Axa Wealth and Sun Life sold to Phoenix


Axa UK has agreed to sell the remaining part of its Wealth arm to Phoenix Group for £375m.

The Wealth business includes Embassy, Axa’s off-platform investment and pension division and Sun Life, its direct protection business which provides cover for the over 50s market.

The deal will add £12.3bn of assets and over 910,000 policies to Phoenix’s portfolio. Phoenix says the acquisition will deliver annual cost savings of £10m.

Architas is not part of the deal, with the multi-manager arm moving into Axa’s wider global life and savings division.

Axa UK & Ireland chief executive Paul Evans says: “I’m pleased to confirm the sale of the remaining part of our UK life and savings businesses to Phoenix.

“I would like to warmly thank the UK life & savings teams in Axa Wealth and SunLife who have accomplished so much over recent years. They can be very proud of what they have achieved, and I wish them all the very best for the future.”

Phoenix group chief executive Clive Bannister says: “The acquisition of the Embassy and SunLife businesses represents another important step forward in Phoenix’s growth strategy.

“We will invest heavily to ensure a smooth transition of the two businesses from Axa to Phoenix and we are committed to delivering the highest level of service to both direct and IFA customers, as we do for our existing customers.

“Looking ahead, we believe there will be further consolidation in the UK life industry and we will continue to explore further opportunities as they arise.”

The news follows the deal for Standard Life to acquire the Axa Elevate platform announced earlier this month. Money Marketing understands Elevate was sold for around £40m.

Separately, Axa UK and Ireland has appointed a new chief executive as part of a wider group management restructure.

Paul Evans has been appointed to the Axa group management committee, with responsibility for the group’s life, savings and health businesses globally.

Amanda Blanc, currently chief executive of the UK and Ireland general insurance business, will replace Evans with effect from 1 July.