EUROPE - New money from European pension funds drove up AXA Investment Managers' (AXA IM) revenues up 40% to €1,181m in 2006 from €845m the previous year.

Results posted today showed an increase in assets under management from €432bn to €485bn over the same period. New money accounted for €35bn, €23bn of it from institutional activity primarily in equities, structured credit and fixed income.

AXA head of communications Marianne Huve-Allard said that, despite some new money from US investors, much of the institutional interest has come from European pension funds encouraged by AXA's active investment approach.

"What attracts them is that we're not sitting on our hands," she said.

Alternatives - including private equity, real estate and hedge funds - attracted €12bn. "We have been pioneers in the industry in developing expertise in these areas," according to Huve-Allard.

More than €5.7bn in new money went into the €34bn structured finance division, which covers collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) and asset-backed securities.
In addition to its focus on absolute return products, AXA is working on plans to expand its operations in mainland Europe, the Middle East and Asia.