Henri de Castries

DEFINITION of 'Henri de Castries'

The chairman and CEO of insurer and asset manager AXA since 2000. De Castries has also has been a director of MONY Life Insurance Co., AllianceBernstein Corp., CSFBdirect, Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston USA, Inc., AXF and Harris Direct. At AXA, De Castries assisted with the acquisitions of many companies, including Guardian Royal Exchange and French insurer UAP, cut costs by selling off some of the company's non-core assets, and helped AXA double its earnings. He also expanded the company's global presence.

BREAKING DOWN 'Henri de Castries'

Born of noble heritage in 1954 in France, De Castries holds degrees in business and law and also graduated at the top of his class from France's École Nationale d'Administration, which prepares students to work for the government. De Castries began his career in the French Finance Ministry Inspection Office in 1980 as an auditor, then worked for the French Treasury before joining AXA in 1989.