Industry News

Axis Underwriting appoints Ivan Verescuk as Managing Director as Gary Dawson steps down

After an amazing 22 years at the helm, industry stalwart Gary Dawson has announced he will be stepping down as Managing Director and CEO on 1 July 2021, with Ivan Verescuk assuming his position.

Axis was established in 1999 by Gary, as a business unit of Whitbread Insurance Group and both businesses were acquired by Steadfast in 2017. Under his astute strategic and operational leadership Axis has flourished into a significant underwriting agency. Gary has long been regarded as one of the foremost commercial property underwriters in the Australian market. Excellent underwriting results have cemented strong, enduring relationships with the agency’s security providers, Lloyd’s, HDI and AXA XL.

Gary’s wealth of experience and expertise will not be lost from Axis and the market. He will continue with the business for the next 12 months as Executive Director, ensuring a seamless transition.

Ivan Verescuk has more than 20 years experience working in the insurance industry and has been with Axis for seven years as General Manager. During this time, he has made a strong contribution to the business where has he established, managed and delivered all aspects of the Axis residential strata; claims and administration functions.

Additionally, Ivan has also been acting as an “understudy” to Gary in the commercial property segment. With his experience and with Gary’s counsel, the Board believes the business will continue to flourish, serving the interests of all stakeholders in the positive manner to which we have become accustomed.

On behalf of the Board, I offer sincere thanks to Gary for his many years of outstanding service and his significant achievements. His is a legacy which will never be forgotten. And I offer my congratulations and best wishes to Ivan as he assumes the role of Managing Director & CEO.

Gary Gribbin

Farewell Willem de Graaf

After 10 and a half years with Axis Underwriting and an insurance career spanning an impressive 46 years, we wish to inform you that Willem de Graaf is retiring. His last day with Axis is this Friday 4th September.

Willem commenced at Axis in February 2010, where he was appointed to take on the opening and management of our Queensland branch. Since this time he has been fundamental to our success, growing the Queensland business to represent a third of Axis’ commercial portfolio.

Taking the reins from Willem is Sandy Newton. Sandy joined the Axis team in September, 2017 and we couldn’t think of a better individual to continue growing our presence in the Queensland market. Congratulations to Sandy on her promotion to Manager – QLD, we know you will be fabulous in this position.

So before Willem sails off into the sunset (as pictured below), please join us in thanking him for being such an integral part of the Axis team. His sense of humour will be greatly missed! Be sure to look out for Willem on the high seas as he spends a little more time doing the other things he loves – that strangely don’t include insurance!

Best wishes Willem,

The Axis Team










By |Axis, Industry News, People|September 1, 2020

Important Announcement

We are delighted to inform you that with effect from 8 December 2017, Steadfast will acquire Axis Underwriting Services Pty Ltd (“Axis”).

This recognises the excellent reputation of Axis and the services we have been providing to you and many other partners since 1999.

Axis has established strong and valued relationships with our partners over many years. This change allows us to expand services and ultimately the value that we bring to you by combining Steadfast’s strength and network, both domestically and internationally, with our expertise. Steadfast’s investment recognises the strong brand which has been built, and the quality of the Axis management team and employees.

Axis has been a Steadfast Partner since 2009, meaning we already have a strong working relationship on which to build. In addition, Steadfast Group and Axis are strategically and culturally aligned, and we look forward to working closer together to grow the businesses.

There will be NO CHANGE in our day-to-day activities, and it will be BUSINESS AS USUAL.

  1. The name, address, telephone and other contact details will remain unchanged.
  2. There will be no change in the familiar persons with which you have been dealing over many years.
  3. The company will continue to be led by:

Gary Dawson      Managing Director
Ivan Verescuk     General Manager

We assure you, our valued partner, that we are dedicated to continuing to service your insurance needs in the professional and valued way to which you have become accustomed.

We are very excited about the future, in the firm belief that, with Steadfast, we will not only continue to deliver a high level of service, but will also enhance the insurance support with which you are so familiar.

Please feel free to contact the Axis management team if you have any queries.



The Steadfast Group

In 1996, 43 independently owned insurance brokers joined forces in the belief that quality advice and service were paramount in the Insurance Industry and Steadfast was born. Today they are the largest general insurance broker network in Australasia with more than 360 brokerages and more than 1,300 offices.

They are an ASX 200 Listed company, a market leader in the industry and an innovator in insurance broking and underwriting agencies. As at 1 December 2017, their market capitalization is in excess of A$2.1 billion. For more information please visit

Award winning property insurance – 2 years in a row!

Axis are excited and honoured to announce that we are the recipient of the Gold Medal in the Property Category of the Insurance Business Brokers on Underwriting Agencies 2017 Survey – for the second year running!

We would like to take this opportunity to extend a huge thank you to each and every one of our broker clients for your continued support. You have been instrumental in the success Axis has built throughout our 17 years in operation.

Axis Underwriting takes pride in providing stable, consistent and reliable underwriting solutions for Australian insurance brokers. These core principles are integral to our brand, and we look forward to upholding them well into the future.

For more information on our award winning Property Insurance products, please click here.

To view our full risk appetite, please click here.

New Axis Appointment – Manager, NSW


Axis are excited to announce the appointment of our new Manager – NSW, Andrew Mitchell. Andrew is heading up the Axis team in NSW, and is responsible for managing relationships with our NSW and ACT brokers.

Prior to joining Axis, Andrew was the Production and Risk Manager – NSW at Acerta. Andrew is a technical property underwriting specialist, with over 25 years of experience both in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Andrew is replacing Emily Walker, who will now transition to her new role within Axis as National Development Manager.

New Appointment: Axis National Development Manager

Axis Underwriting are very pleased to announce the appointment of Emily Walker to the newly created role of National Development Manager. Emily commenced with Axis Underwriting in 2011, and since then, has played a fundamental role in the growing success of the organisation.

In her new position, Emily will be responsible for the development of broker relationships nationally, including key partnerships, cluster groups, and networks, which all contribute significantly to Axis’ business. The role will also involve coordination of development activities – exhibiting at Conferences and Underwriting Expos.

Emily will transition from her current role as Manager, NSW when a replacement is named for that position.

Changes to the NSW Emergency Services Levy

On 30 May, 2017 the NSW Government announced it will defer the introduction of the Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL). The deferral of the reform (planned for 1 July 2017) will impact the removal of ESL from insurance premiums and the role of the Insurance Monitor.

The Emergency Services Levy or ESL, referred to in our documents as the Fire Services Levy or FSL, goes towards funding the fire and rescue emergency services in NSW.  This levy is charged by insurers and paid to the NSW State Government.

Insurance companies are required to contribute almost ¾ of the total budget for these services in NSW each financial year. Like other insurers, we reclaim this amount by charging an ESL on insurance policy premiums.

On 22 June 2017, The NSW Parliament passed the Emergency Services Levy Bill 2017, which requires insurers to collect the ESL on insurance premiums in the financial year commencing 1 July 2017. The bill has now passed into law and as a result Axis Underwriting Services will again be collecting ESL rates on applicable classes of policies in NSW from 01 August, 2017 (Residential Strata) and 16 August, 2017 (all other policies).

If you require further information, please contact us on (03) 8660 7000 or email us at




We have determined that the ESL charges should be revised and the following new rates will be effective from the dates shown:-

Product Current New
Residential Strata
New covers & renewals – 01 June 2017
0.0% 0.0%
Fire / ISR / Consequential Loss / Commercial Strata 15.0% 0.0%
Bed & Breakfast
New covers & renewals – 01 June 2017
15.0% 0.0%



We have determined that the ESL charges should be revised and the following new rates will be effective from the dates shown:-

Residential Strata
New Covers & Renewals – 20 February 2017
20.0% 16.0%
Fire/ ISR/ Consequential Loss/ Commercial Strata
Bed & Breakfast
New Covers – 01 March 2017 | Renewals 20 March 2017


Changes to the New South Wales Emergency Services Levy

Important Notice

The New South Wales Government has passed legislation to abolish the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) – known also as Fire Services Levy (FSL) – from insurance premiums with effect from 1 July 2017 and replace it with a property-based levy as part of council rates creating a fairer system for all.

On 22 July 2016, under Section 30 of NSW Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor Act 2016, the NSW Emergency Services Levy Monitor published the following notice in the NSW Government Gazette.

It is a requirement for all insurers (and those acting on an insurers behalf) that this notice be issued with all quotes and renewals where a NSW ESL charge applies.

The Fire Services Levy (ESL) component of insurance premiums relates to the financial year the policy was taken out and not to the policy period, however, insurers are still required to meet their full ESL obligations for the 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 financial year.

To ensure we can meet our collection obligations, we have determined that the ESL charges should be revised and the following new rates will be effective for new covers from 15 January 2017 and renewals from 15 February 2017.


Fire/ ISR/ Consequential Loss/ Commercial Strata 40.0% 30.0%
Bed & Breakfast/ Residential Strata 20.0% 20.0%


We will review these rates on a regular basis through the financial year to determine necessary adjustments with the intention of reducing the rates over the year to zero % prior to July 2017.

Please get in touch if you would like further information.

If you have any questions about how this change will impact the cost of insurance, please contact Axis Underwriting Services Pty Ltd.

If you would like further information on the insurance side of Emergency Services Levy Reform and the removal of the ESL you can contact the Monitor on  Ph: 1300 607 723   or   or

If you require further information about the property levy side of Emergency Services Levy Reform and the new ESPL, please email your enquiries to