AXA S.A. Expands Its Global Employee Benefits Footprint with Entry into the U.S. Market

Company builds top-tier team under leadership of Hervé Balzano

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Discretion Winter
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Josh Passman
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February 23, 2015

NEW YORK – AXA S.A., a global financial protection and retirement savings leader, is further extending its footprint into the United States with the launch of its U.S. Employee Benefits business, through subsidiaries AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company and MONY Life Insurance Company of America.  This market entry builds on AXA S.A.’s expertise as a leading employee benefits insurer around the world, where it protects more than a million employees. AXA S.A. will apply this knowledge and experience as it develops its U.S. offering – a suite of benefits products scheduled to begin rollout in mid-2015, including group life insurance, dental and vision, short- and long-term disability, gap medical and hospital indemnity, and critical illness.

The company has assembled a highly experienced leadership team led by Hervé Balzano, a 15-year veteran of AXA S.A. and AXA France, who has a proven track record of founding and growing employee benefits businesses in markets around the world. Balzano was previously head of AXA S.A.’s International Employee Benefits business and president of the MAXIS Global Benefits Network.

AXA extensively researched the U.S. market opportunity and found that one segment – small- to medium-sized businesses with 20 to 500 employees – remains underserved. These businesses and their employees comprise roughly half of the expanding U.S. employee benefits market, which is undergoing transformation following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“AXA is entering the U.S. employee benefits market at a time of great opportunity to help business owners navigate new regulations and obtain affordable and flexible coverage for their employees,” said Balzano. “While competitors struggle to adapt their legacy services and technology to the present, we have the advantage of building, from the ground up, a seamless platform that is unencumbered by the past and ready for the future.”

Watch this video interview in which Balzano further discusses the Employee Benefits business.

Leadership Team

Balzano is joined on the AXA Employee Benefits leadership team by:

James Long, Head of Distribution. Long leads the creation of AXA’s national and regional structure for distributing AXA’s suite of employee benefits products and services to independent brokers, general agents and AXA’s retail network of AXA Advisors, LLC. financial professionals. Long is responsible for optimizing strategic distribution partnerships, such as with private exchanges, health plans, and professional employers organizations. Prior to joining AXA, Long was vice president of Global Relationship Management at MetLife Global Employee Benefits, and is a 30-year industry veteran.

Leann Bohner, Head of Operations & Technology. Bohner leads the team responsible for developing AXA’s differentiating digital experience serving AXA’s targeted clients – independent brokers and general agents, employers and employees. She also is charged with building, from the ground up, AXA’s future-ready technology infrastructure and services. Prior to joining the Employee Benefits team, Bohner served as the chief information officer of AXA Seguros Mexico from 2010 to 2014.

Amanda Turcotte, Chief Actuary and Head of Product, Pricing & Underwriting. Turcotte leads the team responsible for designing and bringing AXA’s Employee Benefits product suite to market.  Previously, Turcotte was senior director & actuary of AXA’s Financial Protection & Wealth Management business, responsible for research and development to create life insurance products and entering new markets.

More Info

Find more information about AXA’s Employee Benefits business, including leadership team bios, a video interview with Hervé Balzano, and Q&A, on the AXA U.S. Newsroom on

About AXA

“AXA” is the brand name of AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC and its family of companies, including AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY, NY), MONY Life Insurance Company of America (AZ stock company, administrative office: Jersey City, NJ), AXA Advisors, LLC, and AXA Distributors, LLC. In business since 1859, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company is a leading financial protection company and one of the nation’s premier providers of life insuranceannuity, and financial products and services distributed to individuals and business owners through its retail distribution channel, AXA Advisors, LLC (member FINRA, SIPC) and to the financial services market through its wholesale distribution channel, AXA Distributors, LLC.

Group insurance products are issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA Equitable), by MONY Life Insurance Company of America (MONY America), and by unaffiliated third-party issuers. AXA Equitable and MONY America have sole responsibility for their insurance and claims-paying obligations.

AXA S.A. is a Paris-headquartered holding company for a group of international insurance and financial services companies, including AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC companies. AXA S.A. is a worldwide leader in financial protection strategies and wealth management with 102 million clients in 56 countries as of December 31, 2013.

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