Net premiums written 1999
European head office
25 Avenue Matignon
Tel: +33 1 40 75 57 00
Fax: +33 1 40 75 47 92
Origins go back to 1816
Main classes of business: Insurance, reinsurance, international business, asset management and other financial services
1816 Creation of the Mutuelle de l'Assurance contre L'Incendie a Paris (MACL), a mutual company offering fire
insurance coverage. This was the first insurance company set up in France, and became part of the Axa
Group when the former was aligned with the Compagnie du Midi.
1817 Creation of the Compagnie d'Assurances Mutuelles contre L'Incendie, the company at the origin of what
later became the Axa Group.
1828 Establishment of the Union, the company in the UAP Group.
1838 Creation of the Urbaine.
1889 Founding the Sequanaise.
1945 A change of name for the Compagnie d'Assurances Mutuelles contre I'Incendie to the Ancienne Mutuelle.
The UAP's three founding groups (Union Urbaine, Sequanaise ) are nationalised.
1968 Birth of the Union des Assurances de Paris.
1975 Claude Bebear becomes chairman of the Ancienne Mutuelle,
1978 Name change for the Group Ancienne Mutuelle, which becomes the Mutuelles Unies. Founding of UAP
1982 The Mutuelle Unies takes control of the Group Drouct.
1984 Beginning of the registration and of the use of the Axa trade marks.
1985 The Mutuelle Unies/Group Drouot adopt the name Axa.
1986 Axa takes control of the Presence Group.
1987 UAP acquires an equity interest in Royale Belge and a majority stake in the New Ireland Group (Ireland).
1988 Alignment between Axa and the Compagnie du Midi. UAP acquires an equity interest in Sun Life in the UK.
1989 Axa takes control of the Compagnie du midi. UAP takes control of Allsecures in Italy. UAP acquires the
Spanish assistance group GESA.
1991 Agreement entered into between Axa and Equitable, a north American life insurance company. UAP
establishes Paneurolife in Luxembourg to sell life insurance in Europe. UAP And BNP jointly create
National Assurance. Founding of Axa Atout Coeur.
1992 Equitable is demutualised, Axa Aurora is set up in Spain in partnership with BBV, Spain's second largest bank.
1993 UAP acquires the European operations of Groupe Victoire including a majority share holding in Colonia
Konzern. Creation of UAP Executive Partners (specialising in D&O cover).
1994 Privatisation of UAP. It acquires Boreal in Canada and Victoire in Belgium, and increases its stake in
Equitable to 60%.
1995 Axa acquires a majority share holding in National Mutual, the number two in Australia, New Zealand and
Hong Kong. Creation of UAP Benefits Network (European group insurance). Establishment of Insurance
Foundation for Intergenerational Solidarity.
1996 Axa is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Nov 12 – alignment of Axa and UAP.
1997 Axa announces its intention to establish a presence in the People's Republic in China when the country
opens its market to foreign insurers.
1998 Restructuring of Axa-UAP's insurance and assistance operations in France, resulting in the creation of
the three companies Axa Assurances, Axa Courtage, Axa Conseil.
1999 The UAP name is formally dropped, following a vote among the shareholders.
2000 Reorganisation of the management board: Bèbèar becomes chairman of the supervisory board.
Sun Life and Provincial Holdings became wholly owned subsidiary of Axa and was renamed Axa UK.
Henri de Castries – president of the management board; Claude Bèbèar – chairman of the supervisory board; Edward Miller and Claude Tendil – vice presidents of the management board; Françoise Colloc'h – senior executive vice president
Axa Colonia, Germany; Nordstern, Germany; Axa Direkt Versicherung, Germany; Axa Colonia, Austria; Axa Belgium, Belgium; Royale Belge, Belgium; Aurora Polar, Spain; Axa Seguros, Spain; Direct Seguros, Spain; Axa Assurances, France; Axa Courtage, France; Axa Conseil, France; Direct Assurance, France; Axiva, France; Colonia Biztosito, Hungary; Axa Assicurazioni, Italy; UAP Italiana, Italy; Allsecures, Italy; Axa Assurances, Luxembourg; Paneurolife, Luxembourg; Axa Leven, Netherlands; UAP Nieuw Rotterdam, Netherlands; Axa Seguros, Portugal; Sun Life, UK; Axa Provincial, UK; Axa Assurances, UK; Axa Direct, UK; Axa Assurances, Switzerland; Axa Oyak, Turkey; Nordstern Imtas, Turkey.
Henri de Castries-president of the management board
After graduating from ENA University, de Castries began his career with the French Finance Ministry Inspection Office, auditing various government agencies (1980-1984). In 1984, he joined the French Treasury where he became deputy secretary of the CIRI (inter-ministerial committee on industrial restructuring) and was in charge of monitoring financially troubled companies for two years.
In 1989, after spending nine years in tax administration and the Treasury, he decided to leave the public sector and enter the corporate world. After meeting Claude Bèbèar, he joined Axa on September 1, 1989.
He was appointed corporate secretary in 1991 and then headed the team responsible for dealing with the legal issues related to the reorganisation and merger of Compagnie du Midi into the Axa Group.
In 1993, he became senior executive vice president of Axa. He took over the responsibility for asset management and the group's financial and real estate companies. In 1994, he took on the additional responsibility of overseeing operations for North America and the UK.
In 1996, he actively participated in the preparation for the merger with UAP and in the subsequent integration of these two groups. In 1997, he organized the merger of Sun Life with Axa Equity & Law in Great Britain, and at the end of that year he launched the operation to reorganise Royale Belge. He also had oversight responsibilities for Germany and central Europe. This was also the year he became chairman of The Equitable Companies in the US. In
1999, he led the negotiations resulting in the acquisition of Guardian Royal Exchange.