AXA XL expands cyber capabilities in Europe and Australia

10 new experts welcomed to the team

AXA XL expands cyber capabilities in Europe and Australia


By Mika Pangilinan

AXA XL has increased its cyber capabilities in Europe and Australia with the addition of 10 new cyber underwriting experts to the team.

The new underwriters, based in Switzerland, Italy, Iberia, the Nordics, and Australia, will collaborate with brokers in their respective markets to help AXA XL’s clients manage their cyber-related risks.

The move is a response to the growing demand for cyber insurance solutions in these regions. According to Ana Dores, AXA XL’s chief underwriting officer, international financial lines – APAC & Europe, the European cybersecurity market is estimated at more than €130 billion and is growing at a rate of 17% a year. Additionally, Australia saw a nearly 13% increase in cybercrimes reported to the Australian Cyber Security Centre last year.

Dores said these figures indicate that businesses in Europe and Australia are becoming increasingly aware of the risks associated with cyber security and understand the need to protect their operations and minimize their exposure.

“Our clients are increasingly turning to us to develop tailored solutions to help them prevent, mitigate and transfer the risks associated with technology,” she added. “We want AXA XL to play a key role in the development of cyber solutions and believe that now is the time to invest in growing our team.”

AXA XL’s new cyber underwriting experts are the following:

  • Sylvie Verdier, Switzerland
  • Niccolò Magnani, Italy
  • Diego Rodríguez Vázquez, Iberia
  • Maria Silvia Demattei, Iberia
  • Magnus Flyrin, Nordics
  • Rabia Ok, Nordics
  • Giovanni Belhadj, Nordics
  • Grace Coleman, Australia
  • Nicholas “Nick” Maxwell, Australia
  • Alberto Piccena, Australia

These appointments come after Carlos Rodriguez Sanz was named as regional product leader, cyber for APAC & Europe.

AXA XL has also recently appointed Dan Bendavid as its global lead for innovation.

AXA XL’s new cyber underwriting experts

Verdier has 14 years of experience in financial lines and cyber underwriting. She began her career with Zurich Insurance Company Ltd where she held various underwriting roles. She then worked for AXIS Capital as a senior underwriter, cyber & professional lines and later joined Chubb Insurance Limited as cyber practice lead and financial lines team leader.

Magnani started his career in 2012 with Europ Assistance Italia S.p.A. He moved on to Aon S.p.A. as an account executive specialising in professional services and then joined Marsh S.p.A. as cyber leader and client advisory.

Vázquez has significant experience in IT security, having worked as an IT risk and cyber security consultant for PwC Spain and S21sec between 2014 and 2019 before moving to Chubb as cyber underwriter.

Demattei began her insurance career in 2007 as a financial lines broker for JLT Re Colombia. In 2013, she joined Aon in London as associate director, financial & professional services for Latam, the Caribbean and Iberia. She later moved to Madrid where she held several leadership roles in financial lines and cyber at Aon.

Flyrin has over 30 years of experience in the re/insurance industry, both in broking and underwriting. He specialised in technology underwriting when he joined Chubb Insurance Company of Europe SA as senior technology underwriter and has since held a number of senior roles at Chubb and Aon Sweden AB where he most recently was senior specialist broker, cyber.

Ok began her career in insurance broking in 2005 with UIB Insurance Brokers SA. She then joined Aon and spent 12 years there, first as senior client coordinator and later as a financial lines broker.

Belhadj started a career in sales in 2001 before joining the insurance industry in 2021. He first worked as an assistant broker for Söderberg & Partners and then as cyber underwriter at Säkra.

Coleman began her career in the insurance market in 2019 with a global American insurance company and has worked across various product lines before finding a home in cyber and technology. In July 2022, she moved across to Brooklyn Underwriting – a division of AXA XL – to lead cyber and technology for the SME space.

Maxwell began his career in a multinational brokerage firm in Sydney, Australia and has nearly 15 years’ experience in the insurance market. In August 2019, he moved to London where he worked as cyber and PI underwriter for a global American insurance company. He moved back to Australia in late 2020. His latest role prior to joining AXA XL was practice lead – commercial cyber.

Piccena has 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has held distribution roles at Marsh in Italy, at Willis in London and then Sydney and at Aon Risk Solutions. He became senior financial lines underwriter in 2014 for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty before joining Gallagher and then returning to Aon as client director, cyber practice.

What are your thoughts on this story? Feel free to share your comments below.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!