A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of AXA Financial, Inc. and Certain Subsidiaries Business Wire OLDWICK, N.J. -- July 3, 2013 A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a-” and debt ratings of AXA Financial, Inc. (AXA Financial) (New York, NY), as well as the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and ICR of “aa-” of its lead operating subsidiary, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA Equitable) (New York, NY). The outlook for all ratings is negative. (See below for a detailed listing of AXA Financial’s other subsidiaries and ratings.) The affirmation of the ratings of AXA Financial's life subsidiaries reflects its prominent position in the industry as one of the leading variable annuity writers and global asset managers, and its importance to its ultimate parent, AXA S.A. (Paris, France), a publicly traded, worldwide leader in financial protection and wealth management. AXA Financial benefits from a diversified and productive distribution model, which includes a significant ownership of AllianceBernstein (AB), one of the largest publicly traded global investment management firms. Although risk-adjusted capital ratios have improved, volatility in both earnings and capital continue as negative rating factors. Moreover, AXA Financial remains exposed to equity market pressures on both sides of the balance sheet through its investment in AB and through its variable insurance products with guaranteed benefits, as well as to volatility in revenues from asset fees as a result of the changes in market values of its large separate account book of business and derivative activity. However, A.M. Best notes that the exposure from variable annuity guarantees is managed effectively through reinsurance and hedging programs and that the company has, in recent years, developed and introduced new and innovative products with the objective of offering a more balanced and diversified product portfolio. Additionally, general account investments consist of a well-diversified portfolio of public and private fixed maturities, commercial and agricultural mortgages and other loans, equity securities and other invested assets. While A.M. Best has affirmed the ratings of AXA Financial’s life insurance subsidiaries, the negative outlook reflects a concern with the exposure of the companies’ ultimate parent, AXA S.A., to the ongoing uncertainty in the eurozone and the potential impact on its U.S. operations. The ratings of AXA Financial’s life insurance subsidiaries benefit from its ownership by AXA S.A.; therefore, any deterioration in the financial strength of AXA S.A. would negatively impact the ratings of AXA Financial’s U.S. life insurance subsidiaries. A negative rating action also could occur for any one of the company’s subsidiaries if the strategic importance of the company to the parent changes, negative changes materialize in risk-based capital measures, or a trend of negative operating performance develops. The rating outlook could be moved back to stable if the general market conditions in the eurozone were to markedly improve. In addition, a positive rating action could occur for any subsidiary which is no longer viewed by A.M. Best to be non-core, specifically MONY Life Insurance of America, if premium growth establishes enough of a trend while maintaining solid capital, earnings and liquidity profiles. The FSR of A+ (Superior) and ICR of “aa-” have been affirmed with a negative outlook for AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of AXA Financial, Inc. The FSRs of A (Excellent) and ICR of “a+” have been affirmed for: *AXA Equitable Life and Annuity Company *U.S. Financial Life Insurance Company *MONY Life Insurance Company of America The FSR of B++ (Good) ) and ICR of “bbb” have been affirmed with a stable outlook for AXA Corporate Solutions Life Reinsurance. The following debt ratings have been affirmed: AXA Financial, Inc.— -- “a-” on $350 million 7% senior unsecured debentures, due 2028 AXA Financial, Inc.— -- “AMB-1” on its commercial paper program AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company— -- “a” on $200 million 7.7% surplus notes, due 2015 The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology. A.M. Best Company is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com. Copyright © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Contact: A.M. Best Company, Inc. Anthony McSwieney, 908-439-2200, ext. 5715 Senior Financial Analyst firstname.lastname@example.org or William Pargeans, 908-439-2200, ext. 5359 Assistant Vice President email@example.com or Rachelle Morrow, 908-439-2200, ext. 5378 Senior Manager, Public Relations firstname.lastname@example.org or Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644 Assistant Vice President, Public Relations email@example.com
A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of AXA Financial, Inc. and Certain Subsidiaries
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