Axa S.A. is a French multinational insurance firm. The head office is in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. It also provides investment management and other financial services.
The Axa Group operates primarily in Western Europe, North America, the India Pacific region, and the Middle East, with a presence also in Africa. It is a conglomerate of independently-run businesses, operated according to the laws and regulations of many different countries. It is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.
The company was founded in 1816 as Mutuelle de L'assurance contre L'incendie (the Ancienne Mutuelle). It acquired Compagnie Parisienne de Garantie in 1978 and became Mutuelles Unies. In 1982, it merged with the Drouot Group, owned by the Hottinguer family, becoming Mutuelles Unies/Drouot.
The firm adopted the Axa name in 1985. Axa took over The Equitable in 1991 and bought Union des Assurances De Paris (UAP), France's largest insurer, in 1996 to become Axa-UAP. It reverted to the name Axa in 1999. In February 1999, Axa acquired Guardian Royal Exchange. In May 2000, it acquired all shares it did not already own in Sun Life & Provincial Holdings. On June 14, 2006, Axa acquired Winterthur Group from Credit Suisse for approximately €9 billion. As of 2011, Axa was the second most powerful transnational corporation in terms of corporate control over global financial stability.
In May 2016, the firm announced that it would stop investing in tobacco shares and bonds and allow its portfolio of tobacco-related bonds to run off. On 12 September 2018 Axa acquired XL Group Ltd, a Bermuda-based property and casualty commercial lines insurer and reinsurer, for $15.3 billion. In October 2019, the company sold Axa Bank Belgium to Crelan for €620 million (US$688.51 million).