AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) has reported assets under management of €746bn at the end of 2017, up 4% year-on-year (+€29bn).
The firm’s net revenues increased by 6% yoy to €1.28bn (+77m) while total net new money boarded over 2017 amounted to €7.9bn falling down sharply from €56.4bn.
AXA IM explained the decline in net new money by the drop in inflows from AXA IM’s joint-ventures. These losses were “expected and partly driven by a number of products reaching maturity and not being replaced due to new regulatory requirements relating to AXA’s Chinese joint-venture.”
The company added that outflows have had a very limited financial impact and AXA IM third-party net new money inflows reached €9.3bn.
“2017 was a particularly strong year for us in terms of successes for our institutional business, leveraging our close relationship and the work we do for the AXA Group, while we also made advances in the retail space. In 2018, we will continue to focus on our strengths to accelerate our development through continued product innovation to match the evolving needs of our clients. Our expertise and capabilities as an active manager provide us with a crucial advantage in navigating today’s challenging markets and capturing the evolving opportunities driven by global megatrends,” said Andrea Rossi, CEO of AXA IM.
Unveiling plans for 2018, the manager announced that it will continue to focus on its multi-asset expertise and to boost its capabilities in the alternatives field (structured finance, real assets).
The structured finance team is due to look more into commercial and retail loans while the real assets team will concentrate on infrastructure and real estate.
AXA IM is also planning to strengthen its fixed income offering by further diversifying the product mix and client base “with a move to higher yielding assets and more flexible solutions.” The firm said total return credit funds will be added to its fund range.
AXA IM also announced plans regarding the implementation of innovation technology within its processes. On blockchain, AXA IM and BP2S have concluded the development of a prototype for digital client on-boarding.
“The same project continues in 2018 with a focus on the delivery of a second module, focused on the fund trade aspect. To increase operational efficiency and the wellbeing of its employees, AXA IM has been working on the integration of intelligent automation into operations,” said the firm. First virtual assistants are live since January.
Another aspect of AXA IM’s plans deals with responsible investment. The firm’s investment policy in that area has been strengthened over last year.
Among others, AXA IM’s RI team has developed a new and enhanced ESG scoring methodology for corporates and the manager will continue to “significantly invest in RI capabilities and set-up” in 2018.
“We have chosen to go one step beyond engagement and discussion. We are taking a very strong stance on environmental and social issues and their management by companies. As an active manager, we want to play our part in the debates related to climate change advocating necessary changes at company level in the best interest of our clients’ assets in the short and long term. We believe we have an instrumental role to play to guide and support our clients in their RI decisions,” said Andrea Rossi.