AXA's specialist to develop sector

Life office AXA Equity & Law has appointed Vanessa Carver as national accounts manager with sole responsibility for developing business within the legal profession.

Carver returns to AXA after several years previously spent with the life office.

Graeme Laws, who heads AXA's marketing to the IFA sector, says: "Being a company originally founded by lawyers for lawyers, I think it's appropriate to have someone who has no function other than to understand what kind of support lawyers are looking for and to try and respond to that."

The appointment follows signs from other life offices that they too are looking closely at the concept of dedicated specific staff or even departments to the legal sector.

In March, Legal & General was considering setting up a department dedicated specifically to the legal and accountancy professional sectors.

Laws agrees more product providers are looking closely at the sector, but says it is too early to say how Carver's appointment will affect AXA's dealings with the profession.

"The real significance of legal practices to product providers has come with more solicitors establishing in-house financial services divisions and doing their own thing," says Laws. "We have just come to the conclusion that it's a good idea to have someone on the case, looking at the sector and deciding how best to deal with this marketplace."