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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS

Newport Insurance Firm Will Relocate to New York

May 04, 2000|MARC BALLON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Newport Beach company that sells insurance through banks and other institutions is shuttering its headquarters and moving to New York.

All 110 local employees of Equitable Distributors Inc. will have the option of transferring to the New York offices of its parent company, Chief Executive Patrick Miller said Wednesday.

Equitable is a subsidiary of Axa Financial Inc., a French financial services business.

The move, which should be completed by the end of the year, will allow Equitable to "fully leverage the marketing, product development and other resources of our parent company," and improve communication, Miller said.

The departure of two top Equitable executives may have contributed to the decision to close the Newport Beach office. Co-chief executives Greg Brakovich and Jamie Shepherdson resigned in mid-March to take executive jobs at rival Security First Group in Los Angeles.

Miller, who declined to discuss the executives' departure, assumed the top position in late March. Alex MacGillivray, former head of the company's broker/dealer channel, became president.

Equitable, which has been an Axa subsidiary since 1991, posted sales of $2.3 billion last year, up from $1.7 billion in 1998.

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