Director, Strategic Initiatives Group

Location NEW YORK, United States
Experience level Experienced Hire
Job details sector Operational Excellence
Apply before Date not available
In this highly visible role you will have the opportunity to help develop the long-range plans for AXA US; drive efforts to improve efficiency and productivity of the organization; and partner with senior leaders to identify, evaluate, prioritize and deliver strategic initiatives across the business. 
Typical projects span:
  • classic strategy (including formal problem solving; analytics; annual strategy planning; board of director presentations, etc.), 
  • new business development (including evaluating new market and product/service ideas; business case development; market entry scenarios; M&A, JVs and strategic partnership opportunities, etc.), 
  • process management (including efficiency evaluations; process improvement recommendations; and might involve project managing initiative implementations, etc.) 
The team is heavily focused on talent development and has produced a significant portion of the company’s senior leadership over the past 10 years. SIG Directors play an important role in developing the bench strength of the entire SIG team, and usually have an interest in and experience with coaching and developing high potential junior team members. The expectation for most members of the SIG team is to spend 24 to 36 months in the group and, at a mutually beneficial time, move into an operating position in one of AXA US’ businesses or support function areas based upon level of engagement, interest and success in executing the area's strategic goals.
Key Responsibilities include:
  • Identify, assess, and evaluate new business opportunities, including new market and product/service ideas; and identify, analyze and compare alternative opportunities for entering new markets and adopting new technologies 
  • Act as an independent resource to drive efforts that improve efficiency and productivity of the organization and provide problem solving support to at-risk or under-resourced areas
  • Develop the organization's strategic plan(s) to ensure its continued successful growth and profitability. May include coordinating input from all major business units to facilitate the integration of individual business unit plans with the corporate plan.
  • Manage work streams (typically 1 large or 2 smaller projects at a time) and project team to identify issues, structure problems and generate actionable recommendations using formal problem solving frameworks and critical thinking 
  • Determine analytical needs for project or work stream, and guide the project team to gather required data and identify most appropriate quantitative and qualitative analysis tools
  • Lead development of business cases in partnership with business area leaders and stakeholders to generate senior management support for strategic initiatives (e.g., rationale for effort, size of opportunity, specific action steps, financial impact, implementation plan, etc.)
  • Manage the creation and delivery of presentations to senior management, including guiding the team to deliver very clear, structured and sometimes persuasive messaging (e.g., help others understand message or position, and effectively advocate perspectives or solutions) 
  • Execute on all phases of complex projects including source and manage required resources, often outside of the SIG team
  • Effectively respond to project shifts as new facts are uncovered and help the working team pivot and manage such changes accordingly; understand how such change impacts other SIG projects and work with SIG leadership team to align SIG and company initiatives accordingly 
  • Be an active and eager member of the SIG leadership team; lead by example in inspiring a high performance culture; provide timely coaching / feedback to project team members and direct reports; generate team interest in working with oneself; effectively motivate and get the ‘best performance from others

SIG operates in a fast-paced environment that requires the ability to manage multiple, complex assignments and competing priorities. Candidates must be comfortable working in an ambiguous environment and must be willing to support various projects, often simultaneously.
  • 8+ years’ experience working with large corporation(s) either as a consultant working with client teams or in an internal strategy or business partner role building relationships with business owners and senior managers 
  • Education Requirements: BA / BS required. MBA or other advanced degree a plus 
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills, with demonstrated ability to analyze and solve complex problems and drive change
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with all levels of the organization, including senior management 
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability develop and deliver presentations that synthesize complex problems and recommended solutions 
  • Experience managing high performing talent and their professional development
  • Excellent prioritization skills with a clear focus on results
  • Strong analytical skills (including financial modeling to support business cases, valuations, etc.) 
  • Project management experience, particularly on large, complex initiatives with multiple, cross-functional stakeholders
  • Knowledge of the financial services industry 
  • Insurance/Financial licenses, six sigma, project management, CPA, CFA, actuarial certifications a plus

NOTE: AXA participates in the E-Verify program.
In addition to competitive compensation and an outstanding benefits package including 401 (k) and medical programs, we offer the opportunity for continued professional development in a congenial corporate environment.
AXA is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to our employees, applicants and candidates based on individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, mental or physical disabilities, sexual orientation, veteran status, genetic information or any other class protected by federal, state and local laws.

AXA is a leading financial protection company, committed to fostering and maintaining a diverse, multicultural and inclusive environment, and one of the nation’s premier providers of life insurance and annuity products. The organization was established in 1859 and we are committed now more than ever to helping clients meet financial goals in all stages of their lives. One of the hallmarks of our proud heritage is providing world-class customer service.

We're always looking for smart and talented people to help us develop new and innovative ways to expand our product portfolio, reach new customers and serve well the clients already a part of the AXA family.

Department Description

The Strategic Initiatives Group (SIG) is responsible for developing initiatives that will drive profitable growth and performance across AXA US. The group reports to the CEO of the company and owns both corporate strategy and new business development in partnership with each business and support function area.