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Axa facts for kids

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Public (Société Anonyme)
Traded as Euronext Paris: CS
CAC 40 Component
Industry Financial services
Founded 1921; 103 years ago (1921)
Headquarters Hôtel de La Vaupalière, 25 Avenue Matignon,
Area served
Key people
Thomas Buberl (CEO)
Denis Duverne
(Chairman of the Board)
Revenue Increase 83.627 billion (2023)
Operating income
Increase €6.34 billion (2023)
Increase €7.37 billion (2023)
AUM Increase €945.50 billion (2023)
Total assets Increase €644.44 billion (2023)
Total equity Increase €52.39 billion (2023)
Number of employees
113,696 (2023)
Subsidiaries Axa Bank Belgium
Axa Investment Managers
Axa XL

Axa S.A. is a French multinational insurance company headquartered in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. It also provides investment management and other financial services as part of its subsidiaries. As of 2023, it is the largest financial services company by revenue in France, and the 4th largest French company.

The Axa Group operates primarily in Western Europe, North America, the Indian Pacific region, and the Middle East, with a presence also in Africa. Axa is a conglomerate of independently run businesses, operated according to the laws and regulations of many countries. It is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index. In 2023, the company was ranked 48th in the Forbes Global 2000.


Despite being written by the company in upper case, "AXA" is not an acronym. It 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.


The company was 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. In 1982, it merged with the Drouot Group, owned by the Hottinguer family, becoming Mutuelles Unies/Drouot.

The firm adopted the Axa name in 1985. Axa took over The Equitable in 1991 and bought Union des Assurances De Paris (UAP), France's largest insurer, in 1996 to become Axa-UAP. It reverted to the name Axa in 1999. In February 1999, Axa acquired Guardian Royal Exchange. In May 2000, it acquired all shares it did not already own in Sun Life & Provincial Holdings. On 14 June 2006, Axa acquired Winterthur Group from Credit Suisse for approximately €9 billion. As of 2011, Axa was the second most powerful transnational corporation in terms of corporate control over global financial stability.

In May 2016, the firm announced that it would stop investing in tobacco shares and bonds and allow its portfolio of tobacco-related bonds to run off. On 12 September 2018, Axa acquired XL Group Ltd, a Bermuda-based property and casualty commercial lines insurer and reinsurer, for $15.3 billion. In October 2019, the company sold Axa Bank Belgium to Crelan for €620 million (US$688.51 million).

In 2019, AXA partially disinvested from the Israeli arms group Elbit Systems following pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The move followed several years of campaigning by NGOs, including an April 2018 petition launched by SumOfUs that received 140,000 signatures, leading AXA to “quietly reduce” its investments in Elbit and Israeli banks. AXA remains indirectly invested in Elbit and Israeli banks through a non-controlling interest in its former subsidiary Alliance Bernstein.

In 2023 AXA has increased investments in Israel’s illegal settlements as a shareholder in 3 Israeli banks: Bank Hapoalim (US$ 9.99M), Bank Leumi (US$ 6M), Israel Discount Bank (US$ 3.4M) and is one of the companies on BDS list that recommends divestment from AXA.

In February 2023, the company sold a 7.94% stake in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) to institutional investors. The package included approximately 100,000,000 MPS shares at a price of €2.33 ($2.5) per share, for a total transaction value of €233 million ($250 million). Axa retained 0.0007% of the Italian bank's capital.

Axa Investment Managers acquired France's Bry-sur-Marne film studio and the 12 hectare plot of land on which it is located for €150m in June 2023.


Axa headquarters is located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. 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.

Capital ownership

  • United States 18.8%
  • France 16.5%
  • United Kingdom 10.5%
  • Axa employees 6.5%
  • BNP Paribas 5.4%
  • Edward L. Skyward 5.1%
  • Sumitomo Mitsui 4.0%
  • Qatar Investment Authority 3.8%

Capital ownership as of 31 December 2010


AXA Group Global Locations
Axa Group global locations

United Kingdom

Axa trades in the United Kingdom as Axa UK, with subsidiaries including Axa Insurance, Axa Wealth and Axa Health. AXA PPP International was the trading name for AXA PPP healthcare's international health insurance division, which was later rebranded as AXA - Global Healthcare on 1 January 2017. The company bought the online insurer Swiftcover, notorious for its controversial Iggy Pop TV advertising campaign which was subsequently banned.

In September 2013, Axa Wealth was fined £1.8 million 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.

In 2018, they became the 'Official Global Insurance' partner of Premier League team Liverpool F.C. and in 2019, began sponsoring the training kits of the team. In 2020, the partnership was cemented further, when they purchased the naming rights to the club's newly built training centre, which became officially known as 'The AXA Training Centre.'

In 2016, Axa Wealth was sold to the Phoenix Group.

Axa Health

AXA Health sells private medical insurance in the UK and was known as AXA PPP Healthcare until 2020. It was previously the London Association for Hospital Services, set up in 1938 as a private healthcare scheme for people of middle income in London. It was incorporated in 1940 with assistance from the British Medical Association, the King's Fund, and the medical royal colleges.

Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance bought it in 1998 for £435 million; a year later it was bought by Sun Life & Provincial Holdings, an Axa subsidiary.

Axa Global Healthcare

Axa - Global Healthcare has previously been known as Axa PPP International, Axa Global Protect or Axa Healthcare Management. In 2017, the subsidiary Axa - Global Healthcare became an independent Managing General Agent, selling and administering international health insurance products. While Axa Health provides insurance across the UK, Axa - Global Healthcare caters to those needing health insurance around the world.

In 2018, Axa - Global Healthcare launched a Virtual Doctor service for its customers with outpatient cover and in 2020 offered it across all plans. Provided by Teladoc Health, it offers anytime access to medical advice by phone or video by doctors located around the world who speak more than 15 languages and is targeted at expatriates.

Axa Ireland

Axa established a presence in Ireland in 1999 when it bought British-based Guardian Royal Exchange, which had previously acquired PMPA. PMPA, Private Motorists Protection Association, was at the time one of Ireland's biggest insurance companies. It is the third-largest general insurer in the Republic of Ireland.

In August 2023, it was announced Axa had acquired the Little Island, Cork-headquartered health insurance company, Laya Healthcare for €650 million.

AXA Canada

Axa Canada marketed insurance in Quebec, Ontario, Western Canada and Atlantic Canada. In 2009 it had a total of approximately 2300 employees and 4000 brokers and advisors. The head office was in Montreal, Quebec. In 2011 it was sold to Intact Financial Corp. for C$2.6 billion.

AXA United States

The American arm of Axa is Axa Financial, Inc., which is known mainly through its subsidiaries such as Axa Advisors, Axa Network, MONY (formerly Mutual of New York), US Financial Life, and AllianceBernstein. The Equitable was acquired in 1991; the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York (MONY) was acquired in 2004.

Axa's US operations are incorporated in Delaware.


In July 2008, Axa acquired ING Insurance Mexico, offering essentially the same services that ING offered. Axa then sued an ING Group subsidiary over alleged misrepresentations in the $1.5 billion sale stating it suffered "tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars in damages."


In 1995 the Axa Group purchased a 51 per cent controlling interest in the Australian life insurer, National Mutual Life Association of Australia for NF4 billion, that was claimed at the time to contribute about 15 percent of the Axa Group's worldwide insurance-premium income. In 2011, [AMP Limited] and Axa SA agreed to acquire Axa Asia pacific, merging Australian operations under the AMP brand.


In April 2016 Axa unveiled a partnership with Lloyd's of London insurer Chaucer Holdings to enter the growing market of speciality insurance in Africa. Axa Africa Specialty Risks helps to mitigate risks through its coverholder, Chaucer Syndicate 1084 and Axa Africa Specialty Risks 6130. Axa ASR focuses on specialty and corporate lines, with coverage and an on-the-ground presence across Africa. Axa and Lloyd's both have excellent international financial strength ratings (AA- by Fitch and A+ by Standard & Poor's). The lines of business include: Political Risk, Political Violence and Terrorism, Energy, Construction, Property, Liability, Marine and Aviation. 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. Axa Africa also has a role in the trade between Asia and some African countries.

Kamet Ventures

In January 2016, Axa created Kamet Ventures, an insurtech incubator, to build disruptive businesses in the insurance, healthcare and assistance space with an initial funding of €100 million. Some of Kamet's investments include an insurance advice platform, Anorak Technologies and an elderly care platform, Birdie

Axa Investment Managers

Axa Investment Managers (Axa IM), is a global investment —management firm with offices in over 22 locations worldwide. As of 31 December 2020, it manages over €858 billion in assets on behalf of institutional and retail clients. It operates as the investment arm for Axa.

AXA Hong Kong & Macau

AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Limited acquired MLC (Hong Kong) Limited and re-branded it as AXA (Hong Kong) Life Insurance Company Limited in 2006.

Former holdings

In 2010, Axa sold a UK business unit called SunLife to Resolution Limited.

In 2021, the Gulf Insurance Group acquired AXA's holdings in the Gulf region, rebranding them as GIG in the Middle East.


Besides its artistic and social philanthropic initiatives (Axa Hearts in Action), 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.

The Fund has also awarded eleven endowments for several million euros supporting research institutions of excellence (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, HEC Paris, National University of Singapore, University of Bristol, London School of Economics, Met Office, INSERM, IHES). These research and education chairs intend to attract the best scientists. For example, the Axa Polytechnique Chair in Cellular Cardiovascular Engineering.

After joining the Access to Medicine Foundation, Axa allocates a donation of 500,000 euros to the Foundation's activities relating to the prevention of infectious diseases and the response to pandemics such as COVID-19.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: AXA para niños

  • Axa Investment Managers
  • Ardian (formerly Axa Private Equity)
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