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Media Contact:   Ana Sandoval, AXA Equitable
                           (212) 314-4964, Ana.Sandoval@AXA-Equitable.com
SAN DIEGO, CA – October 10, 2007 – John Howells, a financial professional with AXA Advisors, LLC in San Diego, has earned a Certificate in Retirement Planning from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Howells is one of only 500 financial professionals nationwide to complete this retirement planning education program. Bill Degnan, senior vice president and head of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company’s At Retirementsm unit, made the announcement.
The Wharton School is recognized around the world for its academic strengths at every level of business education. The retirement education program is a customized program developed for AXA Equitable to provide AXA Advisors financial professionals with intensive training in retirement planning.
The Wharton program commenced with 50 hours of intensive study taught by 10 Wharton School faculty members over a week-long period. It was led by Dr. Olivia Mitchell, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor of Insurance and Risk Management at The Wharton School. Topics covered included: 

  • Understanding the Retirement Marketplace
  • Identifying, Mitigating and Insuring Retirement Risks
  • Qualified and Non-Qualified Plans and their Roles in Retirement Planning
  • Medicare and Social Security – Dealing with Institutional Risk
  • Asset Allocation and Diversification
  • Real Estate in the Retirement Portfolio
  • Estate Planning and Tax Issues in Retirement
Individuals who complete the retirement planning education program at Wharton are required to complete ongoing continuing education provided by Wharton’s Learning Continuum and AXA Equitable.
“AXA and The Wharton School have developed an extraordinary program focused on concepts and issues for the At Retirementsm marketplace,” said Dr. Mitchell, the academic director for the program. “Selected on the basis of their work in value and relationship management, participants will strengthen their retirement risk-management and financial asset allocation techniques for their clients in the future.”
 “Offering this program to AXA Advisors financial professionals is part of our company’s overall commitment to providing clients with the most comprehensive and current advice on a broad range of financial topics related to retirement,” said Christopher M. “Kip” Condron, Chairman and CEO of AXA Equitable. “We chose Wharton because it is a leader in management research, education and knowledge creation, and we wanted our financial professionals to have access to some of the best minds on these issues.”
“The Wharton School is extraordinarily engaged with the AXA leadership in linking top-notch financial sector producers and academics, communicating “outside the box” thought on financial strategy and decision-making for the At Retirementsm marketplace,” Dr. Mitchell said.
Mr. Howells works with individuals and business owners to help them define their retirement goals and create strategies to help meet their objectives.
In addition to the Certificate in Retirement Planning from The Wharton School, Mr.Howells holds the NASD Series (7, 66, 24 and life and health licenses and the Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and the Certified Life Underwriter (CLU) professional designations. He received his Masters of Science in Financial Services from The American College. He is recognized for his commitment to clients, professional leadership and outstanding sales performance. He is a past recipient of the company’s National Leadership and Centurion Awards. He was inducted to the company’s Hall of Fame in 2006. He is a member of the Million Dollar Round Table and the Financial Planning Association. He resides in Vista with his wife and children.
Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/ has approximately 4,600 undergraduate, MBA, and doctoral students, more than 8,000 participants in its executive education programs annually, and an alumni network of more than 80,000 worldwide.
About AXA
AXA Advisors, LLC is a leading provider of financial services for consumers and businesses, working with clients to help them define and meet their financial goals. AXA Equitable provides life insurance, annuities and other needs-based products and services for the financial services market, and is a sponsor of the Variable Annuities Knowledge Center (www.variableannuityfacts.org), an online resource aimed at helping consumers understand the facts surrounding variable annuities. The Variable Annuities Knowledge Center is operated by a standalone non-profit organization and is overseen by an independent advisory board.
AXA Advisors and AXA Equitable are subsidiaries of AXA Financial, Inc., a member of the global AXA Group, a worldwide leader in financial protection and wealth management. AXA Group's operations are diverse geographically, with major operations in Western Europe, North America, and the Asia/Pacific region. The AXA ordinary share is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange and trades under the symbol AXA. The AXA American Depositary Share is also listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol AXA.
Securities products are offered through AXA Advisors, LLC, NY, NY 10104, (212) 314-4600. Insurance and annuity products are available through AXA Network, LLC, and its subsidiaries.

California Insurance License #: 0578916

The Retirement Planning Specialist title is awarded by AXA Advisors, based upon the Financial Professional's (FP) receipt of a Certificate in Retirement Planning from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. In a collaboration between the Wharton School and AXA Advisors' affiliate, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY, NY), coursework for the certificate was developed exclusively for AXA Advisors FPs, and the title may be used only by FPs who have completed the required coursework and maintain the title through ongoing continuing education requirements. To verify that an FP has earned and holds the title in good standing, contact AXA Equitable atretirement@axa-equitable.com. Complaints about an AXA Advisors FP should be directed to customer.relations@axa-equitable.com.

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