AXA to Cut 700-1000 Jobs in U.K. P/C Unit Restructuring

May 15, 2002

France’s AXA announced plans to undertake a wholesale restructuring of its p/c operations in the U.K. which will eventually involve the loss of between 700 and 1000 jobs.

The job cuts are aimed at stopping the losses and improving the profitability of the U.K.’s third largest general insurer, and are part of AXA’s overall plan to decrease its operating costs by €700 million ($636 million this year.

The cuts will immediately affect workers in Colchester, where a call center will be shut down, as well as a claims office in Cardiff, Wales and several other facilities in Northern England and in Plymouth on the South Coast.

Additional cuts will come over the next three years, as AXA aims to trim up to 20 percent of its costs in the UK while increasing its revenues there by 30 percent. It also announced it would invest around¤100 million ($146 million) over the next three years to improve its efficiency. 40 percent of that will be used to upgrade information technology systems.

In other news AXA announced that it had dropped its bid for Paris’ Drouot auction house. The company’s Private Equity investment unit had offerred to acquire the venerable firm, which runs the site that holds Paris art auctions, for $73 million. (See IJ Website March 25), but it had appparently failed to gain the support of the commissaire/priseurs, the auctioneers who actually conduct the sales.

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