AXA Advisors is a financial advisor firm in New York City with more than $14 billion in assets under management (AUM). The firm works with around 40,000 clients, including individuals, high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations, pension plans and corporations. This is a fee-based firm.
AXA Advisors Background
AXA Advisors opened for business in 1999. However, the firm can trace its history back all the way to 1859, when Henry Hyde founded AXA’s distant predecessor, the Equitable Life Assurance Society of America.
AXA Advisors is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc., a holding company. AXA Equitable Holdings is in turn controlled by an independent board of directors. AXA Equitable Holdings also owns AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, a life insurance company, and AllianceBernstein, another registered investment advisor (RIA) firm.
AXA Advisors employs more than 3,500 advisors, and some of these advisors have earned professional certifications such as certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and chartered life underwriter (CLU).
What Types of Clients Does AXA Advisors Accept?
The majority of AXA Advisors’ client base is made up of individuals, with more falling below the high-net-worth threshold than above it. The firm also works with pension plans, charitable organizations and corporations and other businesses.
AXA Advisors Minimum Account Sizes
Clients of AXA Advisors can choose from a wide range of investment management programs and wrap fee programs, many of which have minimum account sizes. These minimums start at $10,000 and can reach as high as $5 million.
Services Offered by AXA Advisors
Financial planning services at AXA Advisors can cover the following topics:
- Financial goal-setting
- Financial positioning
- Insurance needs analysis
- Asset allocation and investment planning
- Retirement and distribution planning
- Education cost planning
- Estate planning
- Stock options
- Income tax planning
- Major purchase planning
- Divorce planning
AXA generally offers investment management through programs sponsored by separate advisory firms. These programs fall into five broad categories:
- Mutual Fund Advisory Programs
- Allocates client assets across a portfolio of mutual funds
- Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) Advisory Programs
- Programs in which you invest in a variety of ETFs
- Rep as Advisor Programs
- Non-discretionary or discretionary programs in which you can invest in a variety of investment vehicles (mutual funds, ETFs, equities, bonds, etc.)
- Separately Managed Account (SMA) Advisory Programs
- Programs in which your assets are managed by a third-party money manager
- Unified Managed Account Programs
- Programs that may combine aspects of any of the above programs
The firm provides access to more than 50 different investment programs from a number of firms, including:
- LWI Financial, Inc.
- LPL Financial
- Optimum Market Portfolios
- Strategic Asset Management
- Personal Wealth Portfolios
- Manager Select
- Model Wealth Portfolios
- Manning & Napier Advisors, LLC
- Morningstar Investment Services, Inc.
- Nationwide Investment Advisors
- PlanMember Securities Corporation
- Sage Advisory Services
- SEI Investments Management Corporation
- The Pacific Financial Group
- Ancora Inverness
AXA Advisors Investment Philosophy
Generally speaking, the task of constructing investment portfolios for clients falls to the investment program sponsors and not AXA Advisors. So the truly pertinent investment philosophy is that of the sponsor of whichever program you choose.
However, the firm and its professionals conduct investment research by reviewing research materials made available through LPL Financial, and it also may review fund prospectuses or other market publications.
Fees Under AXA Advisors
Financial planning services at AXA Advisors may come with a fixed fee or an hourly fee. In the first year, fixed fees can range from $250 to $25,000. In special circumstances, the fee may be higher. Periodic reviews of financial plans can result in a fixed fee of between $250 to $12,500. Hourly fees are negotiable and generally range from $100 to $400.
Fees for the various asset management programs at AXA are listed below:
|Fees at AXA Advisors|
|Program||Minimum Fee||Maximum Fee|
|ACM Model Separate Account Strategies||0.50%||1.95%|
|ACM Private Account Strategies||0.50%||2.15%|
|AssetMark Privately Managed Portfolios||0.005%||0.013%|
|AssetMark Active Return Opportunities||0.005%||0.013%|
|AssetMark PMAS (IMA)||0.005%||0.013%|
|AssetMark PMAS (CMA)||0.005%||0.013%|
|AssetMark PMAS (PRX)||0.005%||0.013%|
|AssetMark ETF Portfolios||0.005%||0.013%|
|AssetMark No-Load Mutual Funds – AssetMark Funds||0.005%||0.013%|
|AssetMark No-Load Mutual Funds – Other Fund Strategies||0.005%||0.013%|
|AssetMark GPS & GPS Select Solutions||0.005%||0.013%|
|Bauer Captain & Johnson, Inc. "BCJ Capital Management"||0.005%||0.0125%|
|Brinker Crystal Strategy I||0.005%||0.021%|
|Brinker Crystal Diversified Income||0.005%||0.021%|
|Brinker Personal Portfolios||0.005%||0.0211%|
|Brinker Core Asset Manager||0.005%||0.0211%|
|Brinker Personal Benchmark||0.005%||0.0249%|
|Brinker Retirement Plan Services (including Retirement Plan Services Plus)||0.003%||0.0125%|
|Cleveland Capital, LLC||0.003%||0.012%|
|CLS – Nationwide Tactical Strategies||0.002%||0.002%|
|CLS – IAM Portfolio||0.005%||0.015%|
|CLS – IAM Hybrid Portfolio||0.005%||0.015%|
|CLS – ETF Portfolio||0.005%||0.015%|
|CLS – Advisor One Protection (formerly CPM 3)||0.005%||0.015%|
|CLS – Master Manager Strategy Portfolio||0.005%||0.015%|
|CLS – Wealth Accumulation – AdvisorOne Portfolio||0.005%||0.015%|
|Flexible Plan Investments||0.005%||0.015%|
|Lockwood Separately Managed Accounts||0.005%||0.0211%|
|Lockwood Investment Strategies||0.005%||0.022%|
|Lockwood Asset Allocation Portfolios||0.005%||0.023%|
|LPL Optimum Market Portfolios Advisory (OMP)||0.005%||0.025%|
|LPL Strategic Asset Management (SAM I & SAM II)||0.005%||0.025%|
|LPL Manager Select||0.005%||0.01765%|
|LPL Model Wealth Portfolios (MWP)||0.005%||0.02%|
|LPL Personal Wealth Portfolios (PWP)||0.005%||0.0231%|
|LWI Financial “Loring Ward”||0.005%||0.02%|
|Manning & Napier Advisors||0.005%||0.0125%|
|Meeder Advisory Services||0.003%||0.0045%|
|MIS Mutual Fund Portfolios||0.005%||0.011%|
|MIS ETF Portfolios||0.005%||0.011%|
|MIS Select Equity Portfolios||0.005%||0.011%|
|PlanMember OptiFund Managed Account Option||0.0055%||0.0115%|
|Sage Fixed Income Strategies||0.005%||0.0215%|
|Sage ETF Strategies||0.005%||0.021%|
|SIMC MF Asset Allocation||0.005%||0.023%|
|Taurus Asset Management||0.005%||0.025%|
|The Colony Group||0.0025%||0.01%|
|The Pacific Financial Group||0.005%||0.01%|
|UBS Financial Services||0.0025%||0.0025%|
|Wells Fargo Advisors||0.0025%||0.0025%|
What to Watch Out For
Certain members of AXA’s advisory staff are licensed to sell insurance products such as variable annuities. The sale of these insurance products may generate commissions for the advisors who sell them, and these commissions can cause a potential conflict of interest.
AXA Advisors acts as a registered securities broker-dealer in addition to being an investment advisory firm. This means that many of the firm’s advisors are authorized to conduct securities transactions that could result in the earning of commissions. Similarly, these commissions can cause a potential conflict of interest by incentivizing advisors to recommend transactions that will result in commissions.
Despite each of the aforementioned potential conflicts of interest, fee-based AXA Advisors is a fiduciary, which means it’s required to act in your best interest at all times.
According to its Form ADV, AXA Advisors has multiple disclosures in its recent past. These include events like failing to adequately supervise an advisor who violated federal securities law, and failing to comply with certain statutory requirements regarding life insurance practices. These may be considered relatively minor disciplinary issues, and the firm is still bound by fiduciary duty to always put the interests of its clients first.
Opening an Account With AXA Advisors
You can get in touch with AXA Advisors through a number of different routes. To contact a specific office, you can visit the firm’s website to find the phone number or address of the branch closest to you. You can also call the firm with general questions at (888) 292-4636. If you’d rather reach out to the firm online, you can fill out the contact form on its website and someone will get back to you.
Where Is AXA Advisors Located?
AXA Advisors is headquartered on the Avenue of the Americas in New York City, right across from Radio City Music Hall in Midtown Manhattan. The firm employs more than 3,000 advisors in offices across the country, though. You can visit the firm’s website to find the AXA branch nearest you.
All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.
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