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AXIS realigns and appoints Group Chief Underwriting Officer

23rd January 2018 - Author: Luke Gallin

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited has announced enhancements to its operating model, which includes the launch of a new Global Underwriting and Analytics unit (GUA) and the appointment of Eric Gesick as Group Chief Underwriting Officer (CUO).

AXIS Capital logoThe announcement comes after AXIS’ recent takeover of Novae, and marks a continuation and acceleration of its strategy to drive profitable growth.

The new GUA division will partner with the company’s underwriting, claims, and actuarial teams within the business segments, and this will include leveraging enhanced data and analytics capabilities to help inform decision-making.

In his new role as Group CUO, current Chief Risk and Actuarial Officer, Gesick, will continue to report to Albert Benchimol, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AXIS Capital, and also serve on the firm’s Executive Committee.

Gesick’s current responsibilities will be handled by Daniel Draper, who has been promoted to Chief Actuary, and Carol Collins, who has been named as Chief Risk Officer (CRO), both will report to Peter Vogt, Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

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“Through our Global Underwriting and Analytics unit, we are creating a Data and Analytics Center of Excellence that builds upon our philosophy of coupling human ingenuity with powerful tools and insights. GUA will enhance our ability to deliver disciplined underwriting and offer even more value to our clients and partners.

“Eric is the ideal candidate to lead GUA. A proven leader within AXIS, he brings deep knowledge of our business and the market, and a keen understanding of the transformations that are reshaping our industry,” said Benchimol.

AXIS has also announced that it’s realigning its Accident & Health business, by merging the divisions into its core insurance and reinsurance operations.

“A&H is a successful and established global business that we expect to continue to grow profitability and be an important contributor to AXIS,” explained Benchimol.

To help guide the transition of the realignment, AXIS A&H CEO Chris DiSipio will serve as an advisor.

“We are deeply appreciative of Chris for his leadership in growing the A&H business from a start-up into a profitable $500 million business. We are proud of the achievements of the A&H team and look forward to building on them and continuing the profitable growth of these businesses. Chris has decided that he would like to begin a new chapter in his career, and we wish him the absolute best in his future endeavors,” said Benchimol.

The insurer and reinsurer has also announced that it will introduce an integrated functional model for both its IT and Finance departments, which aims to improve agility, increase efficiency, and enable the functions to provide greater value-added services to business units and their clients.

The company has also said that it is to combine Ceded Re and its third-party capital business into a single strategic risk-funding department. Ceded Re will report to Ben Rubin, Head of AXIS Ventures, who reports to CEO Benchimol.

“A very exciting opportunity stands before us as we reinvest in our business to make AXIS more agile and responsive and further position our company to lead and win in today’s market, as well as into the future,” added Benchimol.

The announced changes will be in place during the second-quarter of this year, and the firm expects to incur pre-tax charges associated with implementation that result in run-rate cost savings.

“These actions to strengthen our operating model set AXIS on a powerful path forward as we accelerate our strategy to be a leader in specialty insurance and reinsurance, while increasing our efficiency and enhancing our profitability. Customer-centricity is paramount to our thinking, and these changes will also allow us to improve the fitness of our company, making AXIS more agile and ready for the future so it can capitalize on an evolving market—all while providing greater value to our clients and delivering stronger returns to our shareholders.

“Our goal is to further differentiate AXIS in the market by putting in place the tools and means to empower our underwriters, claims, and actuarial teams, ultimately unleashing the power of our people to benefit all our stakeholders,” said Benchimol.

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