The AXA Group accelerates its investments in Asia to further its innovation capabilities
AXA announces today the creation of three new structures dedicated to investment and innovation in Asia, in order to better connect the Group to the region's rapidly developing entrepreneurs, talents and new business models.
These structures will complement the existing presence of the AXA Group in Europe and North America with the very same objective: to improve customer experience, through partnerships, pilots and investments.
The "AXA Lab Asia" in Shanghai
The AXA Group has decided to set up an "AXA Lab Asia" in Shanghai, on the model of the structure present in the Silicon Valley in the U.S since the beginning of 2014. It will be led by Frank Desvignes.
"We wish to foster the digital culture and further the spirit of innovation across the Group, by forming partnerships with the most forward-thinking companies. The AXA Lab Asia will also detect emerging trends that can be leveraged for the benefit of our clients, as well as identify new talents", said Frank Desvignes, Director of the AXA Lab Asia.
The "Data Innovation Lab" in Singapore
AXA will establish a "Data Innovation Lab" in Singapore, on the model of the one already created in France. It will act as a business-focused center of expertise on data analytics to foster Research & Development for our offers and services.
"The data revolution has a profound impact on the way insurers do business. New technologies for data storage and analysis now make it possible to process volumes of data that were previously too large to analyze. The ultimate goal is to be able to offer customers the products and services they want and need, while upholding values of ethics and integrity and protecting their personal privacy", said Philippe Marie-Jeanne, Director of the Data Innovation Lab.
An office of "AXA Strategic Ventures" (AXA SV) in Hong Kong
Finally, a new office of AXA Strategic Ventures (AXA SV) will be established in Hong Kong, so as to be in the best position to seize the numerous investment opportunities in the region and to accompany European and American start-ups on the Asian market. The Group had announced in February 2015 the creation of a €200 million venture capital fund, "AXA Strategic Ventures" (AXA SV), dedicated to investing AXA Group money in budding strategic innovations in the insurance, asset management, financial technology and healthcare service industries.
Led by François Robinet, AXA SV is already present in San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Zurich and Berlin.
"AXA Strategic Ventures now has a genuinely global reach. The establishment of this new office in Hong Kong will not only allow us to take advantage of the possibilities offered by the region, but also to accompany the startups we support in their international expansion in one of the most dynamic markets globally", said François Robinet, Managing Director of AXA Strategic Ventures.
"Asia is a major strategic focus for the AXA Group, and our ambition is to have 100 million clients in the region by 2030. We are already very present from a business standpoint and we are now looking to seize the opportunities offered by the region. This is why we are announcing today a series of initiatives in Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong. We are confident that these new structures will prove decisive in identifying untapped opportunities to accelerate our digital transformation and ultimately better serve and protect our clients", said Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO of AXA.
Frank Desvignes, 43 year-old, is a former web entrepreneur. He started his career in digital in 1995, by launching the first French on-line study tool to collect feedbacks from e-consumers. He worked for BNP Paribas where he defined and implemented a breakthrough digital strategy in a multichannel context. He created the BNP Paribas e-Marketing department and managed the internet and mobile department of BNP Paribas retail banking in France.
He joined AXA in 2012 to define and implement the company's digital transformation being in charge of the digital transformation of Global P&C and of MedLA. Over the last 3 years he has been defining digital transformation strategies at Group, regional and local levels. He also supports the transformation by providing on-demand expertise notably on e-commerce, mobile servicing, social networks and innovation on connected devices initiatives. He is also a key contributor to connected devices initiatives. He is one of the co-founders of AXA Drive (deployed in 20 countries) and MyAXA. Frank Desvignes is also a board member of the Mobile Marketing Association in France.
Before becoming Director of the Data Innovation Lab (Axa Group) in January 2014, Philippe Marie-Jeanne was Group Head of AXA P&C Retail since February 2011. Before joining AXA Global P&C, Philippe Marie-Jeanne was since February 2007 P&C Technical Head at AXA France. From 1998 to 2007, he held various positions at the SMABTP, leading insurer in the building and construction sector, as Deputy General Manager in charge of technical direction for reinsurance and major accounts. He was also a member of Covéa Fleet Executive Board and has been CGI Bat Vice-Chairman (bonds business in the construction area). Philippe started his career in 1989 at UAP Incendie et Accidents and hold several positions until 1997, when he joined Tillinghast - Towers Perrin as Senior Consultant.
Philippe Marie-Jeanne is a graduate engineer of the Polytechnique School, but also graduated from the National School of Statistic and Economic Administration (ENSAE) and member of the French Actuary Institute (IAF). He also followed an INSEAD executive program in 2006 (Programme supérieur pour Dirigeants).
François Robinet is Managing Director of AXA Strategic Ventures, AXA Group's venture capital fund. He spent most of his career within AXA in risk management, asset management and life insurance. He has previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of the global investment management firm AXA Rosenberg and as Chief Risk Officer of AXA Group. François Robinet is also Chief Executive Officer of AXA Life Invest, a company specializing in retirement solutions.
He holds master's degrees from Stanford University and the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et d'Administration Economique - National School of Statistics and Economic Administration - , as well as a Ph.D. from the Centre des Hautes Etudes d'Assurance - Center for Advance Insurance Studies. He is a member of the Board of Directors of a number of AXA companies, and of the Microcred Group, a portfolio company that expands the reach of financial services to micro, small and medium entrepreneurs. François is also a member of the Advisory Board of FTV Capital, an investment company specialized in late stage Fintech investments located in San Francisco.