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The world of work has been changed, forever, over the course of the tragic global pandemic. As we look towards a post-COVID-19 future in the UK, Lara Dakwar, Head of Global Learning and Development at AXA XL, and Allan Murley, Head of UK Broker Management at AXA XL, discuss the importance of developing and training the leaders of the future – and the launch of a new Broker Academy.

If the past year has taught us anything, it is that people are the vital element in what makes the insurance industry work. The adaptability and resilience shown by our colleagues across the industry has been, quite simply, extraordinary. The global COVID-19 pandemic, and the manner in which we have all adapted to its challenges, has shone a spotlight on the ways in which the world of work, and the insurance market, are modernising.

As these ways of working change, so the ways in which we all learn and develop skills are changing too. Learning and Development is hugely important to us at AXA XL as well as to the wider insurance market. We want to be able to equip our people, and stakeholders across our industry, to be successful whatever the market conditions.

As we look to the future and the changes ahead for our marketplace, we recognise the need for Learning and Development (L&D) to play an increasingly important role in identifying and training the leaders of tomorrow. 

The UK Insurance Market

From its origins in the coffee shops of the City of London more than 300 years ago, the UK insurance market has always thrived on interactions between people – the intellectual property and sharing and development of ideas is what makes this market special.

The UK insurance market is undoubtedly, however, undergoing a period of change. Among other things, it’s facing a talent gap as industry veterans ready themselves for retirement. We recognise that the “people plan” is key to the future success of our company, and our industry as a whole. We want to address the potential talent gap and improve cultural engagement with all our stakeholders.

At AXA XL, we’re firm believers that we and our industry peers need to help drive professional standards and positive change for the workplace of the future. We also believe that for our market to remain relevant for the future, we need to attract and retain talent from a broad mix of backgrounds and skillsets.  We want to help identify, develop and train the next generation of industry game-changers.

That’s why we launched our UK Broker Academy at the BIBA 2021 Digital Conference. The inaugural academy will involve 30 young brokers, nominated by their employers, from across the UK. 

The Broker Academy

We wanted to build a program to address the specific needs of our market. To that end we have consulted with London Market and UK regional brokers to find out what they want and have sought feedback at every stage of the Academy’s development.  We used a design-thinking model to devise the program; design-thinking approaches a challenge from the user’s perspective to find innovative solutions.

The result is a virtual, 8-week program with a blended, interactive approach devised and led by AXA XL experts. The interactive program will cover three main topic areas: The Best You; The Market; and The Power of Collaboration.

The program aims to help attendees to raise their own profiles, to develop new skills, and to gain greater visibility and a strong network. We will offer mentorship, matching attendees with a senior AXA XL leader, to facilitate ongoing development after attendees have completed the program. 

We want to play our part in driving forward professional standards in this marketplace and in identifying, developing and harnessing the talents of the leaders of the future. The launch of our Broker Academy is, we believe, an important step along that path.


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US- and Canada-Issued Insurance Policies

In the US, the AXA XL insurance companies are: AXA Insurance Company, Catlin Insurance Company, Inc., Greenwich Insurance Company, Indian Harbor Insurance Company, XL Insurance America, Inc., XL Specialty Insurance Company and T.H.E. Insurance Company. In Canada, coverages are underwritten by XL Specialty Insurance Company - Canadian Branch and AXA Insurance Company - Canadian branch. Coverages may also be underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate #2003. Coverages underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate #2003 are placed on behalf of the member of Syndicate #2003 by Catlin Canada Inc. Lloyd’s ratings are independent of AXA XL.
US domiciled insurance policies can be written by the following AXA XL surplus lines insurers: XL Catlin Insurance Company UK Limited, Syndicates managed by Catlin Underwriting Agencies Limited and Indian Harbor Insurance Company. Enquires from US residents should be directed to a local insurance agent or broker permitted to write business in the relevant state.