Axa confirms Wealth selloff plans

Axa-Logo-500x320.jpgAxa has confirmed its plans to sell off its life and savings business, including the Axa Wealth arm, as it sells its Elevate business to Standard Life.

After months of rumours, Axa has confirmed it is “engaged in discussions” for selling off its remaining UK life and savings assets, its SunLife direct protection business and its non-platform investment and pension business. It expects to receive £650m for the combined businesses.

The French insurance giant has already sold off its Isle of Man offshore investment bonds business. It has confirmed that the asset management arm of the company, including the Architas multi-manager business, is not being sold off.

Paul Evans, chief executive of Axa UK, says: “Following the successful achievement of our Ambition Axa five-year strategic plan, we have reviewed the strategic benefits of pursuing our activities in the UK life and savings market. After detailed consideration, we have come to the conclusion that these businesses could be even more successful if supported by organisations with a stronger strategic focus on the life and savings segment.

“These transactions would allow Axa to rebalance the focus of its UK activities towards property and casualty, health and asset management. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teams for their valuable contribution to building strong, innovative and market leading businesses over the past years.”

Standard Life completed the deal for Axa Elevate for an undisclosed sum. The deal will almost double Standard Life’s customer base, taking total clients to 350,000.