Axis’ Tizzio: Bermuda-Lloyd’s “similarities greater than the differences”

Axis Capital CEO Vince Tizzio has underscored the group’s steadfast commitment to both Lloyd’s and Bermuda, while discussing how the individual and combined strengths of both markets play into the carrier’s growth strategy.

Tizzio sat down with The Insurer TV after participating in a session at the Bermuda Risk Summit discussing the similarities and collaboration efforts between the two markets.

“It was a terrific discussion, and it highlighted really the complementary benefits that a market like Axis sees between operating in Bermuda since its formation in 2001 and Lloyd's, since 2014,” said Tizzio.

“I think the similarities are greater than the differences,” he added. But what differences there are play into the company’s wider strategy for certain areas of the business.

“Lloyd's offers more of an ecosystem to support the broader ambition of a specialist market; while at the same time, Bermuda remains a critical decision for the Axis organisation,” he said.

Tizzio cited three reasons for this: reinsurance, ILS expertise and access to talent – with the latter being a strong factor at Lloyd’s as well.

“We operate in both geographies with talent and we can attract strong talent in both. But importantly, we find skill set differences, of course, in our primary business, which is more principally run out of our Lloyd's syndicate. So, we see great opportunities on both sides between Bermuda and the syndicate and Lloyd's.”

However, Tizzio added that the group “understands the differences in the regulatory and the capital requirements through both regimes” – something that is frequently cited as giving Bermuda ‘the edge’ in terms of being the jurisdiction of choice.

But Tizzio agreed that narratives that pit Lloyd’s and Bermuda against each other can be unhelpful.

“I think historically there was this notion around what's the best access point for customers seeking solutions to their problems,” he said. “And between the market cycles, of course, there are variables that change in the mix between coming to Bermuda, which, by the way, is only an hour and a half away from the largest specialty market in the world and North America, versus going to Lloyd's.

“So, I think the push and pull really relates to the market cycle, the availability of capacity and the practitioner they're placing their trust in matters. And I think that that's really the explanation,” he said.

Realising Axis’ potential

Tizzio also touched on the impact of the changes that have been implemented at Axis since he took the helm last May.

“We've undertaken a lot of change in the course of 2023, all aimed at realising our potential,” he said.

“And what we've said to the public is that we're elevating our capabilities, we're elevating our ambition, and we're elevating our communication around our ambition in three important ways.

“Number one, our talent. Secondly, strengthening our products and services and expanding geography and lastly, and maybe most critically, we want to be elevating our financial performance as consistently as possible. And we think the results we posted in ’23 are a good bookmark toward that ambition,” he said.

On the subject of new products and services, Tizzio alluded to Axis’ recent approval from Lloyd’s to launch Energy Transition Syndicate 2050, which will begin underwriting on 1 April 2024.

Among other recent developments at Axis was the announcement earlier this year that it would take a $425mn reserve charge.

“No CEO likes undertaking the consideration of a reserve charge,” said Tizzio.

“It was a very difficult decision, but through a lot of careful analysis, we feel very good about the outcome. We think that we've identified the challenge within our liability and professional line portfolios in both insurance and reinsurance.

“We enter 2024 with a strong balance sheet, a strong capital position, and a team that I think is quite energised,” he concluded.

Watch the full 7-minute interview with Axis’ Vince Tizzio to hear more on:

  • The benefits of operating in both Bermuda and Lloyd’s
  • What’s next for Axis following a year of change
  • Why property cat is still off the menu
  • Launching a Lloyd’s syndicate