For other uses, see Axa (disambiguation).
"Mutual of New York" redirects here. For the baseball team, see New York Mutuals.
Société Anonyme
Traded as Euronext: CS, OTCQX: AXAHY
Industry Financial Services
Founded 1817 (1817)
Founder Claude Bébéar
Headquarters 25 avenue Matignon, 75008, Paris, France
Area served
Key people
Thomas Buberl (Chairman and CEO)
Products Life, health insurance, Property insurance, Casualty insurance and Investment management,
Revenue 98.53 billion (2015)[1]
Profit €5.61 billion (2015)[1]
AUM €1.071 trillion (2015)[1]
Total assets $965.38 billion (2016)[2]
Total equity €68.5 billion (2015)[1]
Number of employees
166,000 (2015)[3]

AXA is a French multinational insurance firm headquartered in the 8th arrondissement of Paris that engages in global insurance, investment management, and other financial services. AXA is the 1st insurance brand worldwide for the 8th consecutive year, with a brand value growing 14% in 2016. The AXA Group operates primarily in Western Europe, North America, the Asia Pacific region, and the Middle East, with presence also in Africa. AXA is a conglomerate of independently run businesses, operated according to the laws and regulations of many different countries. The company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.[4]

According to a 2011 paper by Vitali et al., AXA was the second most powerful transnational corporation in terms of ownership and thus corporate control over global financial stability and market competition with Barclays and State Street Corporation taking the 1st and 3rd position, respectively.[5][6]


The company was originally founded in 1816 as Mutuelle de L'assurance contre L'incendie (the Ancienne Mutuelle).[7] It acquired Compagnie Parisienne de Garantie in 1978 and became Mutuelles Unies.[8] It went on to buy the Drouot Group in 1982, becoming Mutuelles Unies/Drouot. It adopted the AXA name in 1985.[8] The takeover of the American insurance company The Equitable, came in 1991.[8] It bought Union des Assurances De Paris (UAP), France's largest insurer, in 1996 becoming AXA-UAP for a while before reverting to the name AXA in 1999.[9] Then in February 1999 AXA acquired Guardian Royal Exchange.[10] In May 2000 AXA acquired all shares it did not already own in Sun Life & Provincial Holdings.[11] On 14 June 2006 AXA acquired the leading Swiss insurance company Winterthur Group from Credit Suisse for approximately €9 billion.[12]

During May 2016 it announced it was to stop investing in tobacco shares and bonds and allow its portfolio of tobacco-related bonds to run off.[13]

The AXA name

Despite being written in upper case, "AXA" is not an acronym, but was chosen because its name can be pronounced easily by people who speak any language. After acquiring the Drouot Group in 1982, Chairman and CEO Claude Bébéar hired an outside consultant to conduct a computer-aided search for a new name. Bébéar wanted a short and snappy name to convey vitality and could be pronounced the same way in every language, consistent with the group's desire for an international presence. Initially, "Elan" was the top choice, but Canadian executives balked because "elan" is the French word for a moose or elk. In 1985, Bébéar chose the name AXA.[14]

Axa Group global locations


In the United Kingdom

AXA trades in the United Kingdom as AXA UK using a number of subsidiaries such as AXA Sun Life, AXA Insurance, AXA Investment Managers, AXA Wealth and AXA PPP Healthcare. AXA PPP Healthcare was created when AXA bought Guardian Royal Exchange (GRE), though it subsequently sold the other parts of GRE to Aegon. The company also owns the online insurer Swiftcover, distribution business Bluefin and fund manager Architas. In January 2007 AXA was reorganised into "strategic business units" (SBU's) aimed at competing within their specific markets.

In September 2013, AXA Wealth was fined £1.8m by the FCA for failing to ensure it gave suitable investment advice to its customers. The regulator says it found “serious defects” in the way AXA advisers in Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and the West Bromwich Building Society advised customers on investments.[15]

AXA run its investment branch through AXA Investment Managers (IM).

AXA Sun Life

AXA Sun Life was created following the merger between AXA Equity & Law and Sun Life Assurance Society PLC. In 2006 Winterthur Life in the UK was absorbed although AXA continue to use the Winterthur brand for high-net-worth wealth management business. The business units are:[16]

AXA sold AXA Sun Life Holdings Ltd to Resolution Limited in autumn 2010,[18][19] whilst retaining AXA Wealth (including Architas and the Elevate wrap platform), SunLife and Bancassurance business units. Closure of the Bancassurance arm was announced in April 2013.[20]

AXA PPP healthcare

AXA PPP healthcare is a UK private medical insurance provider.

AXA PPP healthcare was originally known as The London Association of Hospital Services, which was set up in 1938 as a private healthcare scheme for people of middle income in London.

The company has its headquarters in the town of Tunbridge Wells in Kent, England, and is the town’s largest private sector employer. AXA PPP healthcare provides individual private medical insurance for individuals and business as well as employee assistance programmes.

In 2009, AXA PPP International was created, catering for the expatriate health cover market.

On the Isle of Man

AXA Isle of Man Limited was originally created as a subsidiary of AXA Sun Life in the United Kingdom, but since the Isle of Man is not a part of the United Kingdom it is regulated instead by the laws of the Isle of Man. AXA Isle of Man Limited advertises itself as a repository for citizens of the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands who seek to shelter their assets from taxation.

While the company trades upon the AXA logo, name and group advertising which promotes the total wealth of the group, the assets of the Isle of Man company are limited to those of the Isle of Man company itself.

AXA Schengen

AXA Schengen Travel Insurance provides insurance to travelers who need a visa to enter the Schengen Area.

In Canada

AXA Canada offers insurance services through a network of affiliates operating in the different Canadian regions such as Quebec, Ontario, Western Canada and Atlantic Canada. In 2009, the company had a total of approximately 2,300 employees and 4000 brokers and advisors. The head office is in Montreal, Quebec. In 2011, AXA's Canadian operations were acquired by Intact Financial Corp. for C$2.6 billion.[21]

In the United States

The American arm of AXA is AXA Financial, inc., which is known mainly through its subsidiaries such as AXA Advisors, LLC, AXA Equitable Life Insurance, AXA Network, MONY (former Mutual of New York), US Financial Life, and AllianceBernstein.[22] The Equitable was acquired in 1991; MONY was acquired in 2004.[23][24]

On December 15, 2006, AXA Advisors, LLC entered into agreements with LPL (Linsco Private Ledger), the country's largest independent broker-dealer. LPL agreed to provide brokerage, clearing and custody services on a fully disclosed basis. The terms of the agreements are five years, subject to additional 24-month extensions. Services began in August 2007.

In Gulf and Middle East

AXA is present in GCC countries as AXA Insurance (Gulf) B.S.C. Present in the region for more than 60 years, AXA is the largest insurer in the GCC with branches across Bahrain, Oman, UAE and Qatar. In Saudi Arabia AXA is known as AXA Cooperative Insurance. It offers insurance for individuals and businesses with Health, Motor, Home, Travel, Personal and Group Accident, Fire, Engineering, Life and various other products.[25]

AXA is present in Lebanon as AXA Middle East. In 2000, AXA group acquired 51% of SLF’ capital and the Nasnas & Hanemoglou’s Group the remaining 49% to start the operations in Middle East.

AXA has also started operations in Egypt in the year 2015, targeting to offer Life, Health and Property & Casualty insurance covers to individuals, SMEs and corporate clients and leverage the strength of its global presence.[26]

In Mexico

In July 2008, AXA acquired ING Insurance Mexico, offering essentially the same services that ING offered. AXA then sued an ING Groep NV subsidiary over alleged misrepresentations in the $1.5 billion sale stating it suffered “tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars in damages.”[27]

In Asia Pacific

AXA Asia - Based in Hong Kong, AXA Asia is the Regional Office of AXA in Asia, with operating businesses across Life Insurance in 8 markets (Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, India, Thailand, and the Philippines) and General Insurance in 7 markets (Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, India and Thailand)

They have joint ventures in the following countries:

Indonesia's operation is very unique. Beside having two joint ventures in life and general with Bank Mandiri, AXA also has direct business without strategic joint venture in life (as AXA Financial Indonesia and AXA Life Indonesia) and general (as Asuransi AXA Indonesia).

In Africa

In April 2016 AXA unveiled a joint venture with Lloyd's of London insurer Chaucer Holdings to enter the growing market of speciality insurance in Africa. Since 2014 AXA has made several acquisitions of other insurers in an attempt to expand. AXA already operates in Cameroon, Egypt, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Algeria.[28]

Capital ownership

Capital Ownership as of December 31, 2010[29]


AXA headquarters is located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.[30] AXA, which already owned 23 Avenue Matignon, acquired the former Hotel de La Vaupalière, an 18th-century building, in the late 1990s. Architect Ricardo Bofill integrated the facade of the hotel with a modern glass building that covers the courtyard that the hotel also occupies. The complex serves as AXA's head office.[31]


Besides its artistic and social philanthropic initiatives (AXA Heart in action),[32] AXA created the AXA Research Fund in 2008. Endowed with €100 million, it provides support for research focused on understanding and preventing the risks threatening the environment, human life and society.[33]

256 basic-research projects were funded within three years, including 230 young researchers, PhDs or in postdoctoral year, working in laboratories all around the world. AXA also gathers every year the young fellows to meet a world-class researcher, exchange best practices and network.

The Fund has also awarded 11 endowments for several million euros supporting research institutions of excellence (HEC Paris, NUS, University of Bristol, LSE, MetOffice, INSERM, IHES...). These Research and Education Chairs intend to attract the best scientists. For example, the AXA - Polytechnique Chair in Cellular Cardiovascular Engineering,[34] held by Abdul Barakat, aims to promote research on cardiovascular diseases, but also to train and develop young researchers through extended educational programs.

The 256 research projects funded as of today are implemented in 22 countries with researchers of 42 different nationalities. The Scientific Board is chaired by Ezra Suleiman and composed of eminent members of the academic world and AXA Group representatives Pascale Cossart, Brian Hoskins, José Scheinkman, member of the Scientific Board and James Vaupel.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). AXA. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  3. "Key Figures". AXA. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  4. "Börse Frankfurt (Frankfurt Stock Exchange): Stock market quotes, charts and news".
  6. Stefania Vitali; James B. Glattfelder; Stefano Battiston (October 26, 2011). "The Network of Global Corporate Control". PLOS. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025995.
  7. "Axa Isle of Man: History". 1996-11-12. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  8. 1 2 3 "milestones". Axa. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  9. Axa to buy UAP International Herald Tribune, 13 November 1996
  10. Axa of France to buy Guardian of Britain New York Times, 2 February 1999
  11. Sun Life Stock soars as Axa ups bid to £24bn for remaining stake Independent, 3 May 2000
  12. Axa buys Swiss rival Winterthur BBC News, 14 June 2006
  13. "AXA stops investing in tobacco shares and bonds -". 23 May 2016.
  14. "The AXA brand". Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  15. "Axa Wealth fined £1.8m for investment advice failings".
  16. Press releases – 2006 – AXA reorganises to build a more customer focused organisation Archived August 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. "". 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  18. Phillips, Liz; Morris, Sylvia (30 June 2010). "Three million Axa savers sold to zombie fund guru". Daily Mail. London.
  20. "AXA Newsroom - AXA UK".
  21. Rocha, Euan (31 May 2011). "Intact to acquire AXA's Canadian arm for C$2.6 billion". Reuters.
  22. "About Us: AXA Group".
  23. Malkin, Lawrence; Neher, Jacques (1991-07-19). "French Insurer To Put $1 Billion Into Equitable: Axa Buys Stake in U.S. Firm". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
  24. Norris, Floyd (2004-05-19). "AXA wins bitter fight for MONY". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
  25. "AXA Gulf - The largest non-life international insurer in the region".
  26. Gulf, AXA. "About AXA".
  27. Freifeld, Karen (November 29, 2010). "Axa Sues ING Over $1.5 Billion Mexican Company Sale". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  28. "AXA SA". Plunkett Research. Plunkett Research. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  29. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-15. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
  30. "AXA - F.A.Q.". AXA - F.A.Q. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
  31. "Axa allie patrimoine et modernité." Le Journal du Net. Retrieved on 7 July 2010.
  32. "". Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  33. "AXA and CARE team up for risk prevention education". AXA Group. Prevention Web. April 18, 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  34. "". Retrieved 2012-12-20.

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