AXA UK sells AXA Wealth and SunLife to Phoenix; announces leadership change

Amanda Blanc to become UK and Ireland CEO

Anna Fedorova
AXA UK sells AXA Wealth and SunLife to Phoenix; announces leadership change

AXA UK is set to sell its (non-platform) investment and pensions business, AXA Wealth, and its direct protection business, SunLife, to Phoenix Group Holdings, and has also announced a raft of top management changes.

The news follows announcements of the firm's sale of AXA Wealth International to LCCG, and Elevate to Standard Life earlier this month.

AXA's UK life and savings business is composed of AXA Wealth and SunLife. Together with the two previously announced transactions, the overall consideration for the sale of the entire UK life and savings business would amount to around €800m.

Life company consolidator group Phoenix said it will pay a consideration of £375m for AXA Wealth in cash payable on completion; the acquisition will add £12.3bn of assets under management and over 910,000 policies.

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Paul Evans (pictured), CEO of AXA UK and Ireland, said: "I am pleased to confirm the sale of the remaining part of our UK life and savings businesses to Phoenix Group Holdings.

"I would like to warmly thank the UK life and savings teams in AXA Wealth and SunLife who have accomplished so much over recent years. They can be very proud of what they have achieved, and I wish them all the very best for the future."

Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Meanwhile, the firm has announced current CEO Evans is to be appointed to the AXA Group Management Committee, with responsibility for the group's life, savings and health business.

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Amanda Blanc will take over his role as chief executive for AXA UK and Ireland, with both appointments effective 1 July.

Evans has been in his current role since 2010. In his new role, he will be responsible for the firm's global operations in the life and savings and global health markets.

Evans said: "It has been a great privilege to lead AXA UK and Ireland over the past five years, and I am really pleased to pass the leadership to Amanda.

"She has a very impressive track record and has shown to be an inspiring leader in the successful transformation of our general insurance business. I am very confident her experience and drive will deliver even greater success for our businesses over the coming years."

Amanda Blanc, currently CEO AXA UK and Ireland, general insurance, added: "It is a great honour to take over the reins of AXA UK and Ireland from Paul, who has done a fantastic job in leading us through a very successful turnaround.

"My focus will be on ensuring we have the right culture to deliver consistent, sustainable financial success from a model that is dependent upon great customer outcomes.

"The insurance and healthcare markets are ripe for disruption and I am determined that AXA UK will be the engineer of that disruption rather than a victim of it."

These appointments are part of a wider announcement by the AXA Group, which has appointed a new management team to support Thomas Buberl, incoming AXA Group CEO, in the shaping and implementation of its strategy and management of its global operations.