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Axis realigns to become ‘future-ready’

Axis Capital Holdings Ltd is making a number of changes to its operations to make it “future-ready”.

One of the changes is the realigning of its accident and health business, which is to merge into Axis' core insurance and reinsurance segments.

Chris DiSipio, who has served as chief executive officer of the accident and health business, is leaving the company. He will continue in an advisor role until his departure in April.

Other changes will see the launch of a global underwriting and analytics unit, and integrated functional models for IT and finance. The changes will be made during the second quarter of this year.

Last year, Axis acquired Lloyd's insurer Novae Group for $611 million, and some of the changes relate to the integration of that business into the group.

Bermudian-based Axis said the multiple enhancements it is introducing are part of an ongoing strategy to make it “a global leader in speciality insurance and reinsurance, with a focus on being a partner of choice for key clients and partners in distribution”.

Referring to the change at the accident and health unit, Albert Benchimol, chief executive officer of Axis, said: “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 endeavours.”

Axis said in a statement that realigning the business is expected to enable it to continue focusing on client needs and to deliver synergies in combination with Axis' P&C insurance and reinsurance businesses.

Mr Benchimol said: “A&H is a successful and established global business that we expect to continue to grow profitability and be an important contributor to Axis.”

The realignment is expected to create more opportunities for Axis' A&H teams to leverage customer and partner relationships across the business, better tap into existing client networks, and help ensure seamless delivery of A&H and more traditional P&C (re)insurance products to AXIS' international clients.

The company also expects the move to help its P&C reinsurance team “leverage the geographic expansion and client relationships achieved by its A&H teams”.

Mr Benchimol said of the multiple changes: “These actions to strengthen our operating model set Axis on a powerful path forward as we accelerate our strategy to be a leader in speciality 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 capitalise on an evolving market — all while providing greater value to our clients and delivering stronger returns to our shareholders.”

Mr Benchimol added: “As we continue to integrate Novae into our business and grow our scale and relevance, now is the perfect time to make these enhancements to our operating model.”

The new global underwriting and analytics unit, which will be led by Eric Gesick as group chief underwriting officer.

The unit will partner with Axis' underwriting, claims, and actuarial teams within the business segments to provide greater insights, resources, and tools to deliver services to clients and distribution partners. The company said this will include leveraging enhanced data and analytics capabilities to help inform decision-making and intelligently applying InsurTech.

“Through our global underwriting and analytics unit, we are creating a data and analytics centre of excellence that builds upon our philosophy of coupling human ingenuity with powerful tools and insights,” said Mr Benchimol.

“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.”

Mr Gesick, who joined the company in 2012, is currently chief risk and actuarial officer.

Additionally, Axis is introducing an integrated functional model for both its IT and finance departments, enabling the company to “better leverage expertise across the organisation”.

Axis said that an integrated “future-ready” functional model will mean the finance department can adapt its way of working and leverage technology to devote more time to “value-adding activities and further increase its capabilities as a strategic partner to the company's business units”.

Separately, Axis will combine Ceded Re and its third-party capital business into a single strategic risk-funding department. Axis expects that the combined team will enable the company to optimise risk-funding activities and deliver greater capacity to clients and partners in distribution.

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Published January 24, 2018 at 8:15 am (Updated January 24, 2018 at 5:40 pm)

Axis realigns to become ‘future-ready’

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