Mary E. Bates has joined AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, to lead Underwriting for its life insurance wholesale channel headquartered in Farmington, CT. Subject to Board approval in May, Ms. Bates will become Vice President, Underwriting of AXA Equitable. The announcement was made May 9, by Jamie Shepherdson, Executive Vice President and head of the company’s life and annuity wholesale distribution organization.

Ms. Bates, who reports to Tim Herr, Senior Vice President, Life Wholesale Operations, has overall responsibility for life underwriting policy and individual life risk selection for the wholesale life channel. AXA Equitable proprietary life insurance products are marketed on a wholesale basis primarily to brokerage general agents (BGAs), broker/dealers and independent financial planner producer groups. These products include Athena Universal Life and Athena Survivorship Life, Incentive Life (IL) Series, including IL Legacy and IL Survivorship and the AXA Equitable Level Term Series.

Ms. Bates joins AXA Equitable from MassMutual, where she was Executive Director of Life Risk Management. In this role, she was responsible for setting policy, procedures, and requirements for life products. She was also instrumental in growing the BGA market for MassMutual. Prior to MassMutual, Mary was Vice President and Chief Underwriter for ING, Security Connecticut Life Insurance Company. “Mary has a rich background in the BGA community and is widely recognized for her underwriting knowledge and large-case expertise,” said Mr. Herr. “Her outstanding reputation for developing collaborative relationships between sales and underwriting supports AXA Equitable’s continued growth in the wholesale market.”

AXA Equitable’s total life sales through the wholesale channel were up 70% for 2006, resulting in improved market share of 4.5% and a national rank of #9 (Source: LIMRA International). “Superior underwriting talent is critical for outperforming in this channel,” said Mr. Shepherdson.

A member of the Association of Home Office Underwriters and the Risk Appraisal Forum, Ms. Bates holds a B.S. in business administration from Western New England College.