Bowman will join the firm later this month, and assumes overall responsibility for all of the AXA brands - including AXA Sun Life, AXA Insurance and PPP Healthcare - as well as the parent company.
She said that while AXA currently has no central retained agency, this situation will be reviewed as part of a comms audit when she starts the job.
The most senior communications position in the firm has been vacant since February last year, when incumbent Stewart Prosser left to take up the post of executive director of marketing and corporate communications at Lehman Brothers (PRWeek, 16 February 2001).
Bowman - who will oversee media relations, government affairs, investor relations and internal comms at AXA - said she will be looking to 'build on AXA's brand awareness'.
No decision on a replacement to oversee the professional and financial services division at H&K has yet been made.