Product Family

AXA XL today announced a new Leadership Team and proposed changes to the operating model of its Insurance business following a strategic review.

Key proposed changes to the operating model include the creation of a single global insurance Underwriting Function and the establishment of three geographical Business Units across the Americas, Eurasia, and the UK & Lloyd’s market.

The Underwriting Function will be led by a global Chief Underwriting Officer (CUO), who will be working to design the structure of the proposed new model. The CUO would be responsible for underwriting governance, pricing, P&L and the management of the global heads of business lines in order to define and drive product strategy.

The three geographical Business Units will be led by CEOs, who would be responsible for the balance sheets of their geographies and managing talent.

Scott Gunter, AXA XL CEO, confirmed the following Leadership Team to build out the envisaged operating model*:

  • Nancy Bewlay, Chief Underwriting Officer
  • Joseph Tocco, Chief Executive Officer, Americas
  • Scott Gunter, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Eurasia
  • Sean McGovern, Interim Chief Executive Officer, UK & Lloyd’s market
  • Charles Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Reinsurance
  • Brent Hoffman, Chief Claims Officer
  • Karen le Duc, Chief Human Resources Officer  
  • Matthieu Caillat, Chief Operating Officer
  • Noel Richardson, Chief Risk Officer
  • Rainer Schoellhammer, Chief Financial Officer
  • Sean McGovern, General Counsel

Scott Gunter said: “AXA XL is the result of acquisitions and mergers and with our increased scale, now is the time to optimize our structure by striking the right balance between local and global decision making so we remain agile and flexible.”

Mr. Gunter continued: “I have spent my first 60 days as CEO considering our priorities and our structure and assembling the right team to drive AXA XL forward.  We want to continue to serve our clients and brokers to the very best of our ability while being a simpler organisation to navigate. The regional structure would mean decisions can be made faster in country, while the global functions would mean our clients and brokers continue to benefit from our global expertise and experience.

“This Leadership Team is an international, highly experienced team of individuals: around half the team have a background at legacy XL Catlin, while the other half bring diverse and valuable experience from across the AXA Group. 

“This is a positive step forward for AXA XL and I strongly believe that this new Leadership Team will ensure we are the insurance partner of choice across business lines and around the world.”

* In line with usual practise, the proposed changes affecting European entities, will be subject to consultation with employee representative bodies.
Notes to Editor:


Leadership Team biographies:

Nancy Bewlay, Chief Underwriting Officer
Nancy Bewlay is Chief Underwriting Officer for AXA XL, as announced today. Prior, she held the role of Global Chief Underwriting Officer for Long Tail Property & Casualty (P&C) risks. In this role Nancy was responsible for developing core underwriting strategies and optimizing product profitability for AXA XL’s long tail insurance lines, including casualty, cyber and professional liability. Nancy joined XL Catlin in 2017 as the Global Chief Underwriting Officer for Casualty. In this role, Nancy was responsible for the aggregated portfolio management of the Global casualty lines.

Prior, Nancy joined Swiss Re in 2013 as Head of Underwriting for Casualty, responsible for the underwriting and actuarial treaty teams in the US and Canada. In this role, her focus was on pricing development, portfolio management and strategy development and deployment.

Nancy also served as the President & Chief Executive Officer of C.V. Starr & Company (California) and was responsible for the overall operations of the agency. Nancy joined C.V. Starr & Company in 2006 as Manager of the East Coast offices and continued her tenure with advancing responsibilities and roles; including Executive Vice President & Director of Field Operations.


Joseph Tocco, Chief Executive Officer, Americas
Joseph Tocco is Chief Executive Officer, Americas, as announced today. He previously held the role of Head of North America Property & Casualty (P&C), which included Professional insurance lines for AXA XL. In this role, Joe was responsible for driving the development and effective delivery of innovative insurance and risk management solutions for our brokers and clients based in the US, Canada and Bermuda.

Prior, Joe served as Chief Executive of the Americas region for XL Catlin. He also served as Chief Executive of North America P&C unit for XL Group plc’s global insurance operations. He directed XL Group’s multiline P&C operations, including underwriting activities for General Property, Global Risk Management, Excess Casualty, North America Programs, Construction, Environmental and Excess & Surplus coverages, in the US and Canada. Prior to this position, Joe served as President and Head of XL Group’s North America Property business and XL Global Asset Protection Services (XL GAPS), XL Group’s loss prevention consulting firm. He was responsible for directing XL Group’s property underwriting activities for General Property and Energy Property business and managing a global team of risk engineers.

Joe joined XL Group in 2011 from Zurich Financial Services, where he led the North America Property group, Global Corporate Business Unit.


Sean McGovern, General Counsel
Sean McGovern was appointed General Counsel of AXA XL in September 2018, having previously been Chief Compliance Officer, Head of Regulatory & Government Affairs at XL Group since October 2016.  As General Counsel, Sean has oversight of legal, compliance and regulatory matters.

Before joining XL Group, Sean held various senior positions at Lloyd’s of London, having joined in 1996 from private practice at Clifford Chance. In 2002, he was appointed a Director and Lloyd’s General Counsel, with global responsibility for Lloyd's legal, regulatory and Government affairs globally.  In 2014, he also became Lloyd's first Chief Risk Officer and a member of the Board.

Sean is a non-executive board member of The City UK, which promotes the UK financial services sector, and is also Chairman of its International Trade & Investment Group. He has also been appointed by the US Treasury to serve as a member of the US Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance, which advises the US Treasury on insurance issues.


Charles Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Reinsurance
Charles Cooper is Chief Executive of AXA XL’s Global Reinsurance operations, a role he has held since 2018. Prior, he was Chief Executive of Bermuda Reinsurance for XL Catlin.

Charles has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. He began his career with AIG and Zurich North America in New York, writing International Primary Casualty business. He transitioned to reinsurance when he joined XL Reinsurance America, Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, in 2000 as an Assistant Vice President and Corporate Planning Analyst. In 2005, he transferred to the Bermuda office, where he was Senior Vice President & Underwriter for XL Re Ltd, with responsibility for Property catastrophe and specialty accounts business. In 2010, Charles assumed the role of President and Chief Underwriting officer of XL Re Ltd.


Brent Hoffman, Chief Claims Officer
Brent is Chief Claims Officer at AXA XL, as announced today. He previously held the role of Global Head of Claims, following a promotion at XL Catlin in 2018.
Brent joined XL Group in 2014 and previously held the positions of Global Practice Leader – Casualty Claims and General Counsel – Global Claims, with a place on the Claims Leadership Team.

Prior to joining XL Group, Brent was with The Hartford for more than 12 years, where he held various in-house attorney positions in addition to a Vice President role in the company's Claims Department, with responsibility for managing claim groups in the US and UK. Brent started his career in private practice, working at both Bingham McCutchen LLP and Saul Ewing LLP.


Karen le Duc, Chief HR Officer 
Karen le Duc is appointed Chief Human Resources Officer, having previously held a number of senior roles on the EXCOM for AXA Liabilities Managers.

Karen undertook several roles of increasing responsibility at AXA Liabilities Managers after joining in 2004, in addition to previous positions. These included CIO / Global Head of Business Support (2004), Global Head of Human Resources (2012), Global Head of Communications (2014), Head of Global Shared Services Centre and Integration (2016) and CEO AXA Liabilities Managers US (2018).

Before joining AXA Liabilities Managers, Karen had spent three years in other Programme management roles within the Group.


Matthieu Caillat, Chief Operating Officer
Matthieu Caillat is Chief Operating Officer at AXA XL. He has led the Operations & Technology function at AXA XL since 2018. Following today’s announcement, he will also lead Data & Analytics.

Prior to his current role, Matthieu had worked in Paris since 2015 as Deputy Global Chief Underwriting Officer at AXA Corporate Solutions (ACS), before also becoming CEO - France at ACS in 2016.

Between 2010 and 2015, Matthieu had been acting as Managing Director and then CEO of AXA Corporate Solutions UK and AXA Matrix UK, based in London.

Having started his insurance career at the company in 2003, Matthieu worked his way up through the organization, holding positions in the Specialty Markets Division, including in risk modelling, portfolio management and business development. He set up AXA Corporate Solutions Space division in 2007 and led it until 2012.  


Noel Richardson, Chief Risk Officer
Noel Richardson was appointed Chief Risk Officer (CRO) for AXA XL in 2018. In this role he is responsible for defining and ensuring application of the risk strategy and associated framework, governance, processes and appetites across AXA XL.

He joined AXA in 1994 and has held several posts during his time with the Group, notably Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of several operating entities (AXA Germany, AXA Belgium, AXA Bank Europe), CFO of the Northern Europe and CEE Region and of the Life and Health operations worldwide, Group Head of Corporate Finance and Treasury, Group Head of Life, Savings & Health Insurance and Risk Management.

Prior to joining AXA, he worked principally in the life assurance sector after starting his career in consultancy and subsequently European Head of Life Product Management within AIG.


Rainer Schoellhammer, Chief Finance Officer
Rainer Schoellhammer was appointed Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for AXA XL in 2019.

Rainer was previously Group Finance Controller at AXA Group, a role he held since 2015.

Between 2012 and 2015, Rainer held the role of CFO at AXA Corporate Solutions, after a short spell as Senior Vice President BSD for Japan & Asia-Pacific at AXA Group. Before 2011, he had spent five years at AXA Germany, where he undertook various senior roles, including Head of Financial Planning and Analysis, Controller, and CFO of a specialized life entity. 

Rainer joined AXA in 2006, after it acquired Winterthur Group, the insurance division of Credit Suisse. He had previously joined Winterthur as Assistant Vice President Accounting Policy Group in 2002.

Before joining Winterthur, Rainer had worked as a research assistant while completing a PhD in Accounting at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. He had previously worked in Germany for companies including Bain & Company and Lazard & Co Ltd.