AXA XL Adds Three to US Commercial Errors and Omissions Team

An organization chart showing CEO, Executive Assistant, and Vice President, with the rest of the chart blurred.

June 15, 2022 |

An organization chart showing CEO, Executive Assistant, and Vice President, with the rest of the chart blurred.

AXA XL has added to its US commercial errors and omissions (E&O) team, bringing on Melissa Sowa as senior vice president, underwriting manager, miscellaneous professional liability; John C. Birkhofer as vice president, senior underwriter, professional liability; and Michelle Anderson as E&O senior underwriter and program manager.

Ms. Sowa joins AXA XL from AXIS Capital, where she most recently managed several property-casualty programs. Prior to her most recent position, she managed a book of lawyers' professional liability business. Ms. Sowa's 20-year insurance career also includes time with Alliant Insurance Services, Marsh, and Liberty Mutual. In her new role, she will manage the miscellaneous professional liability group for AXA XL.

Mr. Birkhofer also brings more than 20 years of underwriting experience to AXA XL, gathered in underwriting and management positions at Chubb, Lexington Insurance, Markel Insurance, ANV Global Services, and Hallmark Financial. In his new AXA XL role, he will be underwriting a portfolio of lawyers and miscellaneous professional liability.

Ms. Anderson joins AXA XL from Argo Group, where she served as a program manager for US commercial programs. Her career includes tenure with QBE North America in both E&O underwriting and claims management, and various law firms as an insurance defense counsel. In her new role at AXA XL, she joins AXA XL's commercial E&O programs team, led by Head of Professional Program Frank Palermo.

"Michelle brings impressive underwriting and program management experience to our team," Mr. Palermo said in a statement. "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."

"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," Mike Takigawa, AXA XL's head of commercial E&O, said in the statement. "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 in our continued commitment to provide quality, relevant E&O coverages and guidance."

June 15, 2022