January 10, 2019 / 9:26 AM / in 4 months

AXA moves international risk to Ireland from UK ahead of Brexit

A logo of insurer Axa is seen at the entrance of the company's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium March 5, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

PARIS (Reuters) - French insurer AXA (AXAF.PA) said it will handle its international risk and reinsurance trough an Irish unit in light of Britain’s plans to leave the European Union.

Chief Executive Thomas Buberl told reporters on Thursday that AXA’s recently acquired XL division had already initiated the plans to move some staff to Ireland from the U.K. before its eventual takeover by AXA last year.

“It will be mostly people taking the way U.K.-Ireland,” he said. “Since the former hub is in France, we will have to take some jobs from France as Irish regulators will ask functions to be handled there,” said Buberl, who did not specify how many staff would be moving over to Ireland.

When companies move operations from one country to another, regulators can require a minimum of sensitive tasks to be carried under their supervision. As a result, AXA may have to move a handful of Paris-based jobs to Dublin.

The company will handle European large risks and reinsurance from Dublin, while its people in London will keep handling all the company’s U.K. businesses.

Dublin has been vying with Frankfurt, Paris and other major European Union cities to attract financial jobs away from London ahead of Britain’s planned departure from the EU in March 2019.

The Lloyd’s commercial insurance market has set up a headquarter for Europe, the Middle East and Africa in Brussels.

Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Geert De Clercq

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