AXA IM adds ILS investing to new global alternative credit platform

by Artemis on October 4, 2016

AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM), the global asset management unit of AXA Group, has consolidated its alternative investment and structured solutions teams into a single global alternative credit platform, which includes its insurance-linked securities (ILS) investment team.

AXA IM announced the merger of its Alternative Solutions and Structured Finance investment teams to create a single global alternative credit platform under the leadership of Deborah Shire, the firms Head of Structured Finance.

Within that re-organisation sits the AXA IM insurance-linked securities (ILS) investing team, as well as asset classes including loans, private debt, collateralised loan obligations, asset backed securities, fund of hedge funds and impact investing.

In total, the new global alternative credit platform will manage over €31 billion of assets, through a combined team of 100 professionals providing management and advisory services from offices in Paris, London and Greenwich (Connecticut).

John Porter, AXA IM’s Global Head of Fixed Income & Structured Finance, commented; “AXA IM’s Structured Finance team has been a pioneer in the disintermediation of credit markets since its inception in the late 1990s and today provides a length of track record across credit cycles, volume of assets under management, and a breadth and depth of expertise that few asset managers can rival. We believe that by combining the talent, resources and skillset of our Alternative Solutions team we can create a simpler and more agile structure to the benefit of our clients.”

Deborah Shire, the Head of Structured Finance, also said; “AXA IM’s integrated alternative credit platform will offer better visibility and a wider range of investment opportunities to our existing and future clients. In the context of a low rate environment investors are increasingly looking for high yielding and diversifying assets to provide returns but they also want peace of mind i.e. transparency and a trusted partner who aims to deliver consistently throughout credit cycles. I believe our disciplined management style combined with our strong fundamental credit skills and market knowledge will enable us to continue to earn our clients’ trust. I look forward to working with my colleagues to expand AXA IM’s footprint as a market leader in the alternative credit space.”

John Porter added; “Deborah has more than 20 years of experience across alternative asset classes and under her leadership our structured finance offering has experienced strong growth with assets under management rising by 29% since she took over in September 2014 and capital raised to date this year of €3.5 billion. We are confident that under her direction our alternative credit platform will continue to grow and excel in delivering innovative solutions to meet clients’ needs.”

By consolidating its alternative investment and structured finance teams AXA IM will be able to offer the full spectrum of alternatives, liquid alts and structured products, many of which have low correlation to the wider financial markets, to its client base.

That should bring insurance-linked securities (ILS) and instruments such as catastrophe bonds more regularly into contact with a broader swathe of AXA IM’s investor base and that could help the firm lift its ILS assets under management through increased inflows of capital.

AXA Investment Managers has recently strengthened its insurance-linked securities (ILS) investment and fund management team, adding a portfolio manager and an analyst to its ranks.

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