France’s AXA, one of the world’s largest insurance and financial groups, announced that it would implement cost cutting measures worldwide in an effort to reduce operating and related expenses by an overall figure of 10 percent by the end of next year.
Plans call for reductions of at least €700 million ($640 million), and could go as high as €1 billion ($915 million). The company’s wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, AXA Financial,which includes Equitable Life Assurance, Alliance capital management and fund manager Sanford C Bernstein, will target around $230 million in cost cuts.
AXA CEO Henri de Castries indicated that the cost cutting moves were necessitated by the recent deterioration in market conditions and the downturn in global equity markets, that have made a worldwide recession a distinct possibility. Anxieties increased following last month’s attacks on the U.S.
AXA is hoping to minimize job losses, and is asking all of its units to examine ways to cut or postpone spending plans. “We are reacting quickly so that we can safeguard the future. Everything is under review. Those things that are must-dos will be carried on. Those that are nice-to-dos will be reviewed and possibly put back,” said a company bulletin.
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