In first month since kick-starting campaign branch is writing four times more mid-market premiums than a year ago


Plans by the Scottish arm of AXA, to grow its mid-market book are showing early signs of success, according to branch manager Ryan Birbeck.

In the first month since it kick-started its mid-market push in December, Birbeck said the branch had written four times the amount of mid-market premiums in January 2015 than it wrote a year ago.

But he added the Glasgow-based branch still had more work to do to get closer to its Scottish brokers.

At the start of 2014 AXA embarked on a strategy to move all of its Scottish broker relations north of the border. This included a recruitment drive to hire more people.

Following his appointment as branch manager in January 2014 Birbeck implemented a number of changes to the office.

He hired sales and underwriting managers, senior underwriters and account handlers, increasing the staff head count from 30 to 40.

Birbeck said the underwriters and account handlers were visiting more independent brokers, while the underwriters were having more conversations with larger brokers about their mid-market risks.

The Scottish community brokers who typically place less than £5m also have a dedicated telephone account manager to speak to in the Glasgow branch.

Previously, the community brokers had dealt with AXA’s call centre in Bolton.

The move of the telephone account managers to Scotland meant that for the first time AXA was able to service all its Scottish brokers from the branch in Glasgow.

Birbeck said speaking with the community brokers enabled the insurer to identify larger mid-market risks it had not previously written insurance for.

“Growth has come from building relationships with brokers,” Birbeck added.

“It would not have meant anything if we had not gone out and spoken to brokers. There is still more to do and we have to provide this as a long term thing.”

Birbeck said AXA was also on target to grow its gross written premium in Scotland by 13% by 2017.

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