Former AXA finance director fills gap left after Boisseau promotion

Groupama Insurances has appointed Laurent Matras as managing director. Matras joins Groupama from AXA where he was finance director for AXA Insurance UK and AXA PPP.

François-Xavier Boisseau, CEO at Groupama Insurances said: “I am very pleased that Laurent has agreed to join Groupama. This is a key appointment of an individual with significant leadership skills and high quality strategic insight. Laurent has great knowledge and experience of the UK insurance market and a level of expertise that will offer a valuable extra dimension to our business.”

As managing director, Laurent will have operational responsibilities for implementation of the company’s strategic direction at Groupama Insurances and Groupama Healthcare and will play a leading role in delivering its ambitious business plans.

The company currently employs over 800 people in six centres across the UK.

Matras said: “This is a terrific opportunity for me to lead a highly successful, award winning business that has a fine reputation and a record of consistent profitability over the past five years. It will be good to work with François again and I feel sure that we will form a very strong team to help drive the business forward over the next few years.”

Boisseau added: “The insurance market is fast moving and very dynamic and Groupama needs to remain agile and responsive to change if we are to continue to be successful. We have some exciting plans for the future and Laurent’s skills and practical experience will undoubtedly help our business develop as a leading UK player.”

The appointment is expected to take effect from 1st April 2008 and is subject to FSA approval.

Until 1999, Matras was a financial analyst for AXA’s Group Corporate Finance team in Paris before a move to the UK as Head of Actuarial at AXA Insurance UK. He was appointed as Head of Personal Lines Underwriting in 2002 before becoming Finance Director in 2005.

Matras was a member of the Executive Committee and Management Board and was responsible for 300 people in business finance and strategy, planning, business development and mergers and acquisitions. He has a degree in economics and business from ESSEC in Paris and is also a qualified actuary.