An appetite for growth – Albert Benchimol, President & CEO, AXIS Capital
This week´s guest on The Voice of Insurance podcast is Albert Benchimol, President and CEO of AXIS Capital, the global specialty insurer and reinsurer. In this episode, host Mark Geoghegan and Albert explore a broad range of topics, from AXIS´s decision to exit property reinsurance, rate adequacy, the rise of the MGA, risk appetite, ESG, cyber insurance, and diversity in the industry to name but a few.
So much was covered in this conversation, and while we don´t want to give too much away, we have focused our piece on the comments around business growth.
Early on in the conversation, Mark asks Albert what AXIS wants to be known for and if there are certain focus areas for the organisation, Albert responds, “In our case, it´s about being very clear with our producers and our customers as to what our sustainable risk appetite is going forward and delivering the best product and the best service that we can for those lines of business.” However, Albert makes clear that he´s not espousing the view as to what other establishments should be doing, and that there are business models that work for different companies that align with their skills, expertise, and the market opportunities they see, and which these companies should pursue. Commenting further, Alberts says, “In our case, it´s clear that over the last decade, we´ve developed our specialty underwriting skills to the point where we believe we have an opportunity to be best in class, and that is what we want to do.” Albert discusses how there are plenty of opportunities to grow profitably and serve customers and producers in the specialty underwriting space.
Looking forward, what does AXIS want to project to brokers and customers? Albert responds, “We´re focused on advancing leadership and specialty underwriting. We have all the resources and capabilities to deliver solutions and value to our customers and partners and distribution, including, I´m very happy to add, market-leading claims capabilities.” Elaborating further, Albert explains how over the last several years, AXIS has developed these capabilities, has a very clear and sustainable risk appetite that it can communicate to its brokers and customers, and is confident about what it wants to do, “But in all of those sectors, we distinguish ourselves through our expertise in specialty underwriting and in our service.”
Mark asks if the company is already positioned with this final move, referring to remediation and re-set of AXIS´s strategic positioning. Albert remarks how the company has made all the big moves, but there is still a journey to achieve the level of performance that the company wants to achieve, but that in terms of strategic direction and alignment, they are in the right area. Albert discusses that delivering an outstanding service and being a leader in specialty service requires a strong culture and a strong team, “An important goal of ours is literally to be a talent magnet, to be the destination of choice for talent because, without the talent, we will not be able to deliver the quality of service that we want to deliver to our customers, partners, and distribution.”
Enjoy the podcast.