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AXA S.A. is a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 global insurance group headquartered in the 8th arrondissement of Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. AXA is a conglomerate of independently run businesses, operated according to the laws and regulations of many different countries. The AXA group of companies engage in life
Life insurance
Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money upon the death of the insured person. Depending on the contract, other events such as terminal illness or critical illness may also trigger...

, health
Health insurance
Health insurance is insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses among individuals. By estimating the overall risk of health care expenses among a targeted group, an insurer can develop a routine finance structure, such as a monthly premium or payroll tax, to ensure that money is...

 and other forms of insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

, as well as investment management. The group operates primarily in Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

, North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, the Asia Pacific region, and the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...


The AXA Group encompasses five operating business segments: Life & Savings, Property & Casualty, International Insurance (including reinsurance), Asset Management and Other Financial Services. It ranks as the 9th largest company in the world (based on revenue) on the 2010 Fortune Global 500
Fortune Global 500
The Fortune Global 500 is a ranking of the top 500 corporations worldwide as measured by revenue. The list is compiled and published annually by Fortune magazine....



The company was originally founded in 1816 as Mutuelle de L'assurance contre L'incendie (the Ancienne Mutuelle). It acquired Compagnie Parisienne de Garantie in 1978 and became Mutuelles Unies. It went on to buy the Drouot Group in 1982, at which time it adopted the AXA name. The takeover of The Equitable, a well-known American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 insurer, came in 1991. It bought Union des Assurances De Paris (UAP), France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

's largest insurer, in 1996 becoming AXA-UAP for a while before reverting to the name AXA in 1999. Then in February 1999 AXA acquired Guardian Royal Exchange
Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance
Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance plc was a large British insurance company. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.-History:...

. In May 2000 AXA acquired all shares it did not already own in Sun Life & Provincial Holdings
Sun Life & Provincial Holdings
Sun Life & Provincial Holdings plc was a large British insurance company. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.-History:...

. On 14 June 2006 AXA acquired the leading Swiss insurance company Winterthur Group
Winterthur Group
AXA Winterthur is a multinational insurance company. The original company named Winterthur was founded in Winterthur, Switzerland, in 1875. Until June 2006, Winterthur was a Credit Suisse subsidiary. Now, Paris-based AXA Insurance has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Winterthur...

 from Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse
The Credit Suisse Group AG is a Swiss multinational financial services company headquartered in Zurich, with more than 250 branches in Switzerland and operations in more than 50 countries.-History:...

 for approximately €9 billion.

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, the company hired an outside consultant to conduct a computer-aided search for a new name. The selection criteria consisted of a short and snappy name to convey vitality, a name that begins with the letter A so that it would appear near the top of all lists, and something that could be pronounced easily in every language, consistent with the group's desire for an international presence. In 1985, Chairman and CEO Claude Bébéar
Claude Bébéar
Claude Bébéar is a French businessman. He is the founder and former CEO of AXA.-Biography:He graduated from the École Polytechnique. In 1996, he acquired Union des Assurances de Paris....

 chose the name AXA.

In the United Kingdom

AXA trades in the United Kingdom as AXA Sun Life, AXA Insurance, AXA Investment Managers and AXA PPP Healthcare. AXA PPP Healthcare was created when AXA bought Guardian Royal Exchange
Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance
Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance plc was a large British insurance company. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.-History:...

 (GRE), though it subsequently sold the other parts of GRE to Aegon
Aegon N.V. is one of the world’s largest life insurance and pension groups, and a strong provider of investment products. Aegon's head office is in The Hague, Netherlands...

. The company also owns the online insurer Swiftcover
Swiftcover was formed in 2005 by a group of former Churchill Insurance executives. In 2007 AXA UK acquired It is now a wholly owned subsidiary of AXA UK plc which forms part of AXA Group. It claims to be the only 100% online internet based insurance company in the UK, and that it...

, dental payment plan provider Denplan
Denplan is a UK dental payment plan specialist, with over 6,500 member dentists across the UK with more than 1.8 million patients.- Overview and history :...

, 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.

AXA run its investment branch through AXA Investment Managers (IM) which is headed by John Cook.

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:
  • AXA Wealth – This includes AXA + Winterthur's Bonds + Individual Pensions, AXA Distribution Services who offer the Elevate wrap platform and Architas.
  • Corporate Business – AXA + Winterthur's Group Pensions. AXA intend to create a "Market Leading" group pension proposition using Winterthur's 'Embassy' IT platform.
  • Protection – This business aims to market AXA's Protection Account as AXA continues to build on its presence in this area with the intention of becoming a leading protection provider.
  • Traditional Business – Concentrating on policies which are still in force but no longer actively marketed.
  • Sunlife Direct – This business focues solely on selling protection & savings products directly to those in the UK.
  • Bancassurance – This business is responsible for an advisory and sales force that sell AXAs products and propositions.

AXA sold AXA Sun Life Holdings Ltd to Resolution Limited
Resolution Limited
Resolution Limited is a Guernsey-incorporated investment vehicle which has the stated intent of forcing consolidation in the British life insurance industry...

 in autumn 2010.

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 high 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
Schengen Area
The Schengen Area comprises the territories of twenty-five European countries that have implemented the Schengen Agreement signed in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, in 1985...


In Canada

AXA Canada
AXA Canada
-History:AXA Canada was founded in 1905 as La Prévoyance insurance company. Although its head office is located in Montreal, AXA Canada has operations spread out all over Québec, Ontario, Western Canada and Atlantic Canada....

 offers insurance services through a network of affiliates operating in the different Canadian regions such as Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Western Canada
Western Canada
Western Canada, also referred to as the Western provinces and commonly as the West, is a region of Canada that includes the four provinces west of the province of Ontario.- Provinces :...

 and Atlantic Canada
Atlantic Canada
Atlantic Canada is the region of Canada comprising the four provinces located on the Atlantic coast, excluding Quebec: the three Maritime provinces – New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia – and Newfoundland and Labrador...

. In 2009, the company had a total of approximately 2,300 employees and 4000 brokers and advisors. The head office is in Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, Quebec.

In the United States

The American arm of AXA is AXA Equitable. AXA Equitable consists of many subsidiaries; AXA Advisors, LLC, AXA Network, AXA Equitable Life Insurance, Mutual of New York (MONY), US Financial Life, and AllianceBernstein
AllianceBernstein LP is a US-based, global asset management firm, owned by the French insurance conglomerate, AXA, with approximately $402 billion in assets under management, as of September 30, 2011....


On December 15 of 2006, AXA Advisors, LLC entered into agreements with LPL (Linsco Private Ledger)
LPL Financial
LPL Financial is the largest organization of independent financial advisors in the United States. LPL Financial was formed in 1989 through the merger of two brokerage firms—Linsco and Private Ledger —and has since expanded its number of independent financial advisors from a few hundred to more...

, 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 are expected to begin in August 2007.

In Mexico

In July 2008, AXA acquired ING Insurance Mexico, they are offering essentially the same services that ING offered.
The Chairman in Mexico is Xavier de Bellefon.

In Asia Pacific

AXA Life Insurance operated in the Asia Pacific region as 'AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. (AXA APH) which is the former National Mutual Life Association of Australasia founded by actuary John Montgomery Templeton The AXA Collection and was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange
Australian Securities Exchange
The Australian Securities Exchange was created by the merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange in July 2006. It is the primary stock exchange group in Australia....

. The head office of AXA APH was located in Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, Australia, and there was a major regional office in Hong Kong. AMP
AMP Limited
AMP Limited is an Australian financial corporation. It operates primarily in Australia and New Zealand. AMP formed in 1849 as the Australian Mutual Provident Society, a non-profit life insurance company. In 1998 it was demutualised and listed on the Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges...

 acquired AXA Asia Pacific in 2011; it retained AXA APH's Australia and New Zealand operations, and sold the Asia operations to AXA.

AXA Asia - Based in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, the AXA Asia Regional Office is responsible for supporting the Group's existing operations in Hong Kong, China and South East Asia, propelling its perpetual growth, and looking for new markets and business development opportunities for AXA in Asia.

AXA General Insurance operates in the Asia Pacific region as AXA Asia P&C. The head-office of AXA Asia P&C is located in Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

AXA has entered the Indian market through Bharti Enterprises
Bharti Enterprises
Bharti Enterprises is an Indian business conglomerate headquartered in New Delhi, India, operating primarily across India and in some other countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Jersey, Guernsey and Seychelles with expanding operations across Africa in Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville,...

 as a joint venture
Joint venture
A joint venture is a business agreement in which parties agree to develop, for a finite time, a new entity and new assets by contributing equity. They exercise control over the enterprise and consequently share revenues, expenses and assets...

. AXA has three ventures in India, Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company Ltd, Bharti AXA General Insurance Co. Ltd. and Bharti AXA investment Managers, and is also present in fusion with OYAK, as AXA OYAK, in the Turkish market since 1999.

The Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company
The Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company , commonly known as Metrobank. It has a diverse offering of financial services, from regular banking to insurance. Metrobank is the second largest bank in the Philippines.-History:...

 of the Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 subsequently entered into joint ventures with corporation the National Mutual Holdings Ltd. of Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 to create Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corporation.

Capital Ownership

  • U.S.A. 18.8%
  • France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

  • AXA Employees 6.5%
  • BNP Paribas
    BNP Paribas
    BNP Paribas S.A. is a global banking group, headquartered in Paris, with its second global headquarters in London. In October 2010 BNP Paribas was ranked by Bloomberg and Forbes as the largest bank and largest company in the world by assets with over $3.1 trillion. It was formed through the merger...

  • Edward L. Skyward 5.1%
  • Sumitomo Mitsui 4.0%
  • Qatar Investment Authority
    Qatar Investment Authority
    The Qatar Investment Authority is Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, specializing in domestic and foreign investment. It was founded in 2005 to manage the oil and natural gas surpluses by the Government of Qatar...


Capital Ownership at December 31, 2010

Head office

The head office of AXA is located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. 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
Ricardo Bofill
Ricardo Bofill, also Ricard Bofill Leví is a Catalan Spanish postmodernist architect.He studied at the School of Architecture in Geneva, Switzerland...

 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.

Philantropic initiatives

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

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. In addition to this support, AXA gathers every year the young fellows to meet a world-class researcher, exchange best practices and network, above any education or discipline.

The Fund has also awarded 11 endowments for several million euros supporting research institutions of excellence ( HEC Paris, NUS
National University of Singapore
The National University of Singapore is Singapore's oldest university. It is the largest university in the country in terms of student enrollment and curriculum offered....

, University of Bristol
University of Bristol
The University of Bristol is a public research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom. One of the so-called "red brick" universities, it received its Royal Charter in 1909, although its predecessor institution, University College, Bristol, had been in existence since 1876.The University is...

London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

, MetOffice
Met Office
The Met Office , is the United Kingdom's national weather service, and a trading fund of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills...

Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale is a French biomedical and public health research institution.- Medical research organisation :...

Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques
The Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques is a French institute supporting advanced research in mathematics and theoretical physics...

...). These Research and Education Chairs intend to attract the best scientists. For example, the AXA - Polytechnique Chair in Cellular Cardiovascular Engineering, 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.

Website and list of supported projects:

See also: Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

;Fundamental science
Fundamental science
Fundamental science is science that describes the most basic objects, forces, relations between them and laws governing them, such that all other phenomena may be in principle derived from them following the logic of scientific reductionism. Biology, chemistry and physics are fundamental sciences;...

; Funding of science
Funding of science
Through history, the systems of economic support for scientists and their work have been important determinants of the character and pace of scientific research. The ancient foundations of the sciences were driven by practical and religious concerns and or the pursuit of philosophy more generally...

;Pascale Cossart, member of the Scientific Board
Pascale Cossart
Pascale Cossart is an award-winning bacteriologist at the Pasteur Institute of Paris, and the foremost authority on Listeria monocytogenes, a deadly and common food-borne pathogen responsible for encephalitis, meningitis, bacteremia, gastroenteritis, and other diseases.- Biography :Cossart earned...

; José Scheinkman, member of the Scientific Board
José Scheinkman
José Alexandre Scheinkman is a Brazilian-American mathematical economist, currently the Theodore A Wells '29 Professor of Economics at Princeton University. He spent the bulk of his career at the University of Chicago, where he served as department chair immediately prior to his departure for...

; James Vaupel, member of the Scientific Board; Brian Hoskins, member of the Scientific Board
Brian Hoskins
Professor Sir Brian John Hoskins CBE FRS, is a British dynamical meteorologist and climatologist based at the Imperial College London. A mathematician by training, his research has focused on understanding atmospheric motion from the scale of fronts to that of the Earth, using a range of...

; AXA website

See also

  • AXA Private Equity
    AXA Private Equity
    AXA Private Equity is a diversified private equity firm with $ 25 billion of assets managed or advised and with an international reach across Europe, North America and Asia...

  • European Financial Services Roundtable
    European Financial Services Roundtable
    The European Financial Services Roundtable is a European organization, located in Brussels, Belgium, of financial service companies to provide a voice on policies of the European Union related to financial matters...

External links