AXA Investment Managers appoints new global operating chief

Godefroy de Colombe, CEO of AXA’s Direct Assurance business, will take on the role later this month in Paris.

AXA Investment Managers has appointed the chief executive of its e-insurance business as chief operating officer.

In a statement, AXA said that Godefroy de Colombe will start the new position on 16 January based in Paris, and reporting to executive chairman of the firm, Gérald Harlin. He will be responsible for the operations, IT, data, digital, innovation, security and risk, compliance, and trading operations, AXA added.

Colombe takes on the role from Direct Assurance, AXA’s P&C (property and casualty) e-insurance business where he has been chief executive since 2012. He first joined AXA as chief of staff to the group COO in 2008, before he was appointed head of retail lines. 

“Godefroy has a deep understanding of how COO functions bring value to the business. Godefroy’s recognised leadership skills, drive and energy, business acumen, knowledge of AXA as well as strong people focus will be great additions to AXA Investment Managers,” Harlin commented. 

News of Colombe’s appointment follows the departure of AXA Investment Manager’s chief executive officer, Andrea Rossi, who stepped down last month after leading the investment firm for six years. Rossi assumed the role of chairman of the board and became a strategic advisor to Harlin, who took on a more senior role.

Harlin, who has been with AXA Group for 29 years, was due to retire at the end of last year but decided to push his retirement date back in light of the management changes. He was chief financial officer and deputy CEO at AXA Investment Managers. AXA’s CEO of Hong Kong, Etienne Bouas-Laurent, replaced Harlin as CFO as part of the management changes.