AXA Partners, the life insurance business unit of AXA Distributors, has appointed Joanne Pietrini-Smith as its new COO.

Ms Pietrini-Smith will oversee the management and optimization of AXA Partners, including the operational aspects of new business and sales.

Prior to joining AXA Equitable in 2003, Ms Pietrini-Smith held various leadership positions with First Republic Bank, including vice president and chief investment officer of the bank and chief administrative officer for Trainer Wortham & Company, an investment subsidiary.

Gary Hirschkron, president of AXA Partners and executive vice president of AXA Distributors, said: We are delighted to welcome Joanne in her new role as COO. With her outstanding management and operations skills, her technology expertise, and record of delivering high-performance results, Joanne will play an integral role in AXA Partners’ drive to galvanize further growth in third-party life distribution.