Bermuda-based specialty lines insurance and treaty reinsurance provider AXIS Capital Holdings has appointed John Nichols as CEO of AXIS Re, effective 2 April 2012.

Nichols will assume responsibility for the leadership and management of all reinsurance business units and will also serve as a member of AXIS Capital’s Executive Committee.

At RenaissanceRe, Nichols was responsible for the formation of DaVinci Reinsurance and Top Layer Reinsurance, as well as several sidecars and other ventures.

Nichols, who will report to AXIS Capital president and CEO, retired as an executive vice president for RenaissanceRe Holdings in 2010 prior to joining AXIS. He also worked for Hartford Steam Boiler, Monarch Capital and the accounting firm of Matson, Driscoll and D’Amico.

AXIS Capital CEO John Charman said that Nichols will leverage AXIS Re’s existing strengths and further develop its capabilities, as well as those of our global franchise.