EP 32—Gary Kaplan and Leading with Project-Centric Style

In this episode of “Tales from Around the Water Cooler,” Gary Kaplan, Leader for AXA XL's North America Construction unit, returns to the show and offers greater insight behind his Project-Centric Leadership style. Gary breaks down the steps of his Leadership, Planning and Execution Model that he practices to create change and success at AXA XL. He and Kristen also discuss values and favorite books that support their leadership essentials.


Gary Kaplan is the Leader for AXA XL North America Construction unit. Gary joined AXA XL in May 2010 to develop a new business unit solely dedicated to addressing the risk management needs of the Construction industry. Since joining AXA XL, Gary has recruited a team of construction insurance, loss control and claims specialists, each with more than 20+ years of industry experience, and built AXA XL's new North America Construction unit. Gary now leads a customer-centric team focused on building long-term relationships with contractors to clearly understand their changing business needs and to provide them with innovative products and services to help them protect their profitability, maintain a competitive edge and improve safety on the job site.

In March 2011, Gary was appointed a Managing Director for AXA XL's Leadership Council. As a Managing Director, Gary was charged with influencing and accelerating the implementation of the company’s business strategy, contributing his perspective and expertise to grow our business, take advantage of strategic opportunities and help solve the risk concerns of our clients and brokers.

Prior to his current position with AXA XL, Gary spent more than 20 years with Zurich North America Commercial, most recently as President of Construction. During his tenure at Zurich, Gary was responsible for North America Commercial's wide-ranging portfolio of operational transformation initiatives and driving the associated cultural and change management programs. Gary also held a variety of senior management positions including Chief Underwriting Officer for North America Commercial and Director of Property Lines. He was also a member of Zurich's Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

Gary’s professional career spans over 39 years primarily focused on underwriting management positions of Construction and Energy. Gary is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, holds a Construction Risk Insurance Specialist (CRIS) designation, and is also recognized for his dynamic presentations and articles on his Leadership, Planning and Execution Model, Relationship and Change Management, Communications, and the Fundamentals of Leading a Business Unit.

Get connected with Gary Kaplan and AXA XL!



Articles Link

It’s All About The Pace: Using Rapid Results Initiatives (RRIs) to Drive Change

Gary’s Book Recommendations

Rainmaking Conversations

Leading Change


Leadership Pipeline

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