AXA chief executive leaves to take the reins of a big rival insurer

AXA UK’s chief executive, Amanda Blanc is leaving AXA.

She is making the move to Zurich, where she will take up the position of chief executive for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

She will be replacing current EMEA chief executive, Gary Shaughnessy, who has decided to step down to pursue a more balanced work and personal life.

Shaughnessy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease several years ago.

Blanc will replace Shaughnessy in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Group chief executive Mario Greco said of the outgoing Shaughnessy: “Gary is a passionate, values-based leader who embodies Zurich’s focus on people and customers. I’m especially grateful for the pivotal role that he has played in creating an integrated and successful EMEA organization.

”We fully support Gary’s decision and are pleased that he has agreed to stay engaged with Zurich.”

Then on Blanc, Greco added: “In Amanda, we have identified a high-impact proven people leader with deep experience and knowledge.

”Throughout her career in commercial insurance, broking and consulting, she has consistently demonstrated a keen focus on customer needs, people engagement and profitability. Amanda is also an outspoken thought leader on the impact that digital capabilities will have on our markets. She’ll be a strong addition to the Executive Committee.”

A spokesman for AXA said: “Amanda has been at AXA for eight years and has done an excellent job in various roles. Her commercial achievements and her advocacy of driving greater customer transparency and inclusion in the workplace have benefited both AXA and the wider insurance industry.

“Her belief that a business should not be defined purely by its leader means she leaves behind a very strong management team that will be led by chief financial officer, Bertrand Poupart-Lafarge on an interim basis. Our strategy remains unchanged and we will continue to deliver upon it as we have done successfully for the last 10 years.”