Strategy

AXA Brings Together Wealth Businesses Under One Roof

Tom Burroughes, Editor, London, 17 September 2009

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AXA, the financial services and investment giant, has reorganised its collection of wealth management businesses under a single UK-based umbrella called AXA Wealth, as part of moves by the French-listed firm to make further inroads into this sector.

The AXA Wealth unit, to be led by Mike Kellard as chief executive, will include the following businesses: AXA Winterthur Wealth Management, AXA Distribution Services and its Elevate wrap proposition, Architas Multi-Manager, and AXA Wealth International. The latter business includes the offshore businesses in the Isle of Man and access to offshore products in Dublin.

As part of the change, AXA Wealth will “realign the business to focus on investments, platform-based solutions and clear and profitable market segments”, a statement from the firm said.

The reorganisation is designed to streamline IT systems, make greater use of automated dealing systems and rationalise the products on offer.

AXA said changes will also include the creation of a 30-strong specialist platform and investment distribution team alongside a programme to deliver improved operational efficiency.

The wealth management industry in the UK is facing increasing pressures to rationalise operations, cut costs and meet continued regulatory pressures to raise standards. For example, the Financial Services Authority, the national regulator, is seeking to raise professional standards of financial advice through a process called the Retail Distribution Review, or RDR.

“These changes represent the largest steps yet in our journey to transform AXA’s wealth businesses. The key elements of the changes will be a reduction in product and service duplication, and alignment with the demands of RDR,” said Mr Kellard.

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