The Value of Membership

"I could not have survived 30 years in school business without the support I've received from ASBO. No matter how much you may think your problem is unique, it's not. I've always found support from colleagues facing the same issues no matter where they work, and I've shared solutions. We have a lot to learn from one another, so I value my memberships in Tri-State ASBO, New Hampshire ASBO, Vermont ASBO, and ASBO International."
—John Aubin, South Burlington School District, South Burlington, Vermont
Member since 1992

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ASBO International Strategic Partner

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company knows educators are driven by passion. A career in education means helping students reach their full potential and plan for the future. Similarly, AXA is passionate about helping clients build their financial futures—and has been since 1859. They leverage their extensive knowledge and experience to create retirement plan strategies tailor-made to meet your needs and those of your employees.

The AXA difference

AXA offers a wide range of retirement products designed to give your plan flexibility, value, and ease of administration. Your employees have access to financial professionals who can use their in-depth knowledge of school organizations, state pension systems, and 403(b) regulations to help each employee build a sound plan for the future.

AXA Facts

  • Ranked #1 in the K–12 market, based on 403(b) plan participants and contributions.1
  • Winner of the DALBAR Service Award for outstanding customer service for seven years in a row (2011–2017) and 13 times in the last 18 years.2
  • One of the nation’s largest corporate providers of scholarships for students planning for college, awarding more than $1.4 million annually.2
  • Grant provider to schools to help fund professional education and development for educators.
  • Proud sponsor of ASBO International’s Eagle Awards, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an ASBO member.
  • Proud sponsor of  the Eagle Institute, ASBO International’s premier leadership academy.

AXA’s Resources for School Business Officials

  For more information, see AXA’s 403(b) plan sponsor brochure or to learn more about AXA’s retirement plan experience, call 866.401.3030, option 3.

Financial professionals in the Retirement Benefits Group offer securities through AXA Advisors, LLC (member FINRA, SIPC), and, as agents of AXA Network, LLC, offer the annuity and life insurance products of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (New York, NY) and those of other carriers. Retirement Benefits Group is a specialized division of AXA Advisors, LLC.  AXA Network conducts business in California as AXA Network Insurance Agency of California, LLC; in Utah as AXA Network Insurance Agency of Utah, LLC; and in Puerto Rico as AXA Network of Puerto Rico, Inc. AXA Advisors, AXA Network, and AXA Equitable are affiliated companies and do not provide tax or legal advice.

"AXA" is the brand name of AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC, and its family of companies, including AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY, NY), AXA Advisors, LLC (member FINRA, SIPC), and AXA Network, LLC.  AXA S.A. is a French holding company for a group of international insurance and financial services companies, including AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC. The obligations of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company are backed solely by their claims-paying ability.
GE-119898 (4/17) (Exp. 4/19)
1 LIMRA Not-for-profit survey Q4 2016
2 Data as of 12/31/17


Strategic Partner Spotlight

Fred Makonnen, AXA
Divisional Vice President, Head of Retail 403(b) Sales & Strategic Partnerships

If you’re looking for a financial planning company that has withstood the test of time, AXA certainly fits the bill. Launched in 1859 by Henry Baldwin Hyde as The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, the company grew quickly, and by the time Hyde died in 1899, it was the largest life insurance company in the world.

Much changed over the years, including becoming a member of the Global AXA Group in 1992, and of course, branching out into retirement and investment services. While it’s a global company, AXA has a strong American presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Fred Makonnen joined AXA in 2013 after 13 years with another financial planning company and today serves as a divisional vice president. He entered the field right out of college and particularly enjoyed working on retirement plans with nonprofits. From there, he delved into the K–12 world and continues to be fascinated by its complexities.

“There are so many issues, challenges, and opportunities in education,” Fred says. “Not a single day goes by that educators aren’t faced with something new. They have to deal with changing regulations and IRS audits, as well as issues that are specific to their state, city, or even school.”

He is proud that AXA is a field leader with a strong focus on educators and points out that the company stands alone in its continued presence and growth in K–12. In fact, according to LIMRA, a trusted source of industry knowledge for more than 850 financial services firms, AXA has ranked #1 in two important retirement plan performance metrics for the past five years: overall participation rate and average contribution.

Fred believes that the organization’s genuine devotion to caring for the K–12 marketplace contributes to its success. All AXA agents and advisors must go into school districts to meet with teachers as part of the growth process and to get a full understanding of the market.

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to serve individuals who are asked to do so much—educators, staff, and administrators,” Fred says. “Reliable public pensions have been impaired for these public servants. Both the challenge and satisfaction lie in finding ways to help them prepare for a secure retirement.” Exploring those options requires the time AXA advisors put into educating their clients despite competing for time in educators’ busy schedules.

As a longtime partner of ASBO International, AXA proudly sponsors the Eagle Awards and Eagle Institute. “It’s no mere coincidence that we adopted this particular program that drives the development of future leaders,” Fred says. “Leaders aren’t born; they’re trained, and you have to give them the platform to succeed. It’s critical for the success of individuals and organizations, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”