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

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.