Henri de Castries is “a well-connected member of French society who also chairs the Bilderberg Group of business leaders” (Daily Telegraph). He is currently Vice-Chairman of Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, and a director of HSBC, Europe’s largest bank.
De Castries has been chairman of Bilderberg’s steering committee, the group’s inner circle, since 2012, when he replaced Étienne Davignon in the role.
Until 2016 he was the Chairman & CEO of the giant insurance and asset management company AXA. De Castries spent 27 years at AXA. For the last 17 of those years he was the company’s CEO. In 2015, AXA was named the number 1 global insurance brand by Interbrand, and the Fortune 500 listed it as the 20th biggest company in the world.
In 2015, during his last year at AXA, De Castries became President of the influential Institut Montaigne, which is “a free-market centrist French think tank” (Hudson Institute). The priorities of the Institut Montaigne include strengthening “social cohesion” and reinvigorating the European project.
And in September 2017, de Castries became chairman of the European operations of US private equity and venture capital firm, General Atlantic.