AXA merges UK and Ireland

AXA UK will bring all of its insurance business under one leader with the news that AXA Ireland has been added to the remit of Amanda Blanc, CEO of AXA Insurance, UK & Ireland as of 1 January 2016.

The decision to bring all the insurance businesses together for the first time brings AXA UK’s operations in line with AXA Group which is organised into three global business lines – General Insurance, Healthcare and Life & Savings.

Bringing the Ireland, Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary and Direct & Partnerships under common leadership will create a general insurance business controlling £2.8bn in GWP with 4.7 million customers and over 5,300 employees.

AXA Ireland will continue to operate as a standalone entity, led by Phil Bradley and will be managed by its own board. The changes, in line with the wider merger of AXA’s insurance businesses, will be effective as of 1 January.

As the integration of AXA Insurance continues, two further structural changes have been announced.
In line with the strategy to devolve more power to the branch network, more of the decision-making underwriters will report into commercial intermediary MD, Jon Walker, under the leadership of newly-appointed head of commercial intermediary underwriting, Simon Baker.

Simon has 36 years’ experience in insurance, 20 of those at AXA. He is currently Head of Commercial Motor and assumes his new role on 1 November. The branch network will continue to be supported by the newly-formed Technical Centre, to be led by David Williams, responsible for pricing, strategic direction and technical underwriting support.

In addition, Douglas Barnett and his Risk Control team of over 50 risk surveyors will report to Walker bringing all key operational underwriting resource within the branch structure.

Commenting on the changes, Amanda Blanc said, ‘Now that we have emerged from the turnaround phase of our development, it is important that all our insurance operations are under common leadership.’

‘This not only allows us to share best practice between the UK and Ireland operations, it allows us to project a unified business and brand to our markets and create greater consistency in how we approach our customer groups.’

‘We are making great progress in the creation of AXA Insurance as the latest developments show and we are firmly cementing our position as one of the UK’s leading insurers, across commercial and personal lines.’