For this edition, we welcome Parul Kaul-Green, Head of M&A and Innovation at AXA UK Group. Parul is responsible for Inorganic and Innovation strategy across the Group’s General Insurance, Health and Asset Management businesses. She is a member of the AXA UK Seed Fund Investment committee which invests in Fintech, Insurtech and Digital Health start-ups for the AXA Group. Parul is a member of Women in Investing and the Careers Advisory group of the CFA Institute.
What is the story of your career?
After I finished my MBA, I joined as a Management Associate at Citi Group. A few years into my career, I took a sabbatical to Masters in banking and financial economics at University of Reading (now Henley Business School). By the time I finished, it was the height of the telecom bubble, and I joined a start-up working on mobile virtual network operations. Unfortunately, that business did not live long, but I was retained by the VC which funded the company to work directly in venture capital. That is how my career as a venture capitalist began. I worked on deals in sectors including utilities, aerospace and defence. I then moved to Aviva Investors, leading asset management product, distribution and market entry strategy before focussing on corporate development. Today, I work in Innovation, open ecosystem and M&A at AXA, and I sit on the investment committee of its corporate VC fund, UK Tranche.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the exciting technological changes taking place in the insurance sector. New technologies are coming into the market and disrupting the value chain. Start-ups to tech giants are all competing in this space. I am very interested to see how it will evolve and what I can do organically, inorganically or through partnerships to bring in the right capability at the right time to maintain our position as a Fortune 500 company.
What was the most recent deal you worked on?
Last year, we acquired Aid Call, an Age UK business. It provides IoT lead emergency response systems for elderly customers. It was a move to strengthen AXA’s elder care strategy, and to move into more IoT focused support for our ageing customer base. It now operates as PPP Taking Care.
What are the challenges/ opportunities ahead for your sector?
AI technologies and the smart eco-system could significantly change financial intermediation. Insurers will have to evolve to be more of a partner to the insured rather than just the payer of claims. Opportunities to increase automation is pushing the sector to be more efficient.
What are you most looking forward to at the Corporate M&A Exchange conference?
Meeting people who are faced with similar challenges, but are from different sectors, a different company infrastructure and have a different outlook. Cross-sector expertise is very helpful as it provides a diverse range of views.
Thank you Parul, who will be speaking on the Growth Strategy Panel at the Corporate M&A Exchange on 31st October.