Mark Wilson has resigned as CEO at AxaÆs Hong Kong office and will leave the firm by the end of December.

Market rumour has it he is leaving for a large, global insurance company to head its Asia ex-Japan activities. Wilson was travelling and could not be reached for comment.

He was appointed CEO in January 2005, and has also worked for Axa in his native New Zealand. Over that period of time, he oversaw AxaÆs groundbreaking introduction of a multi-manager platform for Hong KongÆs Mandatory Provident Fund market. The platform provides a manager-of-manager option across a number of asset classes for MPF members, with firms selected by iPac, an Australian multi-manager specialist owned by the Axa Group.

He also oversaw the firmÆs swift integration of MLCÆs Hong Kong business this spring following the acquisition of the unit from National Australia Bank, which made Axa the third-largest insurance group in Hong Kong in terms of in-force business.

The firm will need to find a replacement. In the meantime, Mark Pearson, regional CEO at Axa Asia Life Insurance, will oversee the day-to-day running of Axa Hong Kong. Pearson says the departure wonÆt affect AxaÆs strategy, and the firm will meet its growth targets. Pearson adds he hopes to announce a new Hong Kong CEO within a few weeks.