After 27 years in the Group, and close to 17 years as CEO, Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO of AXA, has announced his decision to retire and to step down from the Board of Directors on September 1st, 2016. The Board of Directors decided to separate the functions of Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer with Denis Duverne as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors and Thomas Buberl as Chief Executive Officer.
Norbert Dentressangle resigned as Vice-Chairman – Senior Independent Director. The Board of Directors decided to appoint Jean-Martin Folz, a Board member since 2007, as Senior Independent Director.
Remuneration (resolutions 4 to 9): Although the transparency of the remuneration is satisfactory, the Say on pay resolution for Henri de Castries represents the opportunity for shareholders to express their opposition for a very generous pension scheme which now allows Henri de Castries to receive each year 1 M €. Unlike its predecessor, AXA has set up compensation for Thomas Buberl, which seems to be inspired by guidelines of Proxinvest (target and maximum variable remuneration limited to 100% and 150% of the fixed, variable limited to 300% of the fixed). These improvements are welcomed. However, Thomas Buberl's total remuneration can reach very high amounts, due in particular to an excessive fixed remuneration.
Finally, it should be noted that most capital increase authorizations respect the voting policy of Proxinvest (resolutions 18 to 29 except 24).
AXA is a holding company. Through its subsidiaries, Co. is engaged in insurance and assets management. Co. operates primarily in Europe, North America, the Asia-Pacific Region and, to a lesser extent, in other regions including the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Co. has five operating business segments: Life & Savings, Property & Casualty, International Insurance, Asset Management, and Banking. In addition, various holding companies within the AXA Group conduct certain non-operating activities. As of Dec 31 2013, Co. had total assets of Euro757,143,000,000.
Founded in 1995, Proxinvest is an independent proxy firm supporting the engagement and proxy analysis processes of investors. Proxinvest mission is to analyse corporate governance practices and resolutions proposed at general meetings of listed firms.
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