AXA Health appoints Heather Smith as new CEO


Authored by AXA

AXA Health has today announced the appointment of Heather Smith as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Heather will take on the role in mid-January 2024.

Heather will be joining AXA Health from Allianz where she is currently MD for Retail and responsible for providing personal lines insurance for 3.7 million customers across all major distribution channels. Heather has a diverse and extensive CV with significant experience of the insurance and health markets.

Previously, Heather spent 10 years at Aviva across both Life and General Insurance sectors in roles that moved from marketing and sales into profit & loss ownership of the Direct Insurance business line. Prior to this, she spent 13 years at Aviva Health in a number of roles that included responsibility for affinity partnerships, marketing (brand and product) and sales.

Heather succeeds Matt Vardy who has been carrying out the role on an interim basis since the departure of Tracy Garrad in March 2023.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Heather as the new CEO for AXA Health and look forward to her joining us next year.

Heather is a strong and authentic leader who has a wealth of experience developing high performing teams and delivering the best outcomes for customers in both health and insurance businesses. I’m confident that she is an excellent fit for AXA and is the right person to lead Health through the important next stage of strategy delivery.

I’d also like to offer my sincere thanks to Matt who continues to do a tremendous job as interim CEO. Matt is passionate about our Health business and will be a great support to Heather when she takes up the role.” - Tara Foley, CEO at AXA UK & Ireland

“I’m really excited to have been given the opportunity to take up the role of CEO of AXA Health and continue the excellent work being delivered by such a forward-thinking business. I hope to be able to build on these successes and work with the team to continue to grow the business together.” - Heather Smith

Heather Smith’s appointment is subject to regulatory approval.


About AXA

In July 2012 the AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary businesses came together to form a new single organisation – AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary.

The business offers brokers a more integrated and consistent approach from AXA which is focussed on their needs as a business – whatever the product. AXA Commercial Lines & Personal Intermediary provides underwriting expertise, offering a range of commercial lines and personal lines products and insurance solutions to our brokers and customers.  AXA Commercial & Personal Intermediary is part of AXA Group, a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management serving 101 million clients

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