AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) has hired Brieuc Louchard as head of capital markets from Euronext, in a sign the French asset manager could be looking to enter the ETF market in Europe.

Louchard (pictured) spent seven years at Euronext most recently as head of ETFs, a role he held for just over a year.

He joined Euronext as an ETF business development manager in 2015 from Carax where he was co-head of ETF sales trading for a year.

Prior to this, he spent six years as a sales trader at Société Générale, first in equities before moving to ETFs.

AXA IM did not provide a comment when approached.

Michael O’Riordan, founding partner at Blackwater Search & Advisory, predicted the firm could look at launching active ETFs in particular.

“It looks like AXA IM is about to enter the European ETF market,” O’Riordan said. “This follows multiple rumours and the recent hire of Louchard as head of capital markets.

“This would be the first large traditional European mutual fund manager to make the leap which makes it very exciting.”

Athanasios Psarofagis, ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, added the potential move would increase the presence of ETF on the French market.

“It is an interesting one,” he continued. “One channel AXA IM has a link to is insurance so it can disrupt that space.”

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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