Andrew Penn has been reinstated as the chief executive of AXA Asia-PacificÆs executive Australian and New Zealand operations after 10 months in a temporary role.

Penn was sidelined in September last year after the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) investigated AXAÆs decision to recalculate benefits paid to staff under its superannuation plan.

At the time AXA moved to quell negative media reports by placing him in a strategic development role. For the last 10 months his duties as the head of the Australasian business have been handled by the insurerÆs group chief executive Les Owen.

Owen was short on detail when he reinstated Penn yesterday. ôAndy is one of our most experienced executives and I am delighted that he is returning to his role,ö he says.

Penn has been with AXA in Australia since 1992. He was appointed chief financial officer in July 2002 and then head of Australasia in February 2004.

AXA came under investigation by APRA in the middle of last year. This occurred when some staff members complained about the prudential and disclosure aspects of a decision in 2002 to change the method of calculating the interest rate on termination benefits left in the AXA super fund from a æsmoothedÆ rate to an actual earnings rate.

The insurer eventually resolved the issue by adjusting upwards the superannuation benefits of more than 2,000 current and former staff members.