Targeted distribution strategy underpins new AXA Insurance structure

AXA Insurance will use Strategic Business Units (SBU) to maintain the customer focus that delivered the successful turnaround of AXA’s general insurance businesses.

13 August 2015

Posted in Inside AXA

by Daniel O’Byrne (see media contact)

Following the announcement that Amanda Blanc would assume the role of CEO of the new combined business, the structure of that business will be as follows.

AXA Insurance is to be split into four distinct SBUs:

  • Personal Direct is to be headed up by Gareth Howell, currently Commercial Director in AXA Direct & Partnerships. This unit will be responsible for all of AXA’s personal lines direct and aggregator business as well as retail partnerships.
  • Personal Intermediary & Partners is to be enhanced with the addition of corporate partners and will be run by Laurent Matras.
  • AXA Business Insurance will continue to be led by Darrell Sansom and will remain focused on AXA’s commercial direct aggregator and affinity offering as well as the online partnerships business.
  • Commercial Intermediary, headed up by Jon Walker, will continue to deliver commercial insurance and risk management services to brokers through the branch network and digitally, via Connect.

In order to maintain the necessary sector focus, each SBU will be able to draw upon dedicated underwriting, customer service and marketing support with all sales and underwriting decisions made at a local level.

A new technical team is to be created to support the SBUs in underwriting, pricing and product development. David Williams, as Technical Director, will head up this unit and will be responsible for ensuring that growth in AXA Insurance is profitable and for identifying new product development and customer segmentation opportunities.

Claims, which will be led by Chris Voller, will provide a central service sitting outside the SBUs and the teams will be focused on continuing to deliver the award-winning service and greater levels of transparency for which AXA’s claims service has become synonymous.

Waseem Malik, who is currently Finance Director for Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary and held the same position on the personal lines side of the business for five years, will become Chief Financial Officer for AXA Insurance.

Evan Waks, currently Chief Risk Officer for AXA UK, will take on the same responsibility for AXA Insurance whilst retaining his broader UK role.

Commenting on the structure, Blanc said: “Returning our general insurance businesses to profitable growth has, in large part, been down to focusing distribution upon distinct customer segments. The best way to retain that focus whilst benefitting from the scale of a larger, single entity, is to employ the SBU structure.

“Across the two existing businesses, we have been able to draw upon a great pool of talent and as much of the integration work has already been completed, we are optimistic that full integration will have been achieved before year end.

“Our priority now is to complete the merger with the minimum of fuss and disruption to employees, customers, brokers and partners. The straightforward manner in which we merged the claims organisations last year gives me great confidence that we will be able to replicate that experience in creating AXA Insurance.”