Henri de La Croix de Castries (born 15 August 1954) is a French businessman. He has been chairman and CEO of AXA. In March 2016, it was announced that he would retire from both roles on 1 September.
Henri de La Croix de Castries was born on August 15, 1954 in Bayonne. His father was Comte François de La Croix de Castries (1919/20–2011) who had a military career in Korea, Indochina, and Algeria. His maternal grandfather, Count Pierre de Chevigné, was a colonel in the Free French forces.
Castries attended the Ecole Saint-Jean-de-Passy, followed by high school at the Collège Stanislas de Paris He graduated from HEC Paris in 1976, the same year as Serge Lepeltier and Denis Kessler, from the École nationale d'administration alongside Dominique de Villepin, François Hollande and Ségolène Royal in 1980 (Promotion Voltaire). He also holds a law degree and speaks fluent English and German.
From 1980 to 1984, he audited on behalf of the Minister of Finances of France, and in 1984 he became a member of the French Treasury. In 1986, he participated in the privatisation initiated by Jacques Chirac's government, including Compagnie Générale d'Electricité, now known as Alcatel-Lucent, and TF1, both on the CAC 40.
He started his career at AXA in 1989, when he joined the central financial direction. In 1991, he was appointed general secretary, in charge of restructurations and mergers (integration of Compagnie du Midi). He was appointed general director in 1993, in charge of North America and UK in 1994, and in charge of the merger and integration with Union des assurances de Paris (UAP) in 1996. He served as President of the Board of Equitable (which became AXA Financial) in 1997, and has been Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2000.
In March 2016, it was announced that he would retire from both chairman and CEO roles at AXA on 1 September.
In 2010, he served as chairman of the Bilderberg Group's steering committee
He is also an administrator of the Association pour l'Aide aux Jeunes Infirmes (an NGO aiming to support young handicapped people) and is President of AXA Atout Cœur.
He lives on the Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris, and his brother-in-law lives in the same building. He spends his weekends in a castle in Anjou, and one week a month in the United States. He is married and has three children.