Axis Wholesale doubles down on E&S sector and eyes lower mid-market growth

The launch of Axis Capital’s dedicated wholesale division represents a doubling down on a sector that has seen consistent strong growth in recent years, according to Carlton Maner.

Maner, CEO of Axis Wholesale, was talking to The Insurer TV during the WSIA Annual Marketplace 2023 in San Diego, just after AM Best released a report on the sector that showed 19 percent growth in direct premiums written last year to just under $100bn.

“It looks like [the sector is] going to grow double digits in ’23. And it has grown 183 percent since 2011. So there's great opportunities in the wholesale marketplace. And that … is why we're doubling down in this space,” said Maner.

The executive described current market conditions as “totally unprecedented”.

“The need for capacity is at an all-time high. Loss trends over the years have pushed up that need for capacity and put a squeeze on limits and coverages. Going forward, we at Axis, we've always been committed to being consistent in the marketplace.

“So no matter what’s going on in the marketplace, you can find consistency from Axis underwriters, in how we approach the business and how we tailor the product to the needs of our customers,” he continued.

Axis Wholesale’s launch in 2022 was accompanied by a series of new products and services. Maner said those include a new D&O department, a cyber miscellaneous professional liability unit and an inland marine business, all dedicated to serving only the wholesale marketplace.

“We've also doubled down on resources in the lower middle market segment of the business where we think it's a fast-growing segment of the business. And we want to write more of that business going forward,” said Maner.

The goal, he added, is to respond to specific needs.

“The reaction from the brokers has been very, very positive. They see us as a full-service carrier providing the products that they need for their customers,” said Maner.

Looking ahead to 2024, Maner said the firm is searching for ways to take care of any dislocation that brokers find in the marketplace. Axis Wholesale will also work to “better align” with brokers, the executive added.

Watch the interview with Axis Wholesale CEO Carlton Maner to hear more on:

  • Axis Wholesale ready to meet unprecedented demand in the fast-growing sector
  • The firm rolled out new products and services to accommodate recent double digit growth in the wholesale marketplace
  • Company also targeting “lower middle market segment of the business”, where it anticipates the fastest growth
  • Carrier is focused on taking care of any dislocations that brokers find in the marketplace