AXA IM targets 210 job cuts amid restructuring

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AXA IM targets 210 job cuts amid restructuring

Paris-headquartered AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) has unveiled plans to sharpen its operating model and streamline its organisational structure.

The proposed operating model and streamlined organisation are aimed “to help drive future growth and protect competitiveness.”

Hence the firm believes this will enable it to better cater to clients’ needs through a segmented approach as well as support AXA IM’s developments in the alternative space.

Synergies are also sought between core investment expertises in order to foster innovation.

AXA IM’s future operating model that wishes to address four principles – simplicity, agility, empowerment of teams and consistency – will rely on four pillars:

  • Client relationships centred on two distinct segments – Institutional and Wholesale / Retail;
  • Core investments bringing together the Fixed income, Framlington Equities and Multi Assets Client Solutions platforms;
  • Alternative and Specialty investments comprised of Real Assets, Structured Finance and Chorus as well as Rosenberg Equities and High Yield;
  • Transversal support functions including Global Transformation, HR and Communications, Global Operations, as well as General Secretary functions with the aim to support and enable AXA IM’s transformation.

Four priorities by 2020
AXA IM has defined four offerings and client priorities by 2020. These are namely:

  • Alternatives, Multi-Asset and Fixed Income specialty investment strategies – to better cater to Institutional as well as Wholesale/Retail investors, building on AXA IM’s historical strengths;
  • ESG integration across investment teams and the development of the responsible investment product offering;
  • Digital and advanced data analytics capabilities to supplement decision-making in investment processes and deploy differentiating services to clients;
  • Quant and data science skills as well as additional investment competencies to fill product gaps.

The manager specified these investments would be fully financed by circa €100m of savings achieved over the same period, “thanks to the proposed focused operating model and leaner organisation.”

“The implementation of the target organisation could potentially impact 210 positions worldwide in 2018, mainly in France (approximately 160 positions) and the UK (approximately 40 positions).

“AXA IM is committed to supporting its employees through the change period and to limiting social consequences as much as possible. The target organisation could be implemented in Q4 2018 following social consultation,” the investment manager said in a statement.

“I believe the steps we are looking to take not only respond to our industry challenges in terms of customer centricity but also provide AXA IM with an inspiring vision and roadmap for the future. Accelerating our strategy as an active manager thanks to new ways of operating and a simpler organisation, notably in the alternative investment space, while becoming even stronger in core investments will foster sustainable growth for the ultimate benefit of all our stakeholders,” commented Andrea Rossi, CEO of AXA IM.

Renewed management board
Along with its new organisational model plans, AXA IM has revealed the new composition of the management board that will oversee the transformation of the group.

Effective 19 June 2018, the management board will be composed of the following members reporting to Andrea Rossi:

  • Francisco Arcilla as global head of Sales;
  • Bettina Ducat as global head of Product, Retail and Institutional Development;
  • Matthew Lovatt as global head of AXA IM Framlington Equities, replacing Mark Beveridge;
  • Jean-Christophe Ménioux as general secretary and CFO;
  • Joseph Pinto as global chief operating officer;
  • Heidi Ridley as CEO of AXA IM Rosenberg Equities;
  • Isabelle Scemama as CEO of AXA IM Real Assets;
  • Hans Stoter, who joins AXA IM as global head of Fixed Income;
  • Amélie Watelet as chief transformation officer and global head of HR and Communications.

“I am proud to introduce AXA IM’s new managing board. I am confident that this diverse, committed and highly experienced team will successfully drive our transformation journey. I would like to thank Mark Beveridge, Christophe Coquema and John Porter who have stepped down from the MB for their pivotal contribution to AXA IM during the last years,” said AXA’s CEO Rossi.

“AXA IM will remain focused on servicing its clients with the same level of dedication and attention during this change process which is key to ensure the company continues to grow, brings value to its current and future clients and remains a key player in the asset management industry in the long term,” he added.

No merger
Last Autumn, rumoured merger talks between AXA IM and Natixis AM (rebranded Ostrum AM since April) were dismissed by Rossi in a mail to AXA IM’s staff, adding that parent company, French insurer AXA, continued to view its asset management branch as a strategic asset.

However, Rossi admitted in his letter that amid the context of a consolidation in the asset management market, AXA had been approached by several parties to consider a possible transaction.

An eventual merger would have resulted in the creation of a second €1trn asset manager in France.

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