Axa Group is now the world's largest property & casualty (P&C) insurer, and among the leaders in health insurance, with around 105m customers worldwide. It is ranked by Interbrand as the world's most valuable insurance or Investment brand, and is the #1 global insurer by both revenues and assets. (It lost the top spot in net written premiums in 2015). Axa traces its roots back to a group of regional French mutual insurance companies established in the mid 19th century, which merged in 1957 as les Mutuelles Unies. Following the acquisition of rival Groupe Drouot in 1982, a new name was sought that could be pronounced in any language, resulting in the selection of Axa. In 1996, the group acquired France's largest insurer UAP, significantly increasing its global footprint, while also becoming France's biggest company by revenues. Other acquisitions since 2000 have included MONY, Maestro Health and XL Group in the US, Winterthur of Switzerland, and 50% of Tian Ping of China. At the same time, it has moved away from several sectors in which it was once a leader, including pensions and investments. It spun off its US life insurance operations and asset manager Alliance Bernstein in 2018 as Equitable Holdings, but acquired commercial P&C insurer XL Group, now Axa XL. Group revenues for 2019 reached a new high of €103.5bn, with net income of €3.9bn. Property & casualty insurance now accounts for almost a third of revenues. France remains its biggest market by far, accounting for a quarter of revenues. The international Axa XL is the group's second largest segment. Long-serving group CEO Henri de Castries retired in 2016 and was succeeded by former Axa Germany leader Thomas Buberl.
Capsule checked 8th June 2020
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Marketer Moves 11th May 2021: New customer & brand director at Axa UK&I. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Mar 2018: Investors were unimpressed by AXA's latest steps to move away from life insurance and turbulent financial markets in favour of traditional property & casualty insurance. The French group agreed to pay $15.3bn for US insurer XL Group, which specialises in a different sort of turbulence: the Bermuda-based company has a high exposure to insurance against natural disasters. At the same time, AXA will accelerate the spin-off of US life insurance operations, and money manager AllianceBernstein.
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