Dawn M. Miller, ARM, ERMP
CEO, AXA Insurance Company
A Worthy Competitor
As a competitive figure skater, AXA Insurance
Company (U.S.) CEO Dawn Miller glides
across the ice with grace and artistry, making it
In truth, her skill demonstrates a powerful
athleticism stemming from years of honing her
craft — sometimes falling, but always getting up,
This grit-and-poise combo served Miller well during her career, which
started at OPIC, followed by Willis, then onto AXA P&C as global head
of business development, and next leadership roles at AIG. She served with
AIG as head of client engagement across 47 EMEA countries, as well as
shouldering market-facing roles in Europe, the Gulf Region, Africa and the
“I apply lessons learned on the ice in business,” Miller said.
“Fail fast, I say. You will have setbacks but learn from them and move
forward. Focus on what you do well and refine it.”
The next step for this worthy competitor? Leading AXA’s U.S. commercial
insurance business as it develops client and stakeholder partnerships, raises the
profile of multinational insurance programs and helps global clients face risks
in new or unknown territories.
“This opportunity suits AXA Group given the size and breadth of our
global network and the leading position of the U.S. market as a [foreign direct
investment] destination,” Miller said.
Important also, Miller said, is AXA’s shift to a partnership focus.
“AXA’s global ecosystems allows us to craft solutions that empower clients.
One example is AXA’s ‘Give Data Back’ data-sharing initiative that uses data as
a tool to help clients know and understand risk.”
For 2018, Miller predicts, “The U.S. commercial market will begin
to harden with a double-digit increase mainly due to an increase in the
retrocession market, which will likely drive companies to seek alternative and
enhanced modeling approaches.” — Mercedes Ott
President of Alternative Markets,
CEO designate, Zurich North
Leading Through Engagement
Zurich Insurance Group announced in
September the retirement of Mike Foley,
who served Zurich North America as CEO
since 2008. Kathleen Savio, current president
of alternative markets, assumes the role this
While Foley is leaving some pretty big shoes to fill, Savio’s reputation
precedes her: Zurich credits Savio for her dynamic community engagement.
“Helping is what we do, and community engagement and involvement
is an extension of our purpose,” she said. “We cannot underestimate the
impact we have in how our employees feel about coming to work each day.
Everyone wants to be appreciated. Even on the busiest of days, I try not to
And her community-centric attitude extends beyond the office walls.
Savio serves as chair of the Z Zurich Foundation, a $100 million-endowed
President, North American
Specialty Insurance; Global Credit
and Surety Practice Leader, QBE
Staying Ahead of Risk
Since joining QBE in 2013 as president of
specialty insurance, Jeff Grange tripled the
division’s business in an effort to establish a
national brand. Now the insurer is hoping
Grange can bring his magic to its Global
“We have to deliver products and services in a global context, but we
also have to keep an eye on the future. We need to be ready to address
risks as they emerge,” Grange said.
That effort may be hindered, though, by an aging and dwindling
insurance workforce, the rapid pace of technological change, and the
industry’s tendency to react rather than anticipate those changes.
Grange plans to tackle all three challenges.
“We combat those trends by partnering with STEM (science,
technology, engineering and mathematics) organizations. With the rise
of data analytics and the Internet of Things, the underwriter of the future
will look a lot like today’s STEM student,” Grange said.
“We’re surrounding ourselves with these young individuals who
will help us stay on the leading edge of innovation and bring a fresh
perspective to our traditional view of risk.”
Grange will also leverage QBE’s competencies in economic
“We’re looking prospectively at sector risk, credit markets, country risk
and the like,” he said.
Staying ahead of change will be critical. In 2018 and beyond, Grange
sees CAT events, political uncertainty and country risk introducing some
volatility in capacity and pricing.
The credit and surety markets, however, are currently on an upward
trend, buoyed by continuing economic recovery in the U.S. and a stock
market at its peak. — Katie Dwyer
foundation that provides local grants supporting youth, mental health and
“I’ve learned a lot about the positive impact we have on businesses and
communities,” she said. “Insurance helps people and businesses get back up
and running when faced with adversity.”
One example of such adversity would be the hurricanes that rocked the
U.S. this summer and fall.
“The immense damage from Harvey, Irma and Maria demonstrated the
importance of insurance in helping communities recover.”
Savio predicts losses from the storms could reach $100 billion, which is in
alignment with industry estimates, driving property price movement upward
in the coming months.
“Our focus is to help people and businesses be more resilient,” she added.
In her new role, Savio will be dedicated to working with Zurich’s customers
and distributors to prepare for similar events and other exposures.
“Our world is changing at a faster rate than we ever have seen before, and
it won’t bypass the insurance industry or any of the industries and businesses
that we protect,” said Savio.
“Together with my colleagues, I’m ready to lead Zurich North America
through these challenges and opportunities.” — Autumn Heisler