Henri de Castries is “a well-connected member of French society who also chairs the Bilderberg Group of business leaders” (Daily Telegraph).
De Castries has been the chairman of the Bilderberg Group’s steering committee since 2012, having replaced Étienne Davignon in the role.
De Castries spent 27 years at AXA, the giant insurance and asset management company. For the last 17 years he has been the company’s CEO. The company is enormous. According to AXA’s 2015 annual report:
“Based on available information at December 31, 2015, the AXA Group was the world’s largest insurance group with total assets of €887 billion and consolidated gross revenues of €99 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015. Based on available information at December 31, 2015, the AXA Group was the world’s 10th largest asset manager with total assets under management of €1,363 billion.”
In 2015, AXA was named the number 1 global insurance brand by Interbrand. And the Fortune 500 lists it as the 20th biggest company in the world.
But now Henri de Castries is on the move. In March 2016 he announced that he would be leaving AXA in September. This followed his appointment to the board of banking giant HSBC – the world’s 3rd biggest bank (Global Finance magazine).
De Castries has been called “the front-runner to become the next chairman of HSBC” (Sunday Times), when Douglas Flint leaves the bank.
De Castries is also on the board of directors of Nestlé, the 33rd biggest company in the world (Forbes). And he’s President of the influential French think tank, l’Institut Montaigne.