Airmic Talks ESG with Sean McGovern, of AXA XL

Published on Wed, 27/04/2022 - 13:05

Airmic’s monthly podcast series has returned with a focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) topic throughout the year. The first episode of Airmic Talks ESG features an interview with Sean McGovern, CEO for the UK and Lloyd’s at AXA XL.

The fiftenn-minute episode discusses how AXA XL are integrating ESG thinking into its own operational and underwriting strategies, while McGovern also highlights UK ESG Forum, which AXA XL is hosting on the 17th May.

“No single insurer or broker or indeed client can solve these issues by themselves, it has to be about collaboration,” said McGovern in reference to how (re)insurers and the marketplace can support clients on ESG transition and betterment efforts.

“It's only by sharing that experience and sharing that expertise and embracing that diversity of approach that we're going to be able to play our role as an enabler for our clients. It's because of the privileged position that the insurance industry occupies in the global economy we have an enormous role. We have an enormous opportunity to really help society face some of these key future challenges.”

You can listen to the episode below, or on any podcast platform, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify, by searching for Airmic Talks.


Integrating ESG thinking and principles into underwriting decisions and pricing has been a hot topic for insurance buyers, with some (re)insurers choosing to exit certain industries, such as thermal coal, while questions about ESG have become more central to D&O renewals as well.

“When it comes to underwriting strategy, it's very easy to say what business you won't do anymore and there is a place for that,” McGovern added. “But what's more important is how do you support clients? How do you ask the right questions and how do you provide new products and service? And how do you partner with those clients to help them on their journey?

“We are committed to working with our clients who are on a good transition path and we want to be a partner with them on that transition path. We have put together a small team for ESG in the UK and they're tasked with delivering our overall ESG strategy, including the underwriting strategy.”