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Variable annuity reforms should not impact AXA Equitable's dividend, CFO says

AXA Equitable Holdings Inc. does not expect impending regulations around variable annuity products to impact its dividend capacity, executives said.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has developed a series of capital reserve standards for variable annuity reserves. The reform package, which is being finalized, will shift capital standards toward "an economic framework," AXA Equitable CEO Mark Pearson said Aug. 14 during an earnings conference call.

The company is supportive of the reform measures, Pearson said. AXA Equitable has already folded its primary captive annuity lean insurer into AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co., which Pearson said positions the company "well" ahead of the regulations.

CFO Anders Malmström said it is too early to make a final decision on whether or not the company will adopt the reform package early. But the company does not expect the reform package to hinder its dividend-making ability. The company's board declared a quarter dividend of 13 cents per common share Aug. 13. The dividend will be payable Aug. 30 to shareholders on record at the close of business Aug. 23.

"[The reform] goes in the right direction," Malmström said on the call with analysts. "I think from our perspective, we're comfortable with the outcome of the reform."