"Let's take a brief look into the past: the German ancestors of the local AXA branch originated from Cologne, Germany."
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The committed insurer from Cologne
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Let's take a brief look into the past: the German ancestors of the local AXA branch originated from Cologne, Germany. In the course of a new Prussian law, the Kölnische Feuer-Versicherungs-Gesellschaft Colonia was founded in 1839. The founders were merchants, most of whom were recruited from the Cologne banking house Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. The forefather distinguished himself by his pioneering work; for example, he created the first fire policy to cover damage caused by fire extinguishing work. By providing this new service /offer, which at the time the necessity was at a high demand, the insurer was able to successfully establish itself in the market.
AXA comes to Germany
More than 150 years and several mergers later, AXA again adjusted to the signs of the times and initiated a holding structure under the leadership of Colonia Konzern AG. In 1993 the French UAP (Union des Assurances de Paris) became the majority shareholder of the holding company, which in turn was taken over by the AXA Group in 1997. Colonia now became AXA Colonia Konzern AG - AXA thus arrived on the German insurance market. Since then the insurer has continually strived to maintain its pioneering role. And in the end this does not only refer to insurance-related matters.
AXA's awareness of corporate responsibility is expressed, among other things, in a sustainable investment strategy. The Cologne-based company implements this strategy together with other major insurers worldwide in the United Nations-led "Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance". This was launched in 2019 with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions in investment portfolios to a net zero amount by 2050. This will be achieved in concrete terms by investing in sustainable projects, disinvesting in critical sectors, but also by actively influencing companies and cooperating with NGOs.
Social warmth in voluntary work
AXA's commitment to sustainability change is accompanied by social actions. To this end, the association AXA von Herz zu Herz e.V. was founded, in which employees of the insurer support people in need of help on a voluntary basis in their free time. The model for this was the initiative "AXA Atout Coeur", which had already been set up in France in 1991. In this way, the association actively supports refugees, children in institutions, senior citizens, the sick, people with mental and physical disabilities as well as people in precarious living conditions, working together with selected organisations on a long-term basis. The measures of the association are oriented towards the individual needs of the respective partner organisation. The association now has over 700 members at 14 locations in Germany.
What remains is the confident observation that an insurance company can achieve a lot outside of its actual business activities and areas of responsibility - and in many different ways.