AXIS merging ceded reinsurance and third-party capital business


Bermudian insurance and reinsurance firm AXIS Capital Holdings Limited is making some sweeping changes to its organisational structure, in the wake of its acquisition of Novae, one of which will see the firms ceded reinsurance function merged with third-party capital activities, under the watch of Ben Rubin.

AXIS called the changes, “part of an ongoing strategy by AXIS to be a global leader in specialty insurance and reinsurance, with a focus on being a partner of choice for key clients and partners in distribution.”

Albert Benchimol, President and CEO of AXIS Capital, explained the rationale behind the move, “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.”

AXIS is launching a new company wide Global Underwriting and Analytics unit, which will be tasked with leveraging enhanced data and analytics capabilities to inform underwriting decisions. The company says this will involve, “intelligently applying InsurTech” as well as portfolio management and capital allocation techniques.

Eric Gesick has been named as the new Group Chief Underwriting Officer to oversee this change, he’s currently Chief Risk and Actuarial Officer.

“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,” Benchimol said. “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.”

AXIS is also merging its Ceded Re and Third Party Capital activities into a single strategic risk-funding department of the business.

The company said that this will enable it to, “optimize risk-funding activities and deliver greater capacity to clients and partners in distribution.”

The AXIS Ceded Re team will now report in to Ben Rubin, Head of AXIS Ventures and the lead on ILS and third-party capital activities at AXIS, who reports to directly to CEO Benchimol.

Benchimol commented, “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.”

As re/insurers look to become more efficient we should expect their capital management functions, including reinsurance and ILS activities, to become increasingly closely aligned. AXIS is clearly taking steps to position itself for a more efficient future with these and a raft of other changes announced today.

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