August 25, 2017 / 10:31 AM / 2 years ago

French insurer AXA to cut about 250 technology jobs in Hong Kong: sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) - French insurer AXA SA (AXAF.PA) is cutting about 250 jobs from its information technology (IT) operations unit in Hong Kong, as part of a cost reduction exercise, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

FILE PHOTO: The AXA logo is seen at its headquarters in Melbourne May 31, 2010. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas/File Photo

Under the restructuring programme, AXA is setting up one IT center each in Manila and Kuala Lumpur, said the sources.

AXA plans to hire a total of about 400 people for these two new centers, according to one of the sources and a staff memo from the AXA Asia CEO. Currently, AXA’s Asia IT operations are managed entirely out of Hong Kong, the source added.

The sources declined to be named as they were not authorized to speak to media about the internal restructuring.

“AXA Asia constantly reviews its business practices to improve our product offering and service to customers,” Europe’s No.2 insurer said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

“We have built a strong Asia technology platform and are working on improving those capabilities, which will involve the rebalancing of some roles in the region.”

The insurer, however, did not confirm the job cuts.

The restructuring of AXA’s IT operations in Asia and the related job cuts were announced by its regional Chief Operations Officer Marc Blottiere in a staff townhall in Hong Kong on Thursday, said the sources.

Separately, AXA Asia CEO Doina Palici-Chehab said in a staff memo that the company had taken the decision to progress on transforming the regional IT operations by setting up “shared services centers” in Manila and Kuala Lumpur.

AXA plans to have 300 staff at the IT center in Manila and 110 in Kuala Lumpur by the end of next year, she said in the memo, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

“This move is critical to our transformation because it will enable us to increase our internal technology capability at an affordable cost for our entities,” she said.

AXA this month said it was confident of achieving its 2020 targets that involve 2.1 billion euros ($2.48 billion) in cost savings over 2016-2020, after reporting a stronger-than-expected rise in net profit for the first half of the year.

Reporting by James Pomfret and Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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