AXA XL bolsters commercial E&O team


AXA XL has announced that it has bolstered its commercial errors and omissions insurance team in the US with three new appointments. Melissa Sowa has been named senior vice president and underwriting manager for miscellaneous professional liability. John C. Birkhofer has been named vice president and senior underwriter, professional liability. Michelle Anderson has been appointed E&O senior underwriter and program manager.

Sowa joins AXA XL from AXIS Capital, where she most recently managed several property and casualty programs. Prior to that, she managed a book of lawyers’ professional liability business. Sowa has also held roles at Alliant Insurance Services, Marsh, and Liberty Mutual. She has 20 years of industry experience.

Birkhofer has more than 20 years of underwriting experience. He has held positions at Chubb, Lexington Insurance, Markel Insurance, ANV Global Services and Hallmark Financial. In his new role, he will underwrite a portfolio of lawyers and miscellaneous professional liability.

Anderson joins AXA XL from Argo Group, where she served as a program manager for US commercial programs. She also held positions at QBE North America in both E&O underwriting and claims management, and various law firms as an insurance defense counsel. In her new role, Anderson joins AXA XL’s commercial E&O programs team, led by Frank Palermo, head of professional programs.

“Michelle brings impressive underwriting and program management experience to our team,” Palermo said. “Given the diversity of our professional liability program business, Michelle’s experience in underwriting and claims will be invaluable as we continue to grow our program business.”

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“Despite best efforts, professional service providers run the risk of making an error or overlooking something that could lead to a claim or lawsuit that could impact a business’s financial security, reputation, and client relationships,” said Mike Takigawa, head of commercial E&O at AXA XL. “There’s a lot at stake for our clients. That’s why attracting seasoned professional liability underwriting talent like Melissa, Michelle and John is so important to our continued commitment to provide quality, relevant E&O coverages and guidance. ”

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