Axis Capital Holdings, Bermuda-based global provider of specialty lines insurance, has appointed Michael Steel as executive vice president and chief risk officer, effective July 1, 2008.

Mr Steel will be based in the company’s London office. In the newly created role of chief risk officer, he will report directly to John Charman, CEO and president, and will assist him in determining and implementing the enterprise-wide risk and control framework that underpins the achievement of Axis Capital’s strategic and financial goals.

Mr Steel has over 18 years of experience in risk and capital management. Most recently, he was a director with Benfield and Benfield Advisory, where he was the global head of the Capital Markets Group, chairman of the ReMetrics team and the head of structured products.

John Charman, CEO and president of Axis Capital, said: Axis is also fortunate to have in this role someone of Mike’s caliber and experience to assist us in intelligently navigating the ongoing convergence of the insurance and capital markets. I greatly look forward to working closely with Mike in this new role.