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AXA IM to create EUR137 billion global alternative investment platform

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AXA Investment Managers is to create a new EUR137 billion business unit, AXA IM Alts, which forms part of a wider proposal to restructure the business into two key divisions, creating a simplified and more focused organisation.  

AXA Investment Managers is to create a new EUR137 billion business unit, AXA IM Alts, which forms part of a wider proposal to restructure the business into two key divisions, creating a simplified and more focused organisation.  The other new business unit would be known as AXA IM Core.

Under the leadership of Isabelle Scemama, who would also remain CEO of AXA IM – Real Assets, the new Alts business unit would bring together AXA IM’s EUR87 billion assets under management (AUM) Real Assets business, its EUR48 billion Structured Finance platform and its Chorus (hedge fund) business.
 
In a persistent low rate environment, investors have an increased appetite for alternative investments as well as innovative and outcome-oriented strategies, with ESG integration and impact becoming strong drivers of their choices. AXA IM will respond to these trends by leveraging decades of deep understanding of investors’ needs, as well as combining recognised investment capabilities and ESG expertise for the benefit of retail and institutional clients. In addition, in order to enhance the quality and relevance of its interactions with clients and to respond to their rapidly evolving needs, AXA IM intends to bring together its client-facing and investment teams.
 
As a combined business AXA IM Alts could leverage over 30 years of successful fund raising and capital deployment in alternatives to further answer to its clients’ investment challenges and generate additional cross-sourcing opportunities and market insight. Deborah Shire would take the newly-created role of Deputy Head of AXA IM Alts, in charge of corporate development, while keeping her current role of Global Head of Structured Finance and join the AXA IM Management Board.
 
AXA IM Alts would also benefit from dedicated sales and client services functions led by Florence Dard, Global Head of Business Development at AXA IM – Real Assets, who would see her role extended to Global Head of Client Group, Alts. This dedicated sales and client services function would comprise the current Real Assets sales force and part of the existing AXA IM institutional sales teams.
 
The proposed new organisational structure reflects the importance AXA IM places on empowering recognised leaders and allowing them to focus on growth alongside value creation for clients.
 
With EUR536 billion of AUM, AXA IM Core would bring together Fixed Income (excluding Real Assets debt), Framlington Equities, Rosenberg Equities and Multi-Asset investment platforms, under the leadership of Hans Stoter, who would become Global Head of AXA IM Core
 
These changes are being discussed with employee representatives and should be implemented in Q2 2020.
 
Gérald Harlin, Executive Chairman of AXA IM, says: “We strongly believe in leveraging both traditional and alternative asset classes to provide investors with responses to the current hunt for yield. We want our organisation to reflect this belief and that is why we aim to implement a simplified structure comprised of two key strategic business units. With more focus and proximity to our clients, we will become even more relevant to their evolving needs while accelerating the profitable growth of our business.”
 
Scemama adds: “Our business growth in recent years has been driven by our team’s ability to create the right products and to source and execute the right deals for our clients, while at the same time continually demonstrating our ability to transact through a range of complexities and risk profiles as well as via multiple entry points and with scale.
 
“The creation of AXA IM Alts would allow us to build on this momentum and enhance our offering to clients, while at the same time maintain continuity in the performance and service we provide to them. For me personally, it is a huge honour to have been chosen to lead this significant new business and the hugely talented people it brings together, creating a true global leader in alternative investments.”
 

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