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November 2019

Tenth meeting of AXA Stakeholder Advisory Panel

Starting time: 1:00 PM CET

Ending time: November 15, 2019 1:00 PM CET

AXA held the tenth meeting of its Stakeholder Advisory Panel on November 14 & 15, 2019 in Paris.


  • External panelists: Steve Davis, Sangu Delle, Nicholas Eberstadt, Ameera Shah, Mark Tercek and Maria Ressa
  • Members of AXA’s Board: Denis Duverne (Chairman of the AXA Board)
  • AXA management: George Stansfield (Deputy CEO and Group General Secretary), Georges Desvaux (Group Head of Strategy and Business Development), Alban de Mailly Nesle (Group Head of Risks and Investments), Ulrike Decoene (Group Head of Communication, Brand and Corporate Responsibility), Céline Soubranne (Group Head of Corporate Responsibility), Sylvain Vanston (Head of Climate and Environment Engagement, Sophie Furtak (Head of Social and Health Engagement)

Panelists have been invited to share their insights and comments regarding specific initiatives: Mind Health, Diversity & Inclusion, the integration of CR in the strategic plan and AXA’s Purpose.

1. Follow-up session

As discussed during the April panel, this new format of follow-up session aims at providing an update on the topics discussed in previous panels. Update on two topics were presented respectively on the BODI (Beating Obesity & DIabetes) program of our Health & Disease Prevention pillar and on Biodiversity.

The panel acknowledged AXA ambition but recommended to make choices and be clear on the ones we want to commit to, based on trust and doing the right thing. They also encouraged AXA to be less shy with what we do.

2. Mind Health

If Mind health is attractive at first sight, the panel raised the significant risk of pricing and anti-selection, and of creating false expectations. Recommendations were given on exploring selfcare, looking at the topic step by step starting with our employees. Focus should be on experimentation, start-ups, venture capital or impact fund. One approach could also be to target women with higher prevalence. 

3. Culture, Diversity & Inclusion

As AXA builds its Diversity & Inclusion strategy, recommendations from the panel included to manage expectations and to give the opportunity to speak to people who feel threatened (e.g. ERGs, and communities of practices). It was also suggested that we take a holistic approach finding the right tone and fostering authenticity in leadership. AXA will also look beyond protected characteristics as diversity is not just about gender (e.g. social origins are a form of invisible disability) and re-focus on talented people who are minorities, with a neutral communication.

4. Integrating CR in 2023 strategic plan

Three illustrations were shared on integrating CR in the strategic plan respectively on Prevention, Inclusive Protection and Health. On Prevention, while the approach sounds right, the panelists encourage AXA to be more holistic and be broader to be credible. As far as Inclusive Protection, the stake is to clarify its position within the overall strategy and explore further our ambition in mature markets. Lastly when it comes to Health, AXA should avoid fragmentation and look at what technology and disrupters can bring, concentrating  on where we can add value.

5. Strategic narrative, Purpose and Employee Engagement

Finally on Purpose, the panelists recommended to be more forceful on the benefits AXA provide around the concept that “AXA are here to have our customers backed and we anticipate the risks and issues they may face." Feedback also included that our role in society needs to be related to everything we stand for.