AXA Financial Inc. is a New York-based diversified financial services organization offering a range financial advisory, insurance and investment management products and services. It's the parent company of insurer AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. and investment manager AllianceBernstein Holding LP. AXA Financial is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Paris-based insurance giant AXA SA, whose chief executive Henri de Castries is a French count and former rising star in the French Treasury and Department of Finance.
The company's insurance arm has been seeking to foster a culture of innovation and diversity. In recent years AXA Equitable hired both a chief diversity officer and a chief innovation officer. Its latest corporate initiative, dubbed "Ambition 2012," is to become the financial-protection company of choice for consumers, centered on an effort to build trust and deliver value for price and quality of service. But the global financial crisis has cast doubt on the project's goal to double revenue and triple operating earnings over the period 2004 to 2012.
AllianceBernstein is facing a time of change: A new chief executive is looking to turn around the firm's weak performance. Peter S. Kraus, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. exec, recently joined after a quick side trip to Merrill Lynch & Co..