New AXA commercial chief Amanda Blanc begins shaping structure as Roy Watkinson departs

AXA Insurance technical and commercial underwriting director Roy Watkinson has left the company, Insurance Times has learnt.

Long-serving Watkinson left on Wednesday, two days after new commercial chief executive Amanda Blanc started her role.

An AXA spokesman confirmed Watkinson's departure, adding : “His role no longer exists in Amanda Blanc’s new structure.”

Watkinson could not be reached for comment.

Speaking yesterday, chief financial operating officer Jean Drouffe said AXA was pinning it hopes on Blanc to revive the commercial arms fortunes.

Commercial premiums slumped 14% in 2010.

“Having Amanda on board with her strong underwriting and sales experience will clearly help in returning to profitability in that segment,” Drouffe said.

Drouffe also suggested that Blanc’s combined insurance and broking experience could help AXA Insurance form stronger ties with its broking arm, Bluefin.

“We think she will be able to use all these assets that at the moment are a bit too independent from the rest and where we are missing some synergies,” he said.