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AXA XL grows US Commercial E&O team

14th June 2022 - Author: Matt Sheehan

AXA XL is growing its Commercial Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance team in the US to meet high levels of demand for professional liability protection from service professionals.

axa-logoIn line with this goal, the company has announced the additions of Melissa Sowa as Senior Vice President, Underwriting Manager Miscellaneous Professional Liability, John C. Birkhofer as Vice President, Senior Underwriter Professional Liability, and Michelle Anderson as E&O Senior Underwriter and Program manager.

Sowa joins AXA XL from AXIS Capital, where she most recently managed several Property & Casualty programs.

Prior to her most recent position, she managed a book of lawyers’ professional liability business, and her 20-year insurance career also includes tenure with Alliant Insurance Services, Marsh, and Liberty Mutual.

In her new role, Sowa will be managing the Miscellaneous Professional Liability group for AXA XL.

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Next, Birkhofer also brings more than 20 years of underwriting experience to AXA XL, honed from underwriting and management positions at Chubb, Lexington Insurance, Markel Insurance, ANV Global Services and Hallmark Financial.

In his new AXA XL role, he will be underwriting a portfolio of Lawyers and Miscellaneous Professional Liability.

And finally, Anderson joins from Argo Group where she served as a Program Manager for US Commercial Programs.

Her career includes tenure with QBE North America in both E&O underwriting and claims management, and various law firms as an insurance defense counsel.

In her new role at AXA XL, she joins AXA XL’s commercial E&O Programs team, led by Head of Professional Program Frank Palermo.

Commenting on the appointment, Palermo said: “Michelle brings impressive underwriting and program management experience to our team.  Given the diversity of our professional liability program business, Michelle’s experience in underwriting and claims will be invaluable as we continue to grow our program business.”

“Despite best efforts, professional service providers run the risk of making an error or overlooking something that could lead to a claim or lawsuit that could impact a business’ financial security, reputation, and client relationships,” added Mike Takigawa, AXA XL’s Head of Commercial E&O.

“There’s a lot at stake for our clients. That’s why attracting seasoned professional liability underwriting talent like Melissa, Michelle and John is so important in our continued commitment to provide quality, relevant E&O coverages and guidance.”

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