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AXA Commercial Lines reveals its strategy for growth

AXA Commercial Lines CEO Amanda Blanc has today unveiled her new organisational design to deliver profitable growth. Central to the new approach will be to create a multi channel distribution business with brokers and customers at its heart.

To maximise relationships with its brokers and revitalise its local trading, the business intends to empower its branches and move decision making closer to the customer with support from leaner, more nimble central functions. Branch managers will have profit and loss accountability with full control over sales, underwriting and operations.

The existing branches, Specialist Markets and Solutions and Distribution function will merge and come under the leadership of a single managing director of intermediary and direct. Matthew Reed has been appointed to this role.

Matthew will be responsible for the insurer intermediary and direct trading infrastructure for AXA Commercial Lines. Its broker, Bluefin, continues to be led by CEO Stuart Reid. Matthew will be taking up his new role in the summer and joins the business following 18 months at PowerPlace where he was CEO.

Reed said: “AXA is in a great position to grow its presence in the commercial lines market, but to be successful it needs to reinforce its credentials amongst the broking community. We need to demonstrate that we will not only respond to their needs – but be one step ahead of them. This is a fantastic time to be joining the business and I’m looking forward to working with Amanda again.”

Reed’s appointment follows on from the news last week that Alasdair Stewart has been appointed commercial director and David Williams was appointed claims and underwriting director in February. Blanc also announces today the following appointments to her new senior leadership team:

Evan Waks has been appointed finance director, joining the business from AXA Wealth. Evan will have a particular focus on building effective systems, efficient processes and a robust control framework, and will help to drive the new strategic direction of the commercial lines business.

Karen Osborne has been appointed strategic projects director. As a former regional director and most recently head of intermediary and partner experience at AXA Insurance, Karen brings invaluable insight into how AXA’s commercial lines brokers operate. Karen will be responsible for ensuring that business critical projects are delivered efficiently, aligned to the AXA Commercial Lines strategy and benefit its customers.

As a result of the restructure there will be 114 potential redundancies. Amanda Blanc comments: “I regret having to lose any member of staff and it is essential to me that everyone is treated with dignity and respect throughout the process. We have done all we can to minimise the impact on individuals but unfortunately some tough decisions have had to be made.”

Blanc concludes: “The new structure that I have put in place will make it more efficient and easier for our customers to do business with AXA Commercial Lines. I want our business to become a driving force within our marketplace and our people to feel empowered to make decisions. The people who now make up my senior leadership team know the market inside out. They know what our customers want and will ensure that our products and services stay on target. They have the drive, energy and experience to help me achieve our ambitions in the UK commercial market.”

SJ Douglas, Spotlight Communications (07909 546104)