Governance and Control at AXA

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR224

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Corporate Governance | Control
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : 1991-2006
Organization : AXA
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : France
Industry : Banking & Financial Services


The case examines the dual corporate governance structure of France based AXA, one of the leading insurance and investment management companies in the world. In a span of three decades, AXA acquired several financial services companies globally. When AXA aimed at becoming a truly global company and started consolidating its global operations, the company felt that a judicious mix of centralization and decentralization of activities was required. AXA centralized its operations to the extent necessary and its subsidiaries in different countries had complete freedom to operate according to the local conditions.

The case discusses in length about the roles played by AXA's management and supervisory board to maintain a firm control over the operations of the company.


Study the importance of strong governance practices in companies having global operations

Understand the need for a dual corporate governance structure

Examine the need for a smooth coordination between the subsidiaries and the headquarters to run a company's global operations efficiently

Study the corporate functions that are centralized by AXA

Appreciate the benefits reaped by AXA after decentralizing few of its corporate functions


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
Going Global 3
The AXA Board 4
AXA - Centralizing Business Functions 9
AXA - Efforts to Decentralize 11
The Benefits 13
Exhibits 15

Key Words:

AXA, Governance Structure, Globalization, Control Systems, Centralization, Decentralization, Corporate Governance, Operational Excellence, Supervisory Board, Management Board, Key Performance Indicators, Centrally Managed Functions, Localization.

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