Claude Bébéar

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Person.png Claude Bébéar   Amazon IMDB NNDB WikidataRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Issac, France
Alma materLycée Saint-Louis, École Polytechnique, Saumur Calvary School
Member ofAttali commission, BNP Paribas, Institut Montaigne, Le Siècle, Opus Dei
French insurance executive and organizer of the business lobby.

Employment.png Axa/CEO

In office
1975 - May 2000
includes being CEO of the predecessor Anciennes Mutuelles, known as AXA from 1985

Claude Bébéar is a French insurance executive and organizer of the business lobby.


Bébéar is a graduate of the elite Ecole Polytechnique, where he ranked 4th in the entrance examination in 1955 and was elected class representative. It was while attending Polytechnique that he was recruited by a classmate's father, André Sahut d'Izarn, chairman of the Anciennes Mutuelles, an insurance company in Rouen. Sahut d'Izarn was looking for that special person he could develop into his future successor.[1]

After attending the Saumur Calvary School, he went on to do his military service in French Algeria, during the French counterinsurgency operations that killed a million natives.


In 1958, Claude Bébéar joined Anciennes Mutuelles where he remained until 1975, working his way through various divisions of the company.

In 1975, on the death of André Sahut d'Izarn, Claude Bébéar was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the company. He had spearheaded the resolution of a crippling strike and became firmly convinced of the importance of a positive labor relations policy. He also created the Ancienne Mutuelle de Réassurance (" Amré ") which later became AXA RE.

In 1982, with a left-wing government in power and the looming threat of nationalization of the insurance sector, Bébéar seized the opportunity to take over the Drouot Group. Drouot was then the leading private insurance company in France.

It was in 1985 that the Group became known as AXA. 1985 was also the year that Bébéar decided to leave the operational side of the insurance business and taking up his position as CEO of the Group.

In 1983, he also created Entreprise et Cité, an association of business leaders concerned by the role business plays in society and how it can make positive contributions and improvements to the world in which we live and work.

He also created the Institut Montaigne, an think tank which he founded and chaired.

During the next decade and a half, Bébéar expanded Axa to Great Britain, Belgium and Germany, Japan and the United States.

Bébéar stepped down as Chairman of the AXA Management Board in May 2000, and was succeeded by fellow Bilderberger Henri de Castries. At that time, Bébéar was appointed Chairman of the AXA Supervisory Board.


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/19958 June 199511 June 1995Greece
Nafsika Astir Palace Hotel
The 43rd Bilderberg. Held at the Burgenstock Hotel in Burgenstock, Switzerland.
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