AXA makes senior leadership changes as it enters next phase of strategic journey


AXA announces changes in its senior leadership team to implement its new strategic plan, Driving Progress 2023, presented in December last year.

Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA said, “A new phase has started for AXA with the launch of its Driving Progress 2023 strategic plan. Our 2020 results have shown AXA’s resilience through the Covid-19 crisis and we are now fully focused on implementing our 2023 plan. In a context which will remain complex and volatile, we are announcing a renewed leadership team and a simpler organisation to accelerate the execution of our strategic priorities and to consolidate AXA’s leadership across all our markets.”

Simplification of AXA’s Corporate Center

AXA’s Corporate Center will move to a simpler and more focused organization, in line with the operating model launched in 2017, and led by two Deputy CEOs:

  • Frédéric de Courtois will join AXA, on August 1st, as Deputy CEO, in charge of Finance and Investments, Risk Management, Strategy, and Ceded Reinsurance.
  • George Stansfield, Deputy CEOand Group General Secretary, in charge of Legal, Human Resources, Audit, Compliance and Public Affairs, will also oversee Communication, Brand and Sustainability.

The two Deputy CEOs will therefore manage all of the Group’s central functions to ensure consistency and effectiveness in the implementation of the new strategic plan. In addition:

  • Etienne Bouas-Laurent, Group Chief Financial Officer, will become CEO of AXA Belgium, effective July 1st. He will replace Jef Van In who will take over a new transversal role to be announced shortly. Etienne Bouas-Laurent will also oversee activities in Luxembourg.
  • Alban de Mailly Nesle, Group Chief Risk and Investment Officer, will become Group Chief Financial Officer while continuing to lead Group Investments, effective July 1st.

“I am very happy to welcome Frédéric back to AXA after a very successful five years at Generali where he held a

number of senior management positions, including General Manager overseeing most central functions and the implementation of strategy. Prior to joining Generali, Frédéric worked at AXA for more than 20 years serving in a number of senior positions including CEO of AXA Italy. Frédéric will bring in-depth knowledge of the industry and financial markets and play a key role in the execution of our 2023 plan. I look forward to working closely with Frédéric and George in this new phase of our journey.”

“I would like to warmly thank Etienne for the outstanding job he has done, in particular helping us navigate through the crisis. I wish him the best in his future role leading a key market for AXA and pursuing the transformation successfully led by Jef Van In over the last years, who will take over an important transversal role for AXA. I look forward to continuing to work with Alban in his new position as Group CFO. His broad experience in finance, risk and capital management and his extensive knowledge of the Groupwill bring the perfect blend of qualities and expertise for his new position,” said Thomas Buberl.

Changes in key geographies

Important leadership changes will also be implemented in key geographies:

  • Jacques de Peretti, Chairman and CEO of AXA France, will take up a new challenge serving as a Senior Advisor to the Group CEO to help drive key strategic initiatives across the Group and as a Board member of different AXA entities. Jacques de Peretti will remain a member of AXA’s Management Committee.
  • Patrick Cohen, CEO of AXA Italy, will be appointed CEO of AXA France, reporting to Thomas Buberl, effective May 3rd.
  • Benoît Claveranne, CEO of AXA International & New Markets (INM), has decided to pursue new opportunities outside of the Group. Going forward, the African and Asian operations of INM will report to Gordon Watson, CEO of AXA Asia, and the other INM operations as well as AXA Partners and AXA Next will report to Antimo Perretta, CEO of AXA Europe.

“I would like to warmly thank Jacques for his great contribution to the success of AXA throughout his career, especially as Chairman and CEO of AXA France. With his very strong and committed team, as well as our agents with whom he has always worked hand in hand, Jacques has marked the history of AXA France with major transformations that have strengthened our position as the market leader. I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to work closely with him and benefit from his experience over the past years, and I am happy that Jacques has agreed to stay with usto support me on some important priorities of our next strategic plan.”

“I am very happy to see Patrick take this major role after having made a strong mark in transforming our business and strengthening AXA’s positioning in the Italian market. His drive for customer-led innovation, tech-led transformation and leadership will be instrumental in writing, together with the teams, another successful chapter for AXA in our home market. I wish him and the teams of AXA France all the best in their mission.”

“Benoît has had a magnificent career at AXA where he has proven the strength of his business vision and courage to transform our activities across mature and emerging markets. I would like to thank him sincerely for his support in the simplification of our geographical footprint and the leadership he has brought to our high growth markets,” added Thomas Buberl.

Renewed Management Committee

The Group’s Management Committee will be renewed with the further addition of Helen Browne, Group General Counsel, and Ulrike Decoene, Group Chief Communication, Brand and Sustainability Officer.

Led by Thomas Buberl, AXA’s Management Committee will be composed of 15 members going forward:

  • George Stansfield, Deputy CEO and Group General Secretary, in charge of Legal, Human Resources, Audit, Compliance, Public Affairs, Communication, Brand and Sustainability
  • Frédéric de Courtois, Deputy CEO, in charge of Finance and Investments, Risk Management, Strategy, and Ceded Reinsurance
  • Helen Browne, Group General Counsel
  • Patrick Cohen, CEO of AXA France
  • Ulrike Decoene, Group Chief Communication, Brand and Sustainability Officer
  • Georges Desvaux, Group Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer
  • Scott Gunter, CEO of AXA XL
  • Alban de Mailly Nesle, Group Chief Financial Officer
  • Marco Morelli, Executive Chairman of AXA Investment Managers
  • Jacques de Peretti, Senior Advisor
  • Antimo Perretta, CEO of AXA Europe
  • Karima Silvent, Group Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Astrid Stange, CEO of AXA Group Operations
  • Gordon Watson, CEO of AXA Asia.

“I am confident that this new leadership team, strengthened by new talents and bringing together a great breadth of perspectives and personalities will be instrumental in helping us successfully navigate the new post-crisis environment, continue developing a diverse and inclusive culture, and consolidate AXA’s leadership and ambition for the industry,” concluded Thomas Buberl.

The implementation of these changes is subject to consultation with social partners and regulatory authorities where applicable.

Authored by AXA


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