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7. XL makes executive changes following purchase by Axa

7. XL makes executive changes following purchase by Axa

French insurer Axa SA’s purchase of XL Group Ltd. for $15.3 billion in the spring triggered a series of executive changes and other moves that began in May and continued throughout the year.

Although the transaction wasn’t complete until September, XL Group CEO Mike McGavick, and XL Group President and COO Greg Hendrick sent a joint letter in May outlining the fates of numerous executives. Some maintained their positions, others assumed new ones, and still others left the company.

Among the executives who assumed new positions, Neil Robertson, chief executive for insurance underwriting, was named chief executive for global specialty. Jason Harris, chief executive for international insurance, became chief executive for global property and casualty.

Joe Tocco remained chief executive for North America insurance, reporting to Mr. Harris; Charles Cooper continued to lead reinsurance; and Kelly Lyles continued as chief executive for client and country management while adding communications and marketing responsibilities after the departure of Paul Jardine, XL’s chief experience officer. In addition, underwriting capital management, including ceded reinsurance and alternative capital, continued to be led by Mark Van Zanden, chief executive of property/casualty underwriting capital management, with Brent Hoffman continuing to lead claims.

Among other organizational changes, a new data and analytics group was created and led by Paul Shedden, chief executive of insurance pricing and analytics, and included strategic analytics, led by Kim Holmes; enterprise data efforts, led by Henna Karna; and insurtech unit Accelerate, led by Vincent Branch, effective July 1.

The leader of Accelerate, Paul Brand, planned to leave the organization at the end of June, the letter read.

In addition to Mr. Jardine and Mr. Brand, the letter listed several other executives who would leave the company immediately or shortly after the close of the transaction, including Susan Cross, XL’s chief actuary; Kirstin Gould, XL’s general counsel; and Eileen Whelley, XL’s chief human resources officer.

The letter also noted that some senior Axa executives would take on new roles as the reorganization continued.

Even before XL’s leaders sent the letter describing personnel changes, one key XL executive — Barbara Luck, XL’s president of global excess casualty — left XL Group to head American International Group Inc.’s North American casualty business.  

She was replaced by a former XL executive — Donnacha Smyth — who was recruited back from rival Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. to be president of its global excess casualty operations. 

XL appointed former AIG executive Chris Kopser president of its global risk management insurance for North America division. He succeeded Jay Lefkowitz, who had left XL to become president of AIG Risk Management.

And in December, Axa XL — the new name of XL — realigned its excess and surplus casualty insurance business and named Ankur Chokshi to be head of its E&S primary casualty business and brokerage and binding authority business. In addition, Kimberly Smid was named to lead the insurer’s excess casualty E&S business, a new position. She had previously served as E&S underwriting manager for QBE Insurance Group Ltd., leading its national excess casualty team.



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