With more than 30 years of experience in the insurance business, Gordon Watson is one of the industry’s most accomplished talents. An energetic and creative leader, he believes strongly in the power of collaboration, diversity and innovation to drive results and to help others achieve success, a philosophy that has earned him a sterling reputation, both in Asia and globally.
As the CEO of AXA Asia, Gordon is responsible for overseeing the Group’s operations in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, while he also serves as a member of the Group’s Management Committee.
Gordon’s experience of the insurance industry is as broad as it is deep, having held a number of key senior roles at AIG/AIA spanning multiple continents and cities, including New York, London, Nairobi, Dubai, Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong. While living in Tokyo from 2008 to 2010, Gordon led the operations of AIG Life Companies for both Japan and Korea as Regional President, and was also the Global Executive Vice Chairman for Alico before it was acquired by Metlife.
In his most recent role before being appointed CEO of AXA Asia in January 2018, Gordon was the Regional CEO of AIA Group based in Hong Kong, and guided business growth in key Asia markets that ultimately resulted in AIA/AIG becoming the second largest insurer globally by market capitalisation. He also championed a range of major new initiatives ranging from health and wellness programmes to corporate partnerships.
Gordon is a driven leader outside of the insurance industry too, and he currently sits on the International Board of the Shared Value Project (SVP), serving as the Chair of SVP in Hong Kong where he works with private companies to tackle social issues. He is also on the Advisory Board at Cyberport for Fintech, is a GlobalScot, sits on the Asian Board for the Saltire Foundation and Entrepreneurial Scotland, and is a board member of the Parents’ Leadership Council for Boston College.
In addition to holding an MBA, Gordon is a Fellow of both the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Society of Marketing. Based in Hong Kong, his interests are diverse and range from oil painting to golf, while he has been married to his wife, Mona, for 25 years. Together, they have three children, Lara, Jenna and Alexander.