Belfast Telegraph

Insurance giant Axa plans to create 200 extra jobs in South

By Symon Ross

Insurance giant Axa has announced plans to create 200 jobs in the Republic over the next three years.

Recruitment has already started for a new global life product distribution and servicing subsidiary in Dublin called Axa Global Distributors.

It is estimated that 100 of the posts will be filled within the next 12 months in marketing, finance, information technology, telephone sales, product development, customer services and policy administration.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen said Axa was a household name in Ireland and already an important employer with 1,000 workers.

"The decision by a highly respected and successful global financial services player to locate this important new subsidiary business in Ireland is a very welcome endorsement of our strong reputation as a prime location for strategic activities," said Mr Cowen.

"This important win for Ireland is fully in keeping with the Government's policy on building the Smart Economy.

"It shows that we can provide the necessary skills, pro-business policies and the regulatory environment to help world-leading companies to grow their international business."

The new headquarters will be a distribution service for investment products and provide back office services to product underwriting entities in the AXA Group.

The announcement was originally planned for April 23 but postponed when volcanic ash interfered with the travel plans of Matthieu Andre and Michael Gregg, joint managing directors at AXA Global Distributors.

Mr Andre said: "Our decision to locate AXA Global Distributors in Dublin was down to the track record and success of our other operations in Ireland, the availability of highly educated graduates with language skills and the access Ireland provides us to EU markets."

Mr Cowen commended the Irish Development Association (IDA) for securing the latest jobs boost.

"We have to continue to fight very hard to retain existing jobs, and to win new jobs," he warned, however.

"Job creation is the core objective of the Government and all the policies we are implementing."

Elsewhere, Ireland's Enterprise Minister Batt O'Keeffe said the announcement shows Ireland can outperform competitors in attracting high-value investments.

"The new jobs in high-value areas adds momentum to Ireland's economic recovery project and demonstrates that we can continue to win investments against stiff competition from other countries," he added.