Henri de Castries – Chairmen of its Steering Committee, Bilderberg Group

Since its foundation, the Bilderberg Group has had seven chairmen of its Steering Committee, including Henri de la La Croix de Castries who has held this position since 31 May 2012. In 2010, he served as chairman

Henri de Castries, 5th Count of Castries, is a French businessman who previously was the Chairman and CEO of AXA (2000–2016). In March 2016, it was announced that he would retire from both roles on 1 September that year.

Henri de Castries is also a board member of the Association pour l’Aide aux Jeunes Infirmes, an NGO supporting disabled youth.

Short facts

Personal details

Name Henri de La Croix de Castries, 5th Count of Castries
Born 15 August 1954
Alma mater HEC Paris

École Nationale d’Administration (ENA)

Political party N/A
Religious affiliation Catholic
Spouse Married

Current positions

Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group
Tenure as chairman 31 May 2012 – present
Preceded by Étienne Davignon, Viscount Davignon

Previous positions

April 2010 – 1 September 2016 Chairman and CEO of AXA
May 2000 – April 2010 Chairman of AXA Management Board
1997 Chairman of The Equitable Companies (which later became AXA Financial)
1996 Worked with AXA’s Union des Paris (UAP) merger
1994 Assumed role of overseeing North American and UK operations for the AXA Group
1993 Appointed Senior Executive Vice President for the AXA Group’s asset management, financial and real-estate businesses
1991 Appointed Corporate Secretary of AXA
1989 Joined AXA
1986 Appointed to oversee foreign exchange markets and balance of payments for the French Treasury Department
1984 Joined the French Treasury Department
1980 – 1984 Auditor at the French Finance Ministry Inspection Office

Early life

Henri de La Croix de Castries was born on August 15, 1954, in Bayonne in southwest France. The De Castries is an old noble family with strong ties to the French military. One of Henri de La Croix ancestors was a naval commander under King Louis XVI. More recently, Henri de La Croix’s father Comte François de La Croix de Castries served in military operations in Algeria, Korea and Indochina. On his mother’s side, Henri is related to Count Pierre de Chevigné who was a colonel in the Free French forces during World War II. Henri de La Croix de Castries didn’t opt for a military career, but he did complete his military service – as a paratrooper.

Education

The young Henri de La Croix de Castries attended Saint-Jean-de-Passy, a prestigious private catholic school in Paris’ 16th arrondissement. His high school years were spent at another high-ranking private catholic school; Collège Stanislas de Paris on Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs. Preparatory students at this collége prepare to enter elite Grandes éscoles such as Ecole Polytechnique, Centrale Paris, ESSEC Business school or HEC Paris.

De Castries opted for HEC, from where he graduated in 1976. HEC was followed by four years at École Nationale d’Administration (ENA), from which he graduated alongside Dominique de Villepin, François Hollande and Ségolène Royal in 1980.

Henri de La Croix de Castries holds both a business degree and a law degree.

Career

After graduating from ENA, Henri de La Croix de Castries commenced work as an auditor at the Finance Ministry Inspection Office. In 1984, he became a member of the French Treasury and Deputy Secretary of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Industrial Restructuring. In addition to supervising the balance of payments for the French Treasury, he served a role in the privatizing of several sate entities, including the French national television network TF1 and the electrical company Compagnie Générale d’Electricité.

In 1989, de Castries left the public sector in favor of AXA, a French multinational insurance firm that engages in global insurance, investment management, and other financial services. Eventually, he was appointed Corporate Secretary and made responsible for dealing with the legal issues of the Campagnie du Midi merger.

De Castries stayed with AXA for well over 25 years, assuming various high-ranking roles within the corporation. Between 2000 and 2016, he was the Chairman and CEO of the corporation. In March 2016, it was announced that he would retire from both roles on 1 September that year.

Personal life

Marriage

Henri de La Croix de Castries is married.

Children

Henri de La Croix de Castries has three children.

Religion

Henri de La Croix de Castries is a devout Catholic and has professed a belief in miracles.

Hobbies

Horseback riding

Playing tennis

Playing golf

Hunting

Shooting

Other info

Henri de La Croix de Castries lives on Boulevard Saint-German in Paris, in the same building as his brother-in-law. He frequently spends his weekends on his estate in Anjou in the Loire valley.