Replacement sought as Axel Schmidt heads to Bermuda-based insurer

Axel Schmidt Aviva

Aviva’s UK and Ireland chief underwriting officer Axel Schmidt has left to join Bermuda-based  insurer Argo as group chief underwriting officer.  

Aviva confirmed that Schmidt left the company on 30 April and said a search for his replacement is underway.

Until a replacement is found, members of Aviva’s UK and Ireland underwriting, products and pricing leadership team will report directly to UK and Ireland general insurance chief executive Maurice Tulloch.

Tulloch said: “Axel has been a key member of the leadership team for the past four years. I would like to thank him for his services to Aviva during that time and wish him well in the future.”

In his new role, Schmidt will replace Argo’s current group underwriting head Andrew Carrier, who will leave Argo this summer for “personal reasons”.

Argo group chief executive Mark Watson said: “[Schmidt] brings a strong reputation, tremendous experience in global underwriting strategy and a track record of improving profitability. We’re fortunate to have him join our executive team.”

On Carrier’s departure he added: “We thank Andrew for his success in building an expert, disciplined underwriting culture throughout Argo

“In addition to developing our group CUO role, Andrew created and led our reinsurance operation, Argo Re, before handing the reins over to Matthew Wilken last year.

“He’s leaving Argo with an underwriting portfolio that is well balanced and in good shape.”

Before joining Aviva, Schmidt spent 20 years at Zurich. He held a number of senior underwriting and management positions at the insurer including deputy chief executive and chief underwriting officer of Zurich’s corporate business in the UK and Europe.