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Fast Fast Forward

Expanding Leadership - Making Our World Go

Mike McGavick


Since launching XL's current strategy in 2010-11, we've seen our key business metrics improve, we’ve seen our premium increase and we’ve achieved double digit returns on equity. The business plans leading to these achievements and goals are well discussed in our key audiences. 

Less obvious, however, is what we’ve done to make our business goals and culture align and ensure that the total continues to move XL forward. A big piece of this is directly related to the way, as a specific part of our strategy, we have distributed and shared leadership across the company, particularly with the expanding roles of our Managing Directors (MDs).

MDs are leaders from across XL’s geographies, businesses and functions. We select them for their ability to be stewards of the company and reinforce our strategy and culture. Working closely with our Senior Leadership Team, MDs have helped us address many challenges but have been particularly useful in two key areas:

Closer Global Alignment. We are only a little over 4000 colleagues yet we have offices in over 20 countries. Distributing empowered leaders throughout the firm ties our colleagues together to an even greater degree and helps solve for the obstacles to a unified culture that time and distance can create.

Shared Accountability. We do not own the majority of the firm—we are agents of our shareholders. It’s a common challenge of a public company. We wanted to build a stronger sense of personal ownership across the enterprise and increased commitment from leaders to hold each other accountable for our results. Through broadening our leadership through our MDs, we have a greater number of partners, each charged with the individual and collective responsibility for XL, raising the level of accountability exponentially across the entire company

Of course, we’ve gained other advantages from this structure as well including a greater number of minds on our most critical issues and a more attractive recruiting incentive to draw in great talent who seek roles with deeper context and contribution.

The results so far have been powerful and we look forward to the continuing evolution of this leadership community. This year, we are pleased to announce that 10 XL colleagues have obtained the positions of Managing Director:

 Stephen Ashwell Mary Hayward Paul Simons
Greg Dyer Phil Jacobs Craig Wenzel
Ian France Lee Meyrick
Graham Hawkins Donna Nadeau  


These new MDs, and the rest of XL’s Leadership Council (including our 47 other Managing Directors, listed below) stand ready to assist our colleagues and  our client and broker partners in making their world go, as we like to say, fast fast forward. ‚Äč

Jean-Luc Allard Kim Holmes Philippe Rochaix
Robin Arendt Bernie Horovitz Bertrand Romagne
Mark Berry John Hume Lorraine Seib
Alex Blanco Jonathan Ibbott Bob Shine
David Brooks Derrick Irby Mervyn Skeet
Gavin Bruce-Smythe Gary Kaplan Markus Stiefel
Tom Burke Craig Langham Patrick Tannock
Chris Buse Bud Lockwood Joe Tocco
Charles Cooper Philippe Lutgen  Paul Tuhy
Chris Dougherty Mike Masters  Kip Walker
Michael Garceau Daniel Maurer Jean-Marc Wassen
Tony Giacco Fid Norton David Watson
Jason Harris Andrew Pinkes Steadman Watson
Ed Heffernan Ken Riegler Rhic Webb
David Hewett Steve Robb John Welch
Randy Hobbs Neil Robertson  

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AXA XL is the P&C and specialty risk division of AXA.