Henri de Castries

President, Institut Montaigne

Henri de Castries has been President of Institut Montaigne since June 2015. In this role, he chaired the taskforce "Digital Tools to Succeed in Primary School" and co-chaired the report "What future role for tomorrow’s cars?".

Henri de Castries joined the American investment fund General Atlantic in September 2017, to oversee its European activities. He started his career in the General Inspection of Finances, where he performed audit missions between 1980 and 1984 for different French administrations. In 1984, he joined the General Directorate of the Treasury. In 1986, he participated in the implementation of the privatization program for several companies before taking the responsibility of the exchange and balance of payments markets. After joining AXA in 1989 in the Central Financial Directorate of the company, he was nominated General Secretary in 1991, where he became responsible for the legal restructuring and the mergers linked to the integration of companies from the Compagnie du Midi. Two years later, appointed general manager of AXA, he took over asset managements, the financial and real estate companies, and in 1994, the responsibility for Northern America and Great Britain. In 1996, he was closely involved in the merger preparation with the UAP, and in the integration process of the teams from both groups. In 1997, he was nominated President of the Equitable Board of Directors (which would later become AXA US). In 2000, he was appointed President of the AXA Directorate, and in 2010, CEO of the Board of Directors, which he quit on September 1st, 2016. During his 16 years as the lead of AXA, in a difficult macroeconomic context (9/11 attacks, the dot-com bubble, the subprime mortgage crisis, the European debt crisis), he enhanced the operational performance of the group, and reinforced its financial solidity, while actively handling its competitors, through the acquisition of the Swiss Winterthur in 2006, as well as the external growth operations in emerging markets and Asia particularly. Moreover, he initiated a substantial project of digital transformation of the group through the strategic project "Ambition AXA".

Henri de Castries graduated from the business school HEC and holds a License degree in Law. He is a former student of the French National School of Administration. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of AXA Assurances, IARD Mutuelle, AXA Assurances Vie Mutuelle, AXA Financial, Inc., in addition to being Director of the Nestlé group (Switzerland) and of HSBC Holdings Plc (Great Britain).