How Incoming AXA XL CEO of North America Lucy Pilko Empowers Her Team with Data Science

As the risk landscape, and the tools used to mitigate those risks, continue to evolve, Lucy Pilko, AXA XL's chief executive officer of insurance for the Americas, is poised and ready to meet those changes. 
By: | November 13, 2023

AXA XL’s Lucy Pilko knows we’re living in a brave new world. Risks are shifting as new technologies are being developed to help clients better understand how they can prepare for — and prevent — claims. Tools like generative AI are changing how companies do business.  

To be an asset to clients in this new environment, carriers can’t just underwrite risk. They have to understand what various exposures mean for a client’s business. 

As chief executive officer of insurance in the Americas for AXA XL, she’ll be doing just that. In her new role, she plans to use resources like AXA’s Digital Commercial Platform and its AXA XL Ecosystem to help clients adopt new technologies and access loss prevention services.  

“Amongst all of my Americas team, there is a genuine desire to take on the risk and risk management challenges that help our clients build more sustainable, thriving businesses,” she said.  

“First and foremost, my team’s goal will be to delve more into understanding our clients’ risk management needs. We’re not here to just provide insurance. Rather, we’re here to provide solutions that further our clients’ strategic goals — not just to help them survive but to help them thrive. To meet those needs, we’re going to need to continue to expand our offerings. We need to find the solutions that matter most, including, but not limited to, transfer of risk.” 

To do that, her team will take advantage of new technologies and harness the power of AI: “At AXA XL, we are committed to leaning into these new technologies to bring insights that add value to our client relationships,” she said. “The power of traditional and generative AI is growing faster than we can fully grasp. To take maximum advantage, we must consistently improve the ways our teams ‘collaborate’ with machines to make ourselves bionic.” 

Most importantly, Pilko will give her team the freedom it needs to develop inspired insurance and risk management solutions. She knows the company has a lot of talent; Matthew Waters, head of U.S. middle market at AXA XL, was named a 2023 Executive to Watch. She just needs to nurture her team and watch them thrive. 

Tying it all together is Pilko’s leadership philosophy. “Good leadership is about supporting our teams, not standing in their way,” she said. 

“It’s a culture of helping. I’ve heard of so many instances where an AXA XL colleague went out of their way to help a client. An underwriting team that went the extra mile to address a complex renewal or program structure. A claims team that worked through a holiday to help a client navigate through a data breach. I’m excited to be part of such a culture. And I’m eager to see how we can continue to lend a hand with solutions that matter most to our clients — solutions that can help our clients be bold in their aspirations.” &

Lucy Pilko has been selected as a 2024 Risk & Insurance® Executive to Watch. To see the other executives selected this year, visit here.

Courtney DuChene is a freelance journalist based in Philadelphia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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