AXA XL execs on creating "a culture of client excellence"

The power of leading with purpose

AXA XL execs on creating "a culture of client excellence"

Risk Management News


This article was provided by AXA XL

Kaylee Darkins (pictured left), chief human resources officer, UK & Lloyd’s, and Elie Hanna (pictured right), chief distribution officer, UK & Lloyd’s at AXA XL, talk to Insurance Business about how they think about culture and putting the client at the heart of the business.

What is the AXA XL value proposition for its clients – and why is this so important?

Elie Hanna: We are passionate about what we do. The insurance industry historically has undersold itself, but we need to communicate more effectively that, in fact, insurance enables and powers everything we do as an economy and a society.

The AXA Group aims to “act for human progress by protecting what matters.” At AXA XL, with our focus on innovation and on building long-term client partnerships coupled with our risk prevention, claims proposition and underwriting capabilities, this sits at the core of everything we do for our clients.

Kaylee Darkins: Our value proposition – “leading with purpose” - offers a perspective of what we do that makes a real difference to our clients and distribution partners. It’s underpinned by four pillars. The first of these is to deliver outstanding client service by ensuring responsiveness, a personal touch and consistency.

The second is our strength, scale and innovative culture – and how that helps our clients, brokers and coverholders in managing and transferring often highly complex risks.

Thirdly, we have leading claims and risk engineering expertise that is there for our clients when they need it most. The fourth pillar is a holistic focus on sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) cultures and behaviours that we hope our clients can take pride in too.

Elie Hanna: Today, about 400 client-facing colleagues in the UK are taking part in a programme of client-excellence training.

What sorts of areas does this training cover, and how will it benefit not only AXA colleagues but clients too?

Kaylee Darkins: One of the key things we want the training to achieve is to give clients and distribution partners a clear understanding of what we offer and how it benefits them. And to do that, we need to equip our client-facing colleagues with a clear, common way to articulate that to the people they work with day in day out.

Elie Hanna: The training ensures our colleagues have the tools and techniques in place to deliver. For example, the programme is split into three modules which each focus on a different aspect of the client journey. Encouraging colleagues to embed our value proposition into everything we do is important if we’re to continue to offer a market-leading service.

Kaylee Darkins: It also helps to foster strong and trusted relationships with our clients by exploring skills such as understanding the impact of emotional intelligence, building relationships, and using active listening.

How important is inclusion and diversity in supporting these values of client excellence?

Kaylee Darkins: Our values and purpose are at our very core, and it’s vitally important to us that our colleagues are able to bring their authentic selves to work. AXA XL nurtures a culture of ‘Know You Can’, that encourages and empowers all colleagues to challenge themselves and grow.

Every team leader is accountable for performance against Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) metrics. Our Business Resource Groups are an important part of this; LEAD encourages women and men to accelerate gender equality; Pride (LGBT+) promotes respect and openness for all; RISE develops colleagues from historically under-represented racial and ethnic groups; and EnAble recognises all abilities, visible or invisible.

I&D remains a business imperative for AXA XL, and we are working hard to ensure that we continue to make meaningful change, but we also know we have more to do.

As well as supporting and empowering our colleagues internally, our I&D strategy looks externally too.  We are working across the insurance market to improve inclusion and diversity, to make it a more representative, welcoming and relevant place to work.

The colleague voice is really important to us; we recognise that our colleagues are driving the future of our company and the insurance industry. And that’s why we recognise how important it is for our client-facing colleagues to embody our core values.

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