Insurer's new structure aimed to make AXA market leader in chosen sectors

AXA is to revamp its organisational structure in a bid to make it a market leader in all its chosen markets.

The change will see AXA Insurance made up of the main insurance company as well as four separate market-focused business units. Each will have its own business leader and direct accountability for profitability.

The insurer will be headed by Guy Stouls, insurance managing director, reporting to Peter Hubbard, who remains chief executive of AXA Insurance. Andy Fairchild becomes chief operating officer.

A corporate partners business will be led by Anthony Middle to focus on partnerships with affinities and brands. The personal lines intermediary (PLI) unit will see Michael Keating continue to lead as PLI general manager.

Gary Stott will lead the commercial lines intermediary channel with the hope that the new structure will maintain the ongoing growth and development of the SME segment.

"It has gone unnoticed, but we have tripled our SME business in the past five years," said Hubbard.

The fourth segment, AXA Solutions, AXA's SME direct proposition, will be led by David Aiston.

Each business general manager will report directly to Mark Cliff, markets managing director, who will also report to Hubbard.

Hubbard denied that the changes would result in redundancies and were a cost cutting measure. "This is not a cost reduction exercise and will not result in job losses, it is to focus on our chosen market areas and become the leading player in each of those markets."

He added: "We have to be bolder and more entrepreneurial in our approach to meet customer and distributor demands."

The new operation will be introduced on 1 January 2007 and be phased in over 12 months.