Following Paul Evansâ€™ announcement that he was splitting AXA Insurance into two distinct business units, Unite in AXA met briefly with Steve Hardy (personal) and John Oâ€™Neill (commercial) earlier this week to hear their high level thoughts.
Whilst the inevitable cost challenge facing commercial and personal will be high on their agenda, both CEOâ€™s stated that Paul Evans had made it clear to them that redundancies had to be bottom of the list and he would not countenance getting rid of staff now and then recruiting when the business expands further down the line, a stance Unite is extremely pleased to see adopted.
We touched on the need to improve the working culture in AXA (indeed John and Steve beat us to the punch on this) and also the need to empower staff to do their jobs and remove the layers of bureaucracy and sign off that stagnates decision making within AXA which found favour with all parties.
Unite in AXA will be meeting both John and Steve again in November for a more detailed discussion on their plans. No doubt we will disagree on some details but the broad thrust of what the company want and what the union want is identical (a profitable stable business) so hopefully this initial meeting bodes well for the future.