XL Catlin Shares Executive Changes, Exits in Preparation for AXA Takeover

May 15, 2018

XL Group has announced management changes and departures in anticipation of the planned acquisition of XL by AXA.

French insurer AXA SA has agreed to buy XL Group Ltd. for $15.3 billion in cash in a bid to capture a bigger slice of the U.S. property/casualty market. The top executives of the two firms announced the agreement in March. The deal has not yet closed.

The management changes were announced in a letter to employees from Mike McGavick, CEO, XL Group, and Greg Hendrick, president and COO, XL Group.

The announced changes involve only XL Catlin and XL Group leadership team personnel at this time. As for the XL Catlin leadership team:

Reinsurance will continue to be led by Charles Cooper.

In Insurance, Neil Robertson and Jason Harris, currently Chief Executive Insurance Underwriting and Chief Executive International Insurance, will each take on new roles as Chief Executives for Global Specialty and Global P&C respectively. Doug Howat has decided to leave the company while Joe Tocco will remain as Chief Executive for North America Insurance, reporting to Harris. These changes will be effective July 1.

Kelly Lyles will continue in her current role as Chief Executive for Client and Country Management and will add Communications and Marketing to her remit, after the departure of Paul Jardine.

Underwriting Capital Management, including Ceded Re and Alternative Capital, will continue to be led by Mark Van Zanden, currently Chief Executive P&C Underwriting Capital Management.

XL said it hopes to create a “more connected” data and analytics group led by Paul Shedden, currently Chief Executive of Insurance Pricing & Analytics. In addition to Strategic Analytics, led by Kim Holmes, Shedden’s team will include enterprise data efforts, led by Henna Karna, as well as Accelerate, led by Vincent Branch. Paul Brand, who currently is leading Accelerate, is planning to leave the organization at the end of June.

As for plans regarding the current XL Group leadership team:

Susan Cross, XL’s Chief Actuary, Kirstin Gould, XL’s General Counsel, Paul Jardine, XL’s Chief Experience Officer, and Eileen Whelley, XL’s Chief Human Resources Officer are all expected to leave the company at or shortly after the close of the transaction, as XL transitions from a standalone public company to a new entity of AXA Group.

To prepare for those transitions, the plan is to implement the following changes to be effective with the above-mentioned departures:

  • Steve Robb will continue as CFO and will oversee Investments, led by Andre Keller. Robb will also oversee Actuarial Reserving at the departure of Cross, to be led by Jean-Luc Allard, currently Head of Reserving & Group Financial Reporting.
  • Sean McGovern, currently XL Catlin’s Chief Compliance Officer and Head of Regulatory and Government Affairs, is expected to add to his current responsibility for compliance, leadership for claims and legal after the departure of Jardine and Gould. As recently announced, Brent Hoffman, will continue to lead claims.
  • Nikki Gonzalez, currently Senior HR Business Partner, is expected to lead Human Resources after the departure of Whelley.

Myron Hendry will continue in his role as Chief Platform Officer until close and will continue to lead the integration from the XL Catlin side for a period of time following the closing.

Adi Spieler will continue in his current role as Chief Platform Officer for Insurance until close and is expected to take a new role within AXA Group.

Two senior leaders of AXA are working work on the outline and organization of two functions which will report directly to Hendrick:

Matthieu Caillat, currently CEO of AXA CS France and Deputy Global CUO of AXA CS, will be responsible for preparing the outline of a future COO function, partnering with Hendry and Spieler, while keeping the responsibilities that he has today within AXA CS until the integration.

Noel Richardson, currently Group Head of Life, Savings and Health Insurance and Risk Management at AXA, will be responsible for designing the outline of the future Risk Management function, partnering with Fid Norton and supporting a smooth integration of XL within AXA’s broader risk management standards; while keeping the responsibilities he has today within AXA until the closing.

Finally, three senior AXA leaders will be giving their support to XL. Doina Palici-Chehab, currently Executive Chair of AXA CS, AXA Art and AXA Matrix, will take on the additional role of Chief Integration Officer responsible for overseeing the integration planning process. In this role, she will report to AXA CEO Thomas Buberl and support both the AXA and XL leadership teams over the coming months. Rob Brown, CEO of ACA CS will, in addition to his current role, support the integration planning as Senior Advisor, and Alison Black, currently Head of HR for AXA CS, reporting to Rob Brown, will take on the additional responsibility of HRD supporting the integration for AXA, reporting to Karima Silvent, AXA Group Head of HR.


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