• Overhaul needed at Belgian insurance unit, Van In says
  • French insurer to invest $223 million in technology in country

Axa SA is considering cutting 650 jobs in Belgium over the next two years, as Europe’s second-largest insurer overhauls its range of products sold in the country.

Axa Belgium has presented the plan to unions Monday, Jef Van In, head of the unit, said in a statement Monday. The reductions would represent 15 percent of its insurance employees in the country, where it also operates a banking network.

“Axa Belgium is solid today, and we need to carry out this transformation to remain so,” Van In said in the statement.

As part of the plan, Axa’s Belgian unit will stop selling some individual life-coverage at the start of 2017 as it focuses on offering pension insurance and property-and-casualty products. The division will also invest 200 million euros ($223 million) over five years in new technologies to improve services for clients and brokers, it said.

Paris-based Axa has just completed a major management shake-up. Thomas Buberl, 43, officially became chief executive officer last week as Henri de Castries retired after 16 years at the helm. Buberl has announced goals to increase profitability through 2020 by seeking 2.1 billion euros of cost cuts and growing digital spending.

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