Four units created to concentrate personal lines expertise and boost motor business

AXA has restructured its personal lines business splitting its broker division into four.

The move is part of the insurer’s plans to double in size by 2012.

The new units will target delegated relationships, panels, networks and new business.

The units will be headed by Selim Cavanagh, Karen Hogg, Jon Mainwaring and Matt Poll respectively.

AXA head of distribution Keith Hector said the move would allow for more expertise in its personal lines business. “What we had in the past was people dealing across all those disciplines and it meant we had jacks of all trades.”

He said the new system would allow AXA to meet the demands of its clients better, while growing its business.

“It comes down to reinvestment in the area that was started in 2003. We hadn’t looked at those areas before and didn’t have a specific sales team. We needed to upscale the team.”

AXA’s personal lines division had a gross written premium of £300m in 2004. It is expected to grow to £550m by the end of 2007.

Hector said the restructuring would play an important role in growing AXA’s motor business. AXA is looking to become a major player in the sector, having languished at the bottom of the top 20 in recent years.

The insurer’s motor business is carried out predominantly through aggregators and major broker panels.

Hector said Hogg would focus on growing this part of the business through her role in overseeing the insurer’s position on broker panels which included those of Budget, Swinton, Kwik-Fit and the AA.

AXA to use acquired brokers as guinea pigs

AXA will use its acquired brokers to pilot new technology and systems before rolling them out to the rest of the broker market.
AXA distribution director Mark Cliff said the company planned to roll out improvements to its electronic trading system that allows brokers to obtain quotes through back office systems as well as look up quotes online.
The company will use its own brokers to test various new processes for any potential glitches before introducing it to the rest of the market.
Cliff said: “We think we are ahead of the game. We have more transactions online than ever before.”
AXA UK has acquired a number of brokers this year, including Smart & Cook, Layton Blackham and Stuart Alexander.