21 February 2019ILS

Assets under management in AXA XL's New Ocean hit $1 billion in 2018

New Ocean Capital Management, the ILS fund manager of AXA XL, has increased its assets under management (AUM) to just over $1 billion at year-end 2018, following the the share buyout from AXA XL.

This figure was a substantial increase year-on-year, up from $0.6 billion for the full-year 2017.

In November 2018, AXA XL's reinsurance operation had  bought up all the third party ownership interests in New Ocean Capital Management.

New Ocean became a wholly-owned subsidiary within AXA XL's alternative capital business, under the leadership of Daniel Brookman, AXA XL's head of alternative capital.  New Ocean was founded in 2013 by XL Group, in partnership with private equity fund Stone Point Capital, and later with Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co, to develop an ILS fund manager platform serving institutional investors seeking access to opportunities across the reinsurance industry.

In 2018, AXA XL overall saw an underlying loss of €233 million, as it was impacted by significant natural catastrophe activity in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“Our financials were impacted by two significant nat cat events in the US in the fourth quarter," said Greg Hendrick, CEO of AXA XL. "At January 1st, 2019, we refined and added to our catastrophe protections and are in alignment with the group’s risk appetite. We continue to make use of substantial alternative capital, including growth in AUM at New Ocean, our in-house ILS fund manager.”

French insurer AXA acquired commercial lines re/insurer XL Group in 2018 for $15.3 billion.

AXA's net income fell 66 percent to €2.1 billion in 2018, compared with the record net profit of €6.20 billion in 2017. It attributed this drop to  impairments of both the goodwill from AXA Equitable Holdings in group share (€3 billion) and other intangible assets linked to the transformation of its Swiss Group Life business

The French insurer added that higher restructuring costs and exceptional charges, related to both the IPO of AXA Equitable Holdings and the acquisition of XL Group, contributed to the decline in its net profit, alongside the negative impact from the change in the fair value of financial assets and derivatives.

Thomas Buberl, chief executive officer of AXA, commented: “2018 was a pivotal year in AXA’s transformation journey, creating the number one P&C commercial lines insurer with the acquisition of XL Group and completing the biggest IPO of the sector with the listing of AXA Equitable Holdings.”