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AXA in metaverse

Career path

An insurance executive with her gaze on the next horizon

Published 5 August 2022 in Career path • 4 min read

With business increasingly being conducted in the Metaverse, it is time for innovative insurers to explore and assess the business terrain, says Mirjam Bamberger (EMBA 2014) and Chief Strategic Development Officer for Europe & Latin America at AXA.

Mirjam Bamberger, Chief Strategic Development Officer for Europe & Latin America at AXA, is a firm believer in innovation. As such, she is delighted that the French insurer has taken a first step into the Metaverse. It is a move that, she says, will help the organization to respond to customer needs as they evolve in the virtual space.

“AXA’s DNA as an insurer is intrinsically forward-looking, and as such we have been closely watching the advent of a Metaverse. We are excited to be the first French insurance company to acquire a virtual presence on Sandbox territory, a virtual environment in the Metaverse where users may create, control and sell their game experiences using SAND, the platform’s utility token. From an innovator’s point of view, there is no doubt that we must enter a blockchain-powered future in the context of Web 3.0,” she said.

Once the province of gamers, the Metaverse is fast evolving into a virtual space where increasing numbers of businesses are planting their flags. From luxury fashion brands, such as Gucci to celebrity figures, such as Snoop Doggy Dogg, organizations and individuals are making forays into the Sandbox territory in order to capitalize on its future growth. Everything from branded goods to virtual real estate is available for purchase and appetites have been whetted by growth projections. Bloomberg Intelligence, for example, predicts that the Metaverse could be worth $800 billion by 2024 – up from $500 billion in 2020.

Snoop dogg in the metaverse
Snoop Dogg is developing a Snoopverse where property can be sold for up to $500,000

Be your own champion

Over the past 20 years, Bamberger’s career has seen her based in China, Latin America, Europe, the US and the UK. She values the exposure she gained during this period to different executive board functions ranging from customer management and operations, to strategy, innovation, marketing communications, HR and ESG. Her present function is one she finds particularly rewarding because of its complexity and challenge.

“My current role ensures that the shareholder perspective of AXA is fully reflected across key markets of our organization. It is a highly dynamic and fast-paced function, which supports and challenges key entities to deliver their strategic plans,” she said, adding that the uncertainty of the current business terrain has added to the challenge and emphasized the need for sensemaking, reducing complexity and driving teamwork across global teams.

Rare is it to find someone whose business career has not been affected by a period of uninvited transition and Bamberger is no different. Her trajectory has been peppered with moments of uncertainty and change, and she views these as having been crucial to her personal and career development.

Mirjam Bamberger
“I stopped using the term ‘career’ a while ago [...] Today’s trajectories resemble those of founders and entrepreneurs: made of passion, hard work, and full of unexpected surprises”
- Mirjam Bamberger

“I stopped using the term ‘career’ a while ago, as it suggests a linear, well-paced path, or even a way up ‘to the top’. To me, this is an outdated belief. Today’s trajectories resemble those of founders and entrepreneurs: made of passion, hard work, and full of unexpected surprises,” she said.

It is this growth mindset that Bamberger credits as having helped her remain agile in the face of uncertainty. Her ability to embrace change, she said, has been central to her varied and rewarding trajectory.

“I feel fortunate, as I lived through many highlights shaped by serendipity. To dare is to do, and there have been intense times during M&A transactions (mergers and acquisitions) and periods of extended crisis management. With that, inflection points present themselves naturally, and you get to embrace new and complex challenges along the way,” she said.

When it comes to offering advice to the next generation of leaders, Bamberger believes fundamentally in the power of self-belief.

“You need to become your own biggest champion before anyone else. Simply stated, stay true to yourself, don’t compromise your dreams. Stay within your growth mindset. In today’s world, limiting views and beliefs become your greatest enemy.,” she said.

Growth and challenge often walk hand in hand in the business world and Bamberger’s advice is to embrace the paradox that, for her, has been crucial to success.



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