Industry Updates

AXA and BNP Paribas explore asset management joint venture – report

The French giants manage a combined $1.5trn AUM

Tom Eckett


AXA and BNP Paribas are considering a potential asset management merger, a move that would create a unit with $1.5trn assets under management (AUM).

According to a Bloomberg report, citing sources, the two French giants are exploring a joint venture (JV) for their asset management businesses.

Talks are ongoing, however, no decisions have been made, with AXA looking at other merger options for the future of its asset management business.

This would not be the first JV between the two firms. In 2005, BNPP AM and AXA IM co-founded EasyETF, marking their entry into European ETFs.

However, AXA IM sold the business to BNPP AM in 2009. The latter is currently a top 10 ETF issuer in Europe with $28.1bn AUM.

AXA IM re-entered European ETFs in September 2022, with the launch of two active ETFs, a key area of focus for the French insurer.

From an ETF perspective, the duo’s ranges would have little crossover, with BNPP AM traditionally focusing on rules-based ETFs while AXA IM has predominantly launched active ETFs.

In February, BNPP AM launched its first active ETFs that apply an “index-like approach” combined with its proprietary ESG methodology.

Consolidation has been a hallmark of the asset management industry in recent years amid ongoing cost pressures.

Amundi’s acquisition of French rival Lyxor from Société Générale in January 2022 is the most recent high-profile tie-up of two ETF issuers. The deal created Europe’s second-largest ETF issuer behind BlackRock, with $241bn AUM, as at the end of Q1.

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