Former co-chief of broker arm will handle broker relationships and commission issues.

AXA has appointed the former co-chief of its broker arm, Paul Meehan, as customer experience director, to help rebuild the insurer’s relationship with its broker partners, especially around commission.

The move, predicted in Insurance Times last week, is part of a senior management restructuring at the insurer that will see a number of appointments to its executive committee and its underwriting function rolled into its four strategic business units (SBUs), first created 18 months ago.

Philippe Maso y Guell Rivet, chief executive of AXA Insurance, since April this year, said that Meehan, who received offers from many rival companies, was attracted by the prospect of working on the insurer side of AXA’s business.

Maso said: “We want to improve our relationship with brokers. There has been an issue. We have to get that right. Paul has an enormous appetite to make a difference. After a few weeks a new chief executive is expected to bring in a new structure. The tipping point is to create a new role.”

Last year, research by Insurance Times’ parent company Newsquest Specialist Media ranked AXA lowest of the major insurers for service to brokers.

Maso added that Meehan would help the insurer in its ongoing ‘back to basics’ discussions with brokers over commissions. “The imbalance cannot be sustained,” he said. “Paul will be influential on commissions. Brokers will know where we’re coming from.”

He will not oversee AXA’s broker arm, Venture Preference, run by chief executive Stuart Reid.

The SBUs will continue to be led by Mike Keating, Gary Stott and Anthony Middle, who have been promoted to managing directors of personal lines, corporate partnerships and commercial lines respectively. They will join AXA’s executive committee.

In a related move AXA has also created a private motor underwriting hub, which will be run by Stephen Hardy. Hardy recently replaced Andrew Blowers as chief executive of AXA’s online motor insurer, Swiftcover. He will also lead the insurer’s direct strategy.

Maso said the vacated role of chief operating officer would be taken care of in part by Meehan, who would also help develop the insurer’s claim handling capabilities. David Williams, managing director of claims, will report directly to Maso.