UK commercial lines and personal intermediary chief executive to spearhead global growth

Amanda Blanc, AXA Commercial Lines

AXA UK commercial lines and personal intermediary chief executive Amanda Blanc has been chosen to lead a group-wide project to accelerate the growth of AXA’s SME business.

In many countries AXA is largest in mid-corporate and corporate risks, whereas in the UK SME is its main driver.

The global project will explore which parts of the UK’s distribution model can be used to drive growth in the other countries AXA operates in.

Blanc told investors in Paris: “We’ll take a holistic view across the value chain, focusing on distribution in particular, on brokers and developing new digital trading channels, reusing what has been done wherever possible and improving the professionalism and trading expertise across the group.”

Since Blanc’s appointment in March 2011, commercial lines have grown for 10 consecutive quarters, driven by SME policies sold both directly and through brokers.

Blanc’s presentation was the first time the UK had been asked to present at the global investors day since she took over as chief executive and a milestone in the turnaround plan to achieve £1.2bn commercial lines gross written premium and a 95% combined operating ratio by the end of 2015.

“Three years ago the UK just wouldn’t have been chosen to do that. But we’ve got such standing now in the eyes of the group that we’ve been asked to lead that SME distribution piece,” Blanc told Insurance Times.

In Asia AXA has used a lot of the UK’s developments to launch SME products, Blanc added.

“For me the end goal is that we learn from them on the mid-corporate stuff and impart our knowledge on SME to those territories so that they have the success we’ve had in SME.”