “AXA XL is the result of acquisitions and mergers and with our increased scale, now is the time to optimise our structure by striking the right balance between local and global decision making so we remain agile and flexible.”

This optimisation involves the introduction of a new leadership team and the creation of a single global insurance underwriting function as part of proposed changes to AXA XL’s operating model. Geographical business units, to be led by CEOs, have been set up to divide the business into the Americas, Eurasia, and the UK & Lloyd’s market.

Appointed as chief underwriting officer is Nancy Bewlay, who previously served as global chief underwriting officer for long tail P&C risks. Her new role will see Bewlay work to design the structure of the proposed new model. She will also be in charge of underwriting governance, pricing, profit & loss, and the management of the global heads of business lines.

The geographical business unit chief executives, meanwhile, will be responsible for the balance sheets of their geographies as well as managing talent. These are Joseph Tocco, CEO for the Americas; Gunter, who will act as interim CEO for Eurasia; and Sean McGovern, interim CEO for the UK & Lloyd’s market.

Tocco was head of North America P&C while McGovern continues to be AXA XL’s general counsel. The rest of the leadership line-up consists of reinsurance CEO Charles Cooper, chief claims officer Brent Hoffman, chief human resources officer Karen le Duc, chief operating officer Matthieu Caillat, chief risk officer Noel Richardson, and chief finance officer Rainer Schoellhammer.

“I have spent my first 60 days as CEO considering our priorities and our structure and assembling the right team to drive AXA XL forward,” noted Gunter. “We want to continue to serve our clients and brokers to the very best of our ability while being a simpler organisation to navigate.

“The regional structure would mean decisions can be made faster in country, while the global functions would mean our clients and brokers continue to benefit from our global expertise and experience. This leadership team is an international, highly experienced team of individuals: around half the team have a background at legacy XL Catlin, while the other half bring diverse and valuable experience from across the AXA Group.” 

The chief executive called the development “a positive step forward for AXA XL,” expressing his strong belief that the new team will ensure the entity is the insurance partner of choice across business lines and around the world.

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