AXA XL formed a new leadership team and has outlined proposed changes to the operating model of its Insurance business following a strategic review.

“AXA XL is the result of acquisitions and mergers and with our increased scale, now is the time to optimize our structure by striking the right balance between local and global decision making so we remain agile and flexible,” Scott Gunter, AXA XL CEO, said in prepared remarks.

Key proposed changes to the operating model include the creation of a single global insurance Underwriting arm and the establishment of three geographical Business Units across the Americas, Eurasia, and the UK & Lloyd’s market.

The Underwriting arm will be led by a global chief underwriting officer who will be working to design the structure of the proposed new model, AXA XL said in a statement.

The chief underwriting would be responsible for underwriting governance, pricing, P&L and the management of the global heads of business lines in order to define and drive product strategy.

The three geographical business inits will be led by CEOs, who would be responsible for the balance sheets of their geographies and managing talent. AXA XL confirmed that the proposed changes affecting European entities will be subject to consultation with employee representative bodies.

Gunter confirmed the leadership team, which will build out the envisaged operating model, as follows:

  • Nancy Bewlay, chief underwriting officer
  • Joseph Tocco, chief executive officer, Americas
  • Scott Gunter, interim CEO, Eurasia
  • Sean McGovern, interim CEO, UK & Lloyd’s market
  • Charles Cooper, CEO, Reinsurance
  • Brent Hoffman, chief claims officer
  • Karen le Duc, chief human resources officer
  • Matthieu Caillat, chief operating officer
  • Noel Richardson, chief risk officer
  • Rainer Schoellhammer, chief financial officer
  • Sean McGovern, general counsel.

“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,” Gunter said. “We want to continue to serve our clients and brokers to the very best of our ability while being a simpler organization 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, he added.

Biographies of New Leadership Team:

  • Nancy Bewlay, Chief Underwriting Officer. Prior to taking on this new role, Bewlay previously was global chief underwriting officer for AXA XL’s long tail property & casualty risks. She joined XL Catlin in 2017 as the global chief underwriting officer for Casualty. Before XL Catlin, she worked as Swiss Re’s head of Underwriting for Casualty. Bewlay also served as the president & chief executive officer of C.V. Starr & Co. (California) and was responsible for the overall operations of the agency.
  • Joseph Tocco, CEO, Americas. Previously, Tocco was head of North America Property & Casualty. Before that, he served as chief executive of the Americas region for XL Catlin, and chief executive of North America P&C unit for XL Group plc’s global insurance operations. He also was president and head of XL Group’s North America property business and XL Global Asset Protection Services (XL GAPS), XL Group’s loss prevention consulting firm. He joined XL Group in 2011 from Zurich Financial Services, where he led the North America property group, Global Corporate Business Unit.
  • Sean McGovern, General Counsel. McGovern was appointed general counsel of AXA XL in September 2018, having been chief compliance officer, head of Regulatory & Government Affairs at XL Group, since October 2016. Before joining XL Group, McGovern held various senior positions at Lloyd’s of London, which he joined in 1996 from private practice at Clifford Chance. In 2002, he was appointed a director and Lloyd’s general counsel. In 2014, he also became Lloyd’s first chief risk officer and a member of the board.
  • Charles Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Reinsurance. Cooper has been CEO of AXA XL’s Global Reinsurance operations since 2018. Previously, he was chief executive of Bermuda Reinsurance for XL Catlin. Cooper began his career with AIG and Zurich North America in New York, writing International primary casualty business. He moved to reinsurance when he joined XL Reinsurance America Inc. as an assistant vice president and corporate planning analyst. In 2005, he transferred to the Bermuda office, where he was senior vice president & underwriter for XL Re Ltd. In 2010, Cooper became president and chief underwriting officer of XL Re Ltd.
  • Brent Hoffman, Chief Claims Officer. Previously, Hoffman held the role of global head of Claims, after a promotion at XL Catlin in 2018. He joined XL Group in 2014 and previously held the positions of global practice leader, Global Claims, with a place on the claims leadership team. Prior to joining XL Group, Hoffman was with The Hartford for more than 12 years, where he held various in-house attorney positions in addition to a vice president role in the company’s claims department.
  • Karen le Duc, Chief HR Officer. Prior to assuming this new role of chief human resources officer, le Duc held a number of senior roles on the executive committee of AXA Liabilities Managers. These previous positions included CIO / global head of Business Support (2004), global head of Human Resources (2012) and global head of Communications. Before joining AXA Liabilities Managers in 2004, she spent three years in other program management roles within the group.
  • Matthieu Caillat, Chief Operating Officer. As chief operating officer, Caillat has led the Operations & Technology function at AXA XL since 2018. Under the new structure, he will also lead Data & Analytics, Innovation, Transformation, as well as the Global Programs and Captives platform. Previously, Caillat became deputy global chief underwriting officer at AXA Corporate Solutions (ACS) in 2015, before also becoming CEO – France at ACS in 2016. Between 2010 and 2015, Caillat had been managing director and then CEO of AXA Corporate Solutions UK and AXA Matrix UK, based in London. He started his insurance career at the company in 2003, working his way up through the organization. He set up AXA Corporate Solutions Space division in 2007 and led it until 2012.
  • Noel Richardson, Chief Risk Officer. Richardson was appointed chief risk officer for AXA XL in 2018. He joined AXA in 1994 and has held several posts during his time with the group, including chief financial officer of several operating entities (AXA Germany, AXA Belgium, AXA Bank Europe); CFO of the Northern Europe and CEE Region; CFO of Life and Health operations worldwide; group head of Corporate Finance and Treasury; group head of Life, Savings & Health Insurance and Risk Management.
  • Rainer Schoellhammer, Chief Financial Officer. Schoellhammer was appointed CFO of AXA XL in 2019. He was previously group finance controller at AXA Group, a role he held since 2015. Between 2012 and 2015, Schoellhammer was CFO at AXA Corporate Solutions. Before 2011, he spent five years at AXA Germany, where he held various senior roles, including head of Financial Planning and Analysis, Controller, and CFO of a specialized life entity. Schoellhammer joined AXA in 2006, after it acquired Winterthur Group, the insurance division of Credit Suisse. He had previously joined Winterthur as assistant vice president Accounting Policy Group in 2002.

Source: AXA XL

*A version of this story ran previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.