AXA PPP International has established a dedicated health insurance operation in Asia as it ramps up its distribution capability in the region.
It has teamed up with AXA Asia General Insurance in a partnership that will target Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and China, where AXA already has a presence in both the life and general insurance markets.
Laurent Pochat-Cottilloux, formerly commercial director of Standard Life Healthcare (acquired by Discovery earlier this year), will be health managing director for Asia, reporting to both Andrew Coombs, managing director of AXA PPP International and Victor Kuk, CEO of Greater China and South East Asia.
Roger Kelly will take up the role of sales director, having previously served as the International business' new business director.
Coombs said that the new venture would primarily target local markets but that this would be "inextricably linked" to improving AXA PPP International's proposition for global corporates seeking to cover both expatriate employees and local national employees.
"The true prize is bringing the two things together," he said. "Not only providing expatriate cover if they want that but also providing a local market proposition for local employees. The message we hear from global corporates is that it's no longer good enough to buy a UK private medical insurance scheme and cover expatriates. They want to buy that but also cover, say, 15,000 employees in India. They want much more of a holistic solution."
While the Asian operation will initially build relationships with local, regional brokers, Coombs confirmed that it would also look to work with UK-based brokers while acknowledging the legal and regulatory challenges to doing so.
He predicted that the proportion of AXA's revenues generated by healthcare would grow in the coming years as macroeconomic factors pushed up demand for healthcare solutions and the organisation sought to capitalise on its market presence and expertise in the healthcare market.