AXA is a multinational investment banking firm established in 1817. Headquartered in Paris, the organisation focuses on investment banking, securities, investment management and insurance among other financial services. It has a global presence with primary operations in Western Europe, the Asia Pacific region, North America and the Middle East.
Initially, the organisation was established as Mutuelle de L'assurance contre L'incendie. It became Mutuelles Unies after the acquisition of Compagnie Parisienne de Garantie in 1978. In the following year, it bought Drouot Group and was named Mutuelles Unies/Drouot. It took on the name AXA in 1985. It also acquired Union des Assurances De Paris in 1996 and was known as AXA-UAP.
AXA does not stand for an acronym but was selected for its relative ease in pronunciation by speakers of different languages. In 1982, the-then CEO Clauder Bébéar hired a consultant to come up with a new name. Aspiring for an international presence, the name AXA was adopted.
They operate in the United Kingdom as AXA Sun Life, AXA Insurance, AXA investment Managers, AXA Wealth and AXA PPP Healthcare. They also owns the insurer Swiftcover, Vlefin and Architas. AXA Schengen Travel Insurance provides insurance to visitors who require a visa to enter the Schengen Area. Similarly, AXA Canada offers insurance products through its affiliates in Canadian cities. The headcount of their employees in 2009 was about 2300. AXA's Canada headquarters is at Montreal.
In United States, they operate as AXA Financial, Inc. which has several subsidiaries like AXA Advisors LLC, AXA Equitable Life Insurance, AXA Network, MONY and US Financial Life among others. Their operations in Asia Pacific region are conducted by AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. AXA Asia based in Hong Kong, is primarily responsible for aiding the company's operations in Hong Kong, China and South East Asia. In Malaysia, they operate through Bank Malaysia and not AXA itself.
AXA ushered into Indian market through Bharti Enterprises and Bank of India. The company has five primary ventures in India: Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company Ltd, Bharti AXA General Insurance Co. Ltd., AXA Assistance India, AXA Business Services and Bank of India AXA Investment Managers.
They are also involved in Philanthropic initiatives around the globe. Directed by Patricia Martin, AXA started la coleccion AXA in Mexico, collection work of art from artists like Luis Felipe Ortega, Pedro Reyes, Sefan Brugeemann and Carlos Amorales.
AXA also established AXA Research Fund in 2008 with 100 million euros. The fund provides assistance to researches in the area of risk analysis of environment and human life. The Fund provided financial assistance to 256 research products in three years all around the world. These projects run in 22 countries and comprise researchers of 42 different nationalities.
They have become one of the most desirable names in its market segment through its impeccable business ethics, smooth operation and dedication towards customers. The company now has its presence in 56 countries with 157,000 employees; the organisation is in a constant look out for high-growth market around the world to expand its ever growing market reach.