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Case Code: CLBS135
Case Length: 04 Pages 
Period: --  
Pub Date: 2014
Teaching Note: Not Available
Subject :Business Strategy
Organization :--
Industry :Banking & Financial Services
Countries : --

Governance and Control at AXA



The case examines the dual corporate governance structure of France based AXA, one of the leading insurance and investment management companies in the world. In a span of three decades, AXA acquired several financial services companies globally. When AXA aimed at becoming a truly global company and started consolidating its global operations, the company felt that a judicious mix of centralization and decentralization of activities was required. AXA centralized its operations to the extent necessary and its subsidiaries in different countries had complete freedom to operate according to the local conditions. The case discusses in length about the roles played by AXA's management and supervisory board to maintain a firm control over the operations of the company.
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  • Study the importance of strong governance practices in companies having global operations.
  • Understand the need for a dual corporate governance structure.
  • Examine the need for a smooth coordination between the subsidiaries and the headquarters to run a company's global operations efficiently.
  • Study the corporate functions that are centralized by AXA.
  • Appreciate the benefits reaped by AXA after decentralizing few of its corporate functions.
France-based AXA Group (AXA), specializes in insurance and investment management solutions. AXA’s operations are spread across Western Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific. As of December 31, 2005, AXA served over 50 million customers and had € 1,064 billion in assets under management. In 2005, the company reported revenues of € 72 billion and net profits of € 4.17 billion. The company operated in five business segments – Life and Savings, Property & Casualty, International Insurance, Asset Management, and other Financial Services.

In 1991, AXA formulated a vision of becoming a global company. By then AXA had a presence in France, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, few other European countries, and in Canada. In this direction, AXA acquired a majority equity stake in the US-based Equitable Assurance, an insurance company. Its other acquisitions include, Boréal Assurances, (Canada), Victoire (Belgium), stake in National Mutual Life Association (Australia), Guardian Royal Exchange (the UK), etc. AXA and UAP, one of the largest insurers in France, announced a merger in 1996, and the merged entity became the second largest insurer in the world. Later AXA took over UAP. It entered into alliance with Nippon Dantai (Japan) in 1999...


AXA, Governance Structure, Globalization, Control Systems, Centralization, Decentralization, Corporate Governance, Operational Excellence, Supervisory Board, Management Board, Key Performance Indicators, Centrally Managed Functions, Localization

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