Corporate news

AXA IM creates global platform for alternative credit

  • 03 October 2016

100 professionals across Paris, London and Greenwich (Connecticut) providing management and advisory services to over €31 billion of assets*

AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) today announces the merger of its Alternative Solutions and Structured Finance teams to create a single global alternative credit platform under the leadership of Deborah Shire, Head of Structured Finance.

Commenting on the announcement, John Porter, Global Head of Fixed Income & Structured Finance at AXA IM, said: “AXA IM’s Structured Finance team has been a pioneer in the disintermediation of credit markets since its inception in the late 1990s and today provides a length of track record across credit cycles, volume of assets under management, and a breadth and depth of expertise that few asset managers can rival. We believe that by combining the talent, resources and skillset of our Alternative Solutions team we can create a simpler and more agile structure to the benefit of our clients.”

The merger will create a single alternative credit platform with a presence in Paris, London and Greenwich (Connecticut). The combined team will encompass 100 professionals providing management and advisory services to over €31 billion of assets* covering loans, private debt, collateralised loan obligations, insurance linked securities, asset backed securities, fund of hedge funds and impact investing.

John Porter, added: “Deborah has more than 20 years of experience across alternative asset classes and under her leadership our structured finance offering has experienced strong growth with assets under management rising by 29% since she took over in September 2014 and capital raised to date this year of €3.5 billion. We are confident that under her direction our alternative credit platform will continue to grow and excel in delivering innovative solutions to meet clients’ needs.”

Deborah Shire, Head of Structured Finance, said: “AXA IM’s integrated alternative credit platform will offer better visibility and a wider range of investment opportunities to our existing and future clients. In the context of a low rate environment investors are increasingly looking for high yielding and  diversifying assets to provide returns but they also want peace of mind i.e. transparency and a trusted partner who aims to deliver consistently throughout credit cycles. I believe our disciplined management style combined with our strong fundamental credit skills and market knowledge will enable us to continue to earn our clients’ trust. I look forward to working with my colleagues to expand AXA IM’s footprint as a market leader in the alternative credit space.”

Eric Lhomond, previously Global Head of the Alternative Solutions team, has decided to leave AXA IM in order to pursue a new opportunity.

Julien Fourtou, Global Head of MACS & TSF, said: “Eric has worked across the AXA Group for over 17 years. He spent the last two years at AXA IM leading our Alternative Solutions team which encompasses fund of hedge funds, impact investing and alternative credit solutions. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his significant contribution and to wish him all the very best for the future. Eric will be working closely with the team to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.”

* AuM figures as at end of June 2016


    About AXA IM Structured Finance

    AXA IM’s Structured Finance team manages more than €23 billion of assets primarily for pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and family offices.

    AXA IM’s Alternative Solutions team provides management and advisory services to over €8 billion of assets for insurance companies, corporates and pension schemes through a wide range of solutions.

    The merger will create a single alternative credit platform with a presence in Paris, London and Greenwich (Connecticut).  The combined team will encompass 100 professionals providing management and advisory services to over €31 billion of assets* covering loans, private debt, collateralised loan obligations, insurance linked securities, asset backed securities, fund of hedge funds and impact investing.

    About Deborah Shire

    Deborah has been Head of Structured Finance at AXA IM since September 2014. Prior to her current role, Deborah was Global Head of Business Development at AXA Real Estate for three years in charge of corporate finance, investor relations, marketing and communications, and business development. She was also a member of the Executive Management Board of AXA Real Estate, a non-executive Management Board member of AXA REIM US and a non-executive Management Board member of AXA REIM Japan.

    Prior to this, Deborah was Deputy Head of AXA Structured Finance in charge of strategy, finance, marketing, operations and development. In 2000, Deborah worked alongside the founding team to establish AXA IM’s Structured Finance department where she later became Head of Structured Finance Engineering in charge of product development and structuring. Deborah joined AXA IM in 1998 as a quantitative portfolio manager.

    Deborah is a graduate from the French engineering school SUPAERO (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace) and holds a Financial Analyst diploma from SFAF (French Society of Financial Analysts). In 2015, Deborah was named in the FN100 Influential Women – a list of the most influential female executives working in European financial services.

    About John Porter

    John became Global Head of Fixed Income at AXA IM in November 2013 with the added responsibility of Structured Finance in April 2014. He is a member of AXA IM's Management Board and Executive Committee.

    John was previously Managing Director and Global Head of Portfolio and Liquidity Management at Barclays, joining in 1998. Before joining Barclays, John was Chief Economist and Principal at Summit Capital Advisers, performing macro-economic analysis and developing investment strategies in North America, Europe and Japan. From 1993 to 1996, John was Director and Principal at Moore Capital Management in Paris, managing the Paris subsidiary as well as running a portion of the firm's fixed income funds and advising the general investment portfolios on strategic positioning in global credit markets. Prior to this, John spent 10 years at the World Bank. He worked as a Senior Economist designing structural adjustment loans, before moving to join the Investment Department and in 1990 was named Chief Investment Officer responsible for managing a portion of their $20 billion global fixed income portfolio.

    John has an MA in International Economics and Certificate in European Studies from Columbia University (1983), a Doctorate in Psychology from the Sorbonne (1980), attended the Ecole Normale Superieure (1976-1979) and has a BA in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard (1976).

    About Julien Fourtou

    Julien Fourtou was appointed Global Head of MACS & TSF (Multi Asset Client Solutions and Trading and Securities Financing) in August 2014 and is a member of AXA IM’s Management Board and Executive Board.

    Julien joined AXA IM in November 2000 and was appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) for AXA Fixed Income in September 2008. He was previously Head of the Global Bonds team, responsible for setting up a new investment process with a particular focus on risk management. He initially joined AXA IM as a Portfolio Engineer first in France and then in the UK where he worked closely with the fund managers to construct fixed income portfolios and develop investment tools.

    Julien holds a degree in Engineering from ENSIEG (a French engineering school) and received financial training at ESA (a French business school).

    About Eric Lhomond

    Eric Lhomond has been Global Head of Alternative Solutions at AXA IM since October 2014. He led our fund of hedge funds and impact investing teams, and has been responsible for developing an alternative credit solution dedicated to third-party clients.  Prior to this, Eric was AXA UK Chief Investment Officer from 2010. He was responsible for AXA UK's investment & treasury activities and managed the alternative credit investments for AXA Group. Previously, he worked at AXA Equitable Insurance Company as Head of the Dynamic Hedging department since 2006. In this capacity, he was responsible for the company's equity and interest rate derivative portfolio and hedging programs for Variable Annuities and General Accounts. Prior to that Eric was a fixed income financial analyst at AXA Equitable investment team since 1999.

    Eric is a CFA charter holder and has an MBA degree from Stern School of Business, New York University and a master's degree in Accounting and Finance from Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures Comptables et Financières.

    About AXA Investment Managers
    AXA Investment Managers is an active, long-term, global, multi-asset investor focused on enabling more people to harness the power of investing to meet their financial goals. By combining investment insight and innovation with robust risk monitoring, we have become one of the largest asset managers in Europe with ambitions to become the chosen investment partner of investors around the world.  With approximately €679bn in assets under management as of end June 2016, AXA IM employs over 2,350 people around the world and operates out of 29 offices in 21 countries. AXA IM is part of the AXA Group, a global leader in financial protection and wealth management.

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    AXA Investment Managers UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This press release is as dated. This does not constitute a Financial Promotion as defined by the Financial Conduct Authority and is for information purposes only. The content herein may not be suitable for retail clients. No financial decisions should be made on the basis of the information provided.

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