French giant also cuts capacity from motorcycle broker Carole Nash

AXA is undergoing a full review of its network partnerships in a bid to flush out underperforming business.

The French insurer, which only last month pulled capacity on managing general agent Primary, is the latest leading player to re-evaluate its distribution channels as it anticipates a hardening market.

In a separate development AXA has also pulled capacity from the motorcycle panel of broker Carole Nash in a disagreement over market share.

Personal lines director Mike Keating said the network review would look at how much value networks provided to its distribution channels.

Speaking at the Biba conference, he said: “An announcement is expected in the next four to six weeks.”

The review however will leave all the major networks anticipating change in their partnership arrangements with AXA and follows a similar manoeuvre from Zurich.

Last month, Zurich pulled the plug on its network partnership with Westinsure following a review. However, Westinsure managing director, Denis Morgan said its relationship with AXA was “strong” and that there is no sign of fallout. Broker Network executive chairman Grant Ellis added that he was “very comfortable” working with AXA until the end of the 2011 as part of a pre-negotiated contract.

Keating added that AXA had pulled capacity from Carole Nash as it was not working from a “capacity perspective”.

He said: “We have left the door open to working with other products, but not motorcycle. This is evidence of what we are doing in terms of cleansing our portfolio and having the right conversations with our partners, and growing in the right areas. But I am not scared to make difficult decisions and protect profitability.”

A Carole Nash spokesman said AXA wanted a greater market share, but with eight other panel members, it was not possible. The book of business with AXA would now go into run-off.

The Purple Partnership and Our Network declined to comment. Cobra Network and Layton Blackham were unavailable to comment. The Willis Commercial Network said its relationship with AXA was “healthy and strong”.