AXA, among the largest financial protection companies in the U.S. with approximately 2.5 million client households nationwide, is expanding its Mecklenburg County operations and will add 550 new jobs over the next five years, Governor Roy Cooper announced.
The company plans to invest approximately $18 million to expand its current location in University City’s Innovation Park in Charlotte, making it AXA’s largest location in the U.S. The U.S. Corporate Headquarters for the company will remain in New York City.
“Financial services companies like AXA have found a fertile environment for their operations in the Charlotte region, where they can attract talent and grow their business,” said Governor Cooper. “We’re glad that this global financial protection company will be expanding again and establishing a regional headquarters in our state.”
The AXA announcement is the second major jobs announcement for North Carolina made today. Earlier, Gov. Cooper announced 1,200 new jobs and $70.5 million in additional investment by Credit Suisse in Wake County.
In business since 1859, AXA provides life insurance, annuity and financial products and services. Globally, AXA has approximately 107 million clients in 64 countries. AXA currently employs about 575 people at its Charlotte operations center, primarily in life operations, customer service, new business, sales, marketing, training, human resources, underwriting, finance and technology.
“AXA is just the kind of financial services company with a global customer base that fits well with the diverse and talented workforce located in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “We work hard to ensure that North Carolina-based companies strongly consider staying close to home when they are ready to expand.” N.C. Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. led the state’s support for the company’s expansion.
AXA will bring a variety of jobs to Charlotte, including IT, finance, legal, accounting, customer service, HR and other functions that will support growth of the company’s business. Salaries will vary by position, but the annual payroll for the new jobs will exceed $60 million. Mecklenburg County’s overall average wage is currently $62,741 per year.
“AXA looks forward to growing in Charlotte, and we appreciate the support from the state of North Carolina, the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County,” said Mark Pearson, chairman, president and chief executive Officer of AXA US. “We know from our experience that Charlotte is a great place to attract a talented workforce, allowing us to grow our business and better serve our customers.”
AXA’s expansion in Mecklenburg County will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Under the terms of the JDIG, the company is eligible to receive up to $11.8 million in total reimbursements. Payments will occur in annual installments over 10 years pending verification by N.C. Commerce and N.C. Revenue that the company has met incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIGs reimburse new and expanding companies with a portion of the newly created tax-base while still increasing the overall revenue benefit to the state of North Carolina.
By law, JDIG projects must result in a net revenue inflow to the state treasury over the life of the award. For projects in Mecklenburg and other Tier 3 counties, 25 percent of the eligible grant is directed to the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account to help finance economic infrastructure in rural counties. The AXA expansion could provide as much as $3.94 million in new funds for the Utility Account to help rural areas. More information on county tier designations is available here.
“Congratulations to AXA on their expansion,” said NC Senator Joyce Waddell. “I knew when they first opened their Operations Center in 2013 that the move would be good for the company. This is an exciting day for the entire Charlotte region.”
Partnering with N.C. Commerce and the EDPNC on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Mecklenburg County, City of Charlotte and the Charlotte Chamber.