AXA Group Ups Asian Innovation Capabilities

Not to be outdone by the swarm of Fintech investment by banks in the region and the rapidly increasing influence of disruptive startups, French giant AXA are getting into the innovation game.

The AXA Group have announced 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.




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