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Axis unveils revamped operating model

January 23, 2018

Axis Capital is set to undergo a company-wide reorganisation as the Bermudian (re)insurer continues with its integration of Novae and strengthen its operating model in a bid to increase efficiency and profitability.

The restructure includes the launch of a global underwriting and analytics unit (GUA), the merging of its accident & health (A&H) segment into its core (re)insurance operations and the combination of its Ceded Re and Third Party Capital units into to a single strategic risk-funding department, while also introducing an integrated functional model for both its IT and finance departments.

The new enterprise-wide GUA will be led by Eric Gesick, who has been named global chief underwriting officer (CUO). He currently serves as chief risk and actuarial officer and will continue to report to Axis president and CEO Albert Benchimol in his new role.

Data and analytics head Meghan Anzelc also was promoted to chief analytics officer within the new operation, reporting to Gesick.

Gesick’s current responsibilities will be handled by Daniel Draper, who has been promoted from chief risk analytics officer to chief actuary, and Carol Collins, who moves from head of risk governance to chief risk officer. Both will report to Axis CFO Peter Vogt.

The GUA division will partner with the company’s underwriting, claims, and actuarial teams arming them with greater insights, resources, and tools to deliver even more value and services to clients and distribution partners. This will include leveraging enhanced data and analytics capabilities to help inform decision-making, intelligently applying InsurTech, as well as optimising group portfolio management and capital allocation.

Meanwhile, Axis said that the realignment of its A&H business will help the carrier to deliver synergies in combination with its P&C insurance and reinsurance businesses. As a result of the change, Axis said that A&H CEO Chris DiSipio will leave the firm in April 2018, serving as an advisor to help guide the transition until his departure.

Benchimol said: “We are deeply appreciative of Chris for his leadership in growing the A&H business from a start-up into a profitable $500mn 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.”

Separately, Axis said that it expects the combination of its Ceded Re and Third Party Capital businesses will “enable the company to optimize risk-funding activities and deliver greater capacity to clients and partners in distribution”.

Ceded Re will report in to head of Axis Ventures Ben Rubin, who in turn reports to Benchimol.

Meanwhile, the firm said that the introduction of an integrated functional model for both its IT and finance departments would improve agility, increase efficiency, and enable the functions to deliver greater value-added services to business units and their customers.

Axis’ IT department will be led by chief information officer (CIO) Koorosh Beigian, who reports to the company’s COO Richard Strachan. The finance department will be led by CFO Vogt.

The aforementioned organisational changes will come into play during the second quarter, Axis said.

The firm added that it expects to incur pre-tax costs associated with the restructure.

Benchimol said: “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,” he said.

“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,” he said.