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GCUO, Specialty Niche

XL Group
Charing Cross, Central London, United Kingdom
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Dec 10, 2023

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Job Role
Contract Type
Full Time
Global Chief Underwriting Officer - Specialty Niche

Location - Flexible

AXA XL underwrites Specialty Niche coverages that are key differentiators in the market and above average profit drivers. This highly specialized market has been identified by AXA XL as an exciting area as the teams add insight and expertise to solid analytics to provide our customers with top tier underwriting solutions, valuable risk engineering and global claims capabilities.

The Global CUO Specialty Niche will be a member of the Global CUO Specialty leadership team providing AXA XL with the ability to manage the Specialty Niche portfolio and exposure from an aggregated global product view.

AXA XL underwrites various Specialty Niche solutions to organizations and individuals of all sizes on a global basis. Below the industry segments the Company actively offer coverages:

SRS (Structured Risk Solutions): this class underwrites various Alternative Risk Transfer solutions, including Structured (Re)insurance for captive clients and Performance Insurance for project companies.

FAS (Fine Art & Specie): this class includes coverages for Museum Institutions, Commercial Dealers, Private Collectors as well as Jewelers Block, Precious Metals, Cash Management and Financial Institutions.

CMSR (Crisis Management & Special Risks): this class provides a range of security-related insurance products, all under-pinned by immediate access to expert crisis response capabilities which includes Kidnap & Ransom, Crisis Response and Emergency Evacuation.

Equine: coverages are split between Bloodstock and Equestrian business offering high valued horses risk mortality cover for death as a result of illness, injury or disease including humane destruction by a veterinary surgeon to terminate incurable suffering and optional extensions.

Livestock: this class provides coverages for all descriptions of insureds from individual farmers to multinational food production corporations and also including Aquariums, Safari parks and Zoos with high individual valued species.

Aquaculture: coverages for Aquaculture Insurance Biomass, Aquaculture workboats, Floating Equipment for fish farming, Cargo Insurance for live fish, eggs and juveniles.

Life, Accident &Health: coverages for Corporate or affinity personal accident, aircrew loss of license, aviation and marine personal accident, war risks, travel benefits and credit card, medical expenses XOL, expatriate medical benefits.

This role will be responsible for the portfolio management with a “grow, fix or maintain” approach for these products which our 3 Regional Business Units will use to monitor and identify actions to take across the portfolio.

Reports to: Global Chief Underwriting Officer, Specialty

DISCOVER your opportunity

The key focus of the role will be to deliver on three main functions:

Global Governance, Standards / Rules & Guidelines: The GCUO Specialty Niche will drive global underwriting and pricing standards, internal governance and group wide standards; including end-to-end process reviews and re-design, as well as being the liaison point for the Platform team for items with a segment-wide impact such as systems strategy, data governance, etc.

Innovation and Development: This includes product development and innovation, including supporting the regional Specialty Niche underwriting and pricing teams and our Innovation and other corporate functions, providing the support from the corporate insurance segment to further current and future innovation investments.

Business Building: Through performance tracking and close interactions with the standalone Specialty Niche underwriting teams, the goal is to influence the portfolio mix, identify where there are opportunities for improved performance or opportunities for growth. Working with all parties involved, there is an expectation that these different initiatives will result in the GCUO leading a coordinated plan to either develop and grow a business or alternatively remediate them while assisting in coordination with the other functional teams.



The GCUO Specialty Niche is responsible for the global view of the Specialty Niche peril and exposures which includes but is not limited to:

Setting Underwriting Risk Appetite and Strategy-Project Lead for Underwriting strategy development, communicating, executing and monitoring global product strategies.

Governance, Controls and UW Authorities - Lead engagement with Global Underwriting Management (GUM) on 1st Line of defense framework. Support GCUO - Specialty with the implementation of 1st line of defense (pre and post bind reviews). Review and assess, post Bind reviews (1st Line), Independent reviews (1.b. line), internal audit reports to ‘continually improve’ the Underwriting Product Technical strategy and associated 1st Line of defense framework, in conjunction with the GCUO - Specialty.

Portfolio Management - Support the GCUO Specialty in driving insights into the global portfolios and assist in efficient and effective reinsurance structures to manage out net position.

Using existing Mi e.g. ‘Exec. Mi’ and Portfolio Mi; collate business Mi to support review and analysis discussions with Product CUO of Global/BU Specialty Niche performance.

Planning and Portfolio Performance - Drive insights into the global portfolio to help improve profitability for the Global Product, supporting the CUO and Practice Leader in deciding where they should expand and contract - using the PMP Data. Support the Global Practice Leaders in handling the PAP process and encourage profitable product innovation.

Expert Network / Industry Verticals -Support the GCUO - Specialty in the development and effectiveness of an Expert Network strategy to ensure best practice is driven through the entire Product globally and drive best practice. Identification of Emerging Risks and formulating an Development of necessary responses.

Training and Technical Development - Project Lead for Technical Underwriting Training Syllabus strategy development and associated Technical Underwriting career path. Communicating with the BU using identified Technical Specialists as appropriate (with GCUO - Specialty).

Innovation - Support GCUO in the ‘fostering’ of innovation culture within and across the Business, in conjunction with BU CUO. Ensue Products go through the necessary AXA XL and AXA Group product sign off processes.

Client and Broker Engagement -Work with the GCUO Specialty Leadership Team in the Business Units and Regions to maintain solid strategic relationships with the broker network and co-ordinate with other lines of business and country managers.
SHARE your talent

We’re looking for someone who has these abilities and skills:

• Solid technical Commercial lines Underwriting expertise and excellent understanding of Global Specialty Niche & P&C Insurance

• Leadership:

- Ability to develop & drive teams; developing technical & leadership skills across the underwriting organisation

- Build relationship and manage by influence in an international, multi-cultural, matrix environment

• The ability to demonstrate critical thinking, decision making, problem-solving skills, understanding of financial planning, analysis and reporting approaches

• Ability to respond to a changing environment with flexibility and innovation

• Close collaboration with Product specific GCUO, Regional CUOs and Regional Product Leaders as well as pricing, reserving actuaries, claims, risk consulting, and other teams within the GCUO Organization and across AXA XL (e.g., Risk) and AXA Group (e.g., GIO/GRM)

• Engage with clients and brokers where product expertise can add value to the interaction

• Strategic & transformation mindset : able to articulate an actionable strategy, defining a transformation roadmap to drive profitable growth, challenging the status wherever appropriate

• Gravitas, self-confidence and comfort level with an outward facing role into the market

• Effective communication skills, presentation, written and verbal communication skills

Outstanding display of the AXA values - One AXA, Customer First, Courage, Integrity - is critical for this leadership role.

FIND your future

AXA XL, the P&C and specialty risk division of AXA, is known for solving complex risks. For mid-sized companies, multinationals and even some inspirational individuals we don’t just provide re/insurance, we reinvent it.

How? By combining a comprehensive and efficient capital platform, data-driven insights, leading technology, and the best talent in an agile and inclusive workspace, empowered to deliver top client service across all our lines of business property, casualty, professional, financial lines and specialty.

With an innovative and flexible approach to risk solutions, we partner with those who move the world forward.

Learn more at

Inclusion & Diversity

AXA XL is committed to equal employment opportunity and will consider applicants regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity and origins, marital status, religion, disability, or any other protected characteristic.

At AXA XL, we know that an inclusive culture and a diverse workforce enable business growth and are critical to our success. That’s why we have made a strategic commitment to attract, develop, advance and retain the most diverse workforce possible, and create an inclusive culture where everyone can bring their full selves to work and can reach their highest potential. It’s about helping one another - and our business - to move forward and succeed.
  • Five Business Resource Groups focused on gender, LGBTQ+, ethnicity and origins, disability and inclusion with 20 Chapters around the globe

  • Robust support for Flexible Working Arrangements

  • Enhanced family friendly leave benefits

  • Named to the Diversity Best Practices Index

  • Signatory to the UK Women in Finance Charter

Learn more at AXA XL is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


At AXA XL, Sustainability is integral to our business strategy. In an ever-changing world, AXA XL protects what matters most for our clients and communities. We know that sustainability is at the root of a more resilient future. Our 2023-26 Sustainability strategy, called “Roots of resilience”, focuses on protecting natural ecosystems, addressing climate change, and embedding sustainable practices across our operations.

Our Pillars:
  • Valuing nature: How we impact nature affects how nature impacts us. Resilient ecosystems - the foundation of a sustainable planet and society - are essential to our future. We’re committed to protecting and restoring nature - from mangrove forests to the bees in our backyard - by increasing biodiversity awareness and inspiring clients and colleagues to put nature at the heart of their plans.

  • Addressing climate change: The effects of a changing climate are far reaching and significant. Unpredictable weather, increasing temperatures, and rising sea levels cause both social inequalities and environmental disruption. We're building a net zero strategy, developing insurance products and services, and mobilizing to advance thought leadership and investment in societal-led solutions.
  • Integrating ESG: All companies have a role to play in building a more resilient future. Incorporating ESG considerations into our internal processes and practices builds resilience from the roots of our business. We’re training our colleagues, engaging our external partners, and evolving our sustainability governance and reporting.

  • AXA Hearts in Action: We have established volunteering and charitable giving programs to help colleagues support causes that matter most to them, known as AXA XL’s “Hearts in Action” programs. These include our Matching Gifts program, Volunteering Leave, and our annual volunteering day - the Global Day of Giving.

For more information, please see

The U.S. base salary range for this position is $250,000 to $300,000 USD.

AXA XL is a global Company. The salary range noted above is applicable only for US applicants. Actual pay will be determined based upon the individual’s skills, experience and location. We strive for market alignment and internal equity with our colleagues’ pay.

At AXA XL, we know how important physical, mental, and financial health are to our employees, which is why we are proud to offer benefits such as a competitive retirement savings plan, health and wellness programs, and many other benefits. We also believe in fostering our colleagues' development and offer a wide range of learning opportunities for colleagues to hone their professional skills and to position themselves for the next step of their careers.
  • Job Field: Operations
  • Job Type: Standard
  • Schedule: Full-time

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