A year into the job, AXA Technology Services CTO Vincent Cohan is attempting to piece together a global vision for the Paris-headquartered finance group's global operations.

A large part of his work centres on Cornerstone, the company's blueprint for delivery consistent, ITIL-compliant processes across the group.

"This is much more than a tool-deployment project; in fact, the tools are really the easy part," Cohan told Insurance & Technology in April 2009. "Cornerstone is aimed at making sure that we have a consistent way of dealing with incident management, change management, management of IT assets, hardware and software and service requests across the global AXA organization so that we can leverage the capabilities we have in a more efficient manner."

As with others in its market, AXA is pushing hard to ensure corporate governance.

A huge group with 214,000 staff, AXA is surprisingly youthful, having taken its name as recently as 1985. In the UK and Ireland the firm turned over more than £3.5bn in its non-life business and over £1bn in its life business for the last financial year. It employs about 13,000 staff.