AXA Investment Managers has signalled its intent to return to the European ETF market after it said the investment vehicle would the “attractive” to its clients.

The French asset manager said it takes a “pragmatic and opportunistic” approach to its business evolution and added the wrapper would complement its existing range of mutual funds.

It comes after the firm hired Brieuc Louchard as head of capital markets in March. Louchard joined after seven years at Euronext, most recently as head of ETFs, a role he held for just over a year.

In a statement, AXA IM, said: “We have always been pragmatic and opportunistic with regards to the evolution of our organisation, and business, adding new teams and capabilities to our set-up when there is a business rationale and alignment of interest with our clients.

“Based on this approach, we can confirm that ETFs is an area we could consider as we see that, as an investment vehicle, ETF can be attractive for our clients next to our existing range of mutual funds.”

The move would market a re-entry into the ETF market for AXA IM after it sold its ETF business, EasyETF, to BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) in 2009.

Easy ETF, which it co-founded with BNPP AM in 2005, now has roughly €33.8bn assets under management (AUM) across 90 ETFs and index funds.

The move would be another milestone in the European ETF landscape after Amundi completed its acquisition of Lyxor in January this year.

The €825m acquisition, which was originally announced in April 2021, took Amundi’s AUM to over €170bn across more than 300 products, a 14% share of the European market.

It would also be one of the first large traditional European mutual fund manager to make the leap into ETFs.

abrdn is another major asset manager currently looking to enter the European ETF market, however, the departure of its ETF strategy head Chanchal Samadder last November cast doubts on the timing of the launch.

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