Axa gave its brokers a nasty shock last year. It decided that it was inefficient for local offices to continue to deal with local firms and chose instead to select a much smaller number of global brokers. All of its brokers had to complete a hefty questionnaire explaining why they were up to the job of servicing one of the world’s biggest investing institutions. If relationship banks couldn’t fulfil various criteria, including access to senior staff, they were dropped from the list. And it’s not easy to get back on it.