AXA was established in 1871 under the name of Mutuelle de L'assurance contre L'incendie or The Ancienne Mutuelle. Claude Bébéar changed the name to AXA. The name 'AXA' was decided as it was easy to say in any language. The AXA group engage in life, health and other forms of insurance, as well as investment management. The group operates primarily in Western Europe, North America, the Asia Pacific region, and the Middle East. In the UK, AXA sold AXA Sun Life Holdings Ltd to Resolution Limited in autumn 2010, whilst retaining AXA Wealth, Sun Life Direct and Bancassurance business units.
As of 2010, AXA had 102,960 employess and assets of €731.65 billion Euros.