In 2016, the French insurance giant AXA launched Ambition 2020, a five-year plan to simplify the company’s business lines, focus on growth markets, and digitize its empire. The company took a big step toward that goal in March 2019 when it sold a $1.5 billion stake in its U.S. life insurance busines to Morgan Stanley and Barclays. The deal further narrowed AXA's focus on its corporate risk business. AXA also added a new component to its strategy in 2019, pledging to phase out the underwriting of companies with ties to the coal industry. It promised a complete divestment in the fossil fuel globally by 2040.