Markel boosts UK broker ties with key appointment

It taps former AXA head to spearhead broker channel

Markel boosts UK broker ties with key appointment

Insurance News

By Mika Pangilinan

Markel has announced the appointment of Jo Sykes as divisional director for the UK broker channel. The move is part of a growth strategy focused on cultivating broker relationships, according to an emailed news release from the global insurer.

Sykes arrives from AXA, where she held the position of director of commercial SME and spearheaded growth initiatives, digital transformations, and associated underwriting outcomes. Her industry experience spans over 25 years, with previous tenures at Zurich and RSA across commercial insurance.

In her new role, Sykes will focus on expanding specialist portfolios in care, technology, and construction, as well as strengthening Markel’s professional indemnity capability within the UK market. Additionally, she will leverage her commercial insurance expertise to support the company’s efforts to boost its sustainable underwriting practices and its support for brokers and their clientele.

Sykes is set to commence her role on January 2, 2024. Based in Markel’s Leeds office, she will join the UK executive team and report directly to Neil Galjaard, divisional managing director in the UK.

“As a people-first business I’m delighted to welcome Jo to Markel, she brings a wealth of experience and an excellent track-record of building, developing and maintaining broker relationships,” said Galjaard. “Her arrival at Markel is yet more evidence that we will continue to invest in our people and deliver the market-leading levels of service that our brokers and policyholders expect of us. I look forward to the value she will add to the Markel business.”

News of Sykes’ appointment comes after Markel announced that it brought on Tim Woodhouse to assume the role of senior underwriter within the war and terrorism team.

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