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AXA chief to meet with investors

AXA chief to meet with investors

AXA chief to meet with investors This coming Tuesday will be an important one for incoming AXA chief executive Thomas Buberl as he meets with investors and puts forward his plan to keep the company’s profits up in the face of falling yields.

Buberl is replacing outgoing AXA chief Henri de Castries on September 01 – de Castries has led the company for the last 17 years.

In March Buberl said he would address the future of life insurance and focus on growth areas for the company, including emerging markets and health insurance. Digital technologies and cost-cutting measures are also expected to be on the agenda. While de Castries was able to deliver on goals set under a strategic plan for 2011-15, this was only after targets were changed during the euro zone crisis.

Speaking to Reuters, Oliver Pauchaut, an analyst at Bryan, Garnier & Co. said Buberl has some big shoes to fill.

“For Buberl it will be an entrance exam,” he said. “He should not underestimate the importance of the exercise.”

Analysts forecast AXA’s average annual earnings per share growth over 2016-2019 will be almost three times lower than 2012-2015, according to Thompson Reuters data. This month, AXA’s share price has fallen 14 per cent.

There are a number of new CEOs at several European insurers, with Zurich Insurance, Generali, Swiss RE and Munich RE all making recent changes at the top. All are facing similar challenges due to low interest rates and slowing emerging markets.