Axa Investment Management saw record net inflows of €56.4bn (£48.3bn) in 2016, an increase of 35 per cent on the previous year, on the back of strong third party sales.
The firm’s assets under management reached €717bn in 2016, marking a 7 per cent increase from 2015, when AUM stood at €669bn.
However revenues dropped 2 per cent to €1.21bn following the transfer of segregated mandates run for Friends Life to Aviva Investors. Excluding Friends Life, revenues were €1.29bn, up 2 per cent on 2015 while underlying earnings were €225m, down 4 per cent compared with 2015, but up 8 per cent excluding Friends Life.
In 2016 AXA IM acquired Australian real estate manager Eureka Funds Management; established a Real Assets Private Equity team and created AXA IM Chorus, a new Hong Kong-based investment team specialising in liquid absolute return strategies. The firm also opened an office in Mexico, expanded its presence in Japan and was granted permission to run a business in China.
Axa IM CEO Andrea Rossi says the firm is looking at further acquisitions.
He says: “Despite a challenging environment, we maintained our investment for growth in 2016, with a highly selective approach focused on the globalisation of our footprint and the evolution of the products and services we offer to clients in order to meet their long-term needs. We are actively exploring new opportunities for 2017 and believe that our continued growth will be fuelled by both in-house innovation and further selective acquisitions.”
Axa IM will focus on continuing to grow retail assets in 2017, which Rossi says is “our top priority”. The firm’s digital strategy will be integral, he adds.
“We are committed to bringing greater simplicity to our clients by investing in people and embedding technology to make us easier to do business with and to anticipate future investor needs and global trends.
“While this is particularly key in the retail/wholesale space, which is a key focus for us and where we work in close partnership with distributors, it is also relevant for the institutional market where we not only work with clients to develop bespoke solutions, but also to provide additional services such as market-leading guidance on Solvency II reporting or assistance with ESG integration.”