How Axtom uses Allianz Trade’s surety bonds and guarantees to power their growth

April 25, 2023
Axtom has three business lines in commercial real estate (development, construction, and investment), and a fourth that provides business development consulting for local authorities and companies. With a triple-digit growth rate in 2022, the company is looking to continue on this trajectory while protecting its growth. To meet these challenges, Axtom has decided to call on Allianz Trade to issue its bonds and guarantees. Patrick Courtaut, Axtom's Group Head of Finance, sat down with us to tell us more.
We are a group of entrepreneurs working in 4 areas: economic development consulting for local authorities and companies, as well as development, construction and investment in commercial real estate. We operate on a national scale, thanks to a network of local agencies managed by local entrepreneurs supported by AXTOM. We have a strong regional presence, with more than 20 agencies in France, and five more opening soon. The group employs nearly 170 people, of whom 30 are associates within their business unit. Our innovative corporate model allows us to operate as close as possible to our clients, and to respond effectively to their challenges with precision. In 2022, we reached a consolidated turnover of 154 million euros - very strong growth compared to 2021 (55 million euros). 
Our strong growth is due first of all to our entrepreneurial model, which enables all our talents to be challenged on a daily basis in their scopes, and our salaried employees to work every day in close contact with company managers focused on their business development. When a company or a community contacts us with a specific need, we know how to respond quickly and efficiently – this is definitely one of our strengths. We are also good at adapting to any request related to our different businesses. Our local presence means we are, and are seen as a trusted local partner that is attuned to local issues by local economic players, rather than a distant national company. 
Our priority today is to build on our growth trajectory in spite of the unstable economic context of the last few years. A series of extraordinary events have made the economic environment more uncertain. First the pandemic, then the conflict in Ukraine, and now rising interest rates and the cost of raw materials: all of this is pushing us to rethink and adjust our model and our offers in light of changing economic realities. We are also consolidating the Group’s organization so as to better manage our strong growth trajectory and ensure its long-term sustainability. 


Patrick Courtaut, Group Head of Finance, Axtom

The bonds we need to issue are all related to our business. For our construction business we are legally obliged to provide a guarantee in order to  secure new contracts and assure the client of the proper completion of works. In our real estate development business, we need financial guarantees of completion to reassure our customers and prove to them that they are dealing with a trustworthy player backed by a reliable and solid guarantor.
The needs are identified by the operations development department, which passes on the information to the Group's finance department. The latter then takes care of requesting sureties and guarantees, and managing their use. This requires real coordination: responsiveness is often a determining factor. If there is one quality we look for in our guarantors, it is responsiveness. 
We knew about Allianz Trade as a credit insurer, and had worked with them in the past on projects pertaining to our suppliers. A major, recognized player like Allianz Trade was an obvious choice to support us in our business. 
We decided to diversify our guarantors so as not to be dependent on a single partner and because our needs are substantial, given our strong growth in recent years. This is an approach that we adopt with all our financial partners, because it allows us to maintain a certain independence. We thus met with various guarantors present on the market, and selected a few with whom we share a common set of values and a commitment to quality.
We were already issuing bonds, but through a bank partner. We have changed our model and now use insurance guarantors like Allianz Trade, because it allows us to extend our credit facilities with our bank. 
Your reactivity, your availability, and the way you listen to our various requests. Your teams have been able to understand our business model and our environment, which enables them to respond effectively. I have the feeling that we are dealing with experts. We have had several specific issues to date, and Allianz Trade has always been able to give us a quick, satisfactory and informed answer. With Allianz Trade, we have a simple and efficient solution at our disposal no matter what happens. 
Working with Allianz Trade certainly saves us time: your expertise makes this partnership run smoothly. In our business, responsiveness is essential for growth. In this sense, we can say that Allianz Trade really supports our business development. 
Yes, of course I would! We are delighted to work with Allianz Trade, especially as we have such a good relationship with our account manager. We have found a partner who understands our business and model which is very valuable. Working with an expert player like Allianz Trade, who knows how to listen and be flexible, facilitates our work and is a real success factor. What is particularly satisfying is that Axtom and Allianz Trade have a common set of strengths: we share a real desire to be responsive and efficient, coupled with a focus on customer satisfaction.
The essential starting point is to make sure your partner understands the business in order to get the best possible support. Then, put together a comprehensive application, and once the request is processed, make sure you get the validation of the beneficiary. If you follow these 3 tips, believe me, you will save precious time!
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