Axa sells UK businesses including SunLife to insurer Phoenix

Axa sold its SunLife unit in the UK to Phoenix Group Holdings and announced the top-management team that will work with incoming Chief Executive Officer Thomas Buberl when he takes the helm in September.

Gerald Harlin will become group chief financial officer while Paul Evans will replace Buberl as head of the life & savings business and also head the global health business, Axa said in a statement on Friday.

Gaelle Olivier will lead the property & casualty business and Jacques de Peretti will head the insurer’s French unit.

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The sale of SunLife and its traditional investment and pension business will allow Axa to switch its UK focus to property & casualty, health and asset management.

The firm reiterated on Friday that the sale, along with earlier disposals of its Elevate business to Standard Life and an offshore bonds business, will result in a negative €400 million ($448 million) impact on net income.

Buberl, 43, has led Axa’s German business for four years and was picked in March to replace 61-year-old CEO Henri de Castries, who decided to leave the company earlier than expected. Under de Castries, Axa grew into one of the world’s largest insurance companies through acquisitions in Switzerland and, more recently, in emerging markets such as China and Colombia.

Axa will announce its new financial targets at an investor day on June 21.

Veronique Weill will be chief customer officer of the group and CEO of the newly created Axa Global Asset Management unit. Jean-Louis Laurent Josi will take the role of CEO of Axa Asia, while Mark Pearson will head the US. Unit.

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