The French-based financial services firm now has over 110,000 employees and a group turnover of €72 billion (£50bn), servicing a customer base of over 50 million worldwide. This makes it, by sales at least, Europe’s biggest insurer. Its UK and Irish businesses – AXA entered the UK market with its 1999 buyout of the former Guardian Royal Exchange – represent about 10 per cent of its current business mix, drawn from products in the insurance, asset management and life savings sectors, with
its Sun Life and PPP Healthcare brands.

AXA’s UK Sun Life division signed a five-year, £27 million outsourcing agreement with Xansa in April 2006. The deal involves Xansa staff in both the UK and India supporting its mainframe and core business applications, plus a range of business processes from finance, marketing and HR to management information.

The company also takes its compliance obligations very seriously. The company told investors at the start of the year that profits will be impacted by making its systems IFRS compliant: it may see a drop of as much as six per cent in revenues as it moves from the French system to IFRS.

Meanwhile, earlier this year AXA inaugurated a search for suppliers of a new audit system to validate its network. The financial services firm wants to check if usage continually
meets the standards mandated in its paper-based information security policy.