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AXA Investment Managers and BNP Paribas pool forces to develop a range of trackers under the “EasyETF” brand

BNP Paribas and AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) share a common vision of developments in the investment management industry, providing solutions using a core/satellite approach (consists of separating market exposure from outperformance in portfolio construction).

In order to offer investors both a pure asset and an asset allocation tool, they have developed a wide range of ETFs as an integral part of their product offering. In this concentrated high-potential growth market, this original structure will provide the two firms with a very significant competitive advantage.

As one of the ETF market pioneers in Europe over the past four years, AXA IM has created a range of 15 trackers, with EUR 450 million in assets. Today the “EasyETF” range is the leading sector range in the Eurozone and includes the largest ETF on listed property stocks (EasyETF EPRA Eurozone). AXA IM intends to continue to develop these ranges.

BNP Paribas Asset Management is one of Europe's leaders in alternative investments and structured products.
Over the past four years, the firm has developed a core/satellite offering in these asset classes, which offers clients a range of market exposure. Assets under management amount to over EUR 20 billion and should reach EUR 40 billion within three years. BNP Paribas aims to continue to grow very significantly in the ETF market and, following a request for proposals recently won a licence to create a tracker on the CAC-40 Index®.

An ETF (ETF, or tracker, is a fund which passively replicates the performance of an index. It is listed on a stock market and can be bought and sold like an equity) is essentially a transferable security quoted on the market for which, consequently, size and liquidity are key criteria. With a shared ambition, AXA IM and BNP Paribas are pooling their strengths to give themselves the means to become a European reference in this field, and are thus developing further the, “EasyETF” range, which will take advantage of both groups' expertise.

- The trackers will be sold under the “EasyETF” brand, which will become a BNP Paribas group brand.

- In association with AXA IM, BNP Paribas will define the sales and marketing policy strategy and the investment guidelines for the new common platform.

- This partnership will provide access to complementary distribution channels and benefit from the promotional efforts of the sales teams of both BNP Paribas and AXA IM. This will be reinforced by BNP Paribas investment bank's market-making activities.

- The sector, property and socially responsible ETFs will be managed by AXA IM. The asset management company responsible for all other ETFs will be Harewood Asset Management, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, with funds being managed by either Harewood's own teams or those of BNP Paribas Asset Management.

In 2005, the “EasyETF” platform plans to launch a tracker on the CAC-40® in March, to develop the listed property range and enlarge the EasyETF Top 50 range.

“The accelerating growth of trackers and the necessary critical size to meet investors' needs in this European market leads us today to pool our expertise with that of BNP PAM. We share an ambition and a common vision on this market”, said Nicolas Moreau, CEO of AXA Investment Managers.

“Investors place increasing importance on managing their market exposure. We already offer a wide range of solutions which is significantly enhanced by our association with AXA IM on ETFs”, commented Gilles Glicenstein, CEO of BNP Paribas Asset Management.

AXA Investment Managers

AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) is a multi-specialist asset management company within the AXA Group, a world leader in financial protection and wealth management. AXA IM is one of the largest European-based asset managers, with approximately 346 billion EUR under management as at the end of December 2004. AXA IM employs over 2,100* people and serves clients in thirteen countries.
AXA IM offers its clients an extensive range of complementary expertise with considerable added value: active fundamental equity management and active quantitative equity management (AXA Rosenberg), fixed income management, classic and enhanced money-market funds, structured financing (ABS, CDOs, etc.) structured and balanced management, alternative investments, private equity (AXA Private Equity), multimanagement (AXA Multimanager), and property (AXA Real Estate Investment Managers).
*(Source: AXA IM 31.12.2004)

BNP Paribas Asset Management

BNP Paribas Asset Management is a leader in fund management and distribution in Europe, with EUR 196.3 billion in assets under management (as of 31 December 2004).
More than 1400 people work in its asset management business line in over twenty countries.
Its investment teams are present in the world's major financial centres, including Paris, London, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong. They are specialised by asset class, management style and geographic zone.