EUROPE - French AXA Group has seen its asset management business revenue grow by 22% to €1.15bn, with net inflows of €19bn in the first quarter of this year.

Both AllianceBernstein and AXA's investment management arm contributed to the growth, said Henri de Castries, the financial group's chairman, in a statement today.

In its Q1 2007 report, the group said assets under management (AUM) at AllianceBernstein increased by €13bn from year-end 2006 to €557bn at the end of March. "Institutional fees were up 27%," AXA added.

At AXA Investment Managers, AUM also increased by €65bn, driven by €8bn of net inflows "mainly from institutional clients and third party retail clients", bringing its entire AUM up to €550bn.

The group last month announced it has acquired a 50% stake in the open pension fund business of the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena Group (BMPS) in a bid to improve its distribution network in the Italian market.

A spokeswoman said it was too early to say how the deal has affected AXA's asset management business and results will be published in August.