So much for Credit Suisse's (NYSE:CSR) plan to launch an IPO for its Winterthur insurance business. But there's no reason to feel sorry for this large Swiss bank; it swung a deal with French insurance giant AXA (NYSE:AXA) and got an attractive wad of cash for its trouble.

It was announced Wednesday that AXA will be buying Winterthur for a bit under $10 billion in cash. In an odd twist, this will probably be a deal that works out well for all parties. The multiples that AXA is paying don't look bad (especially when you factor in eventual synergies) and Credit Suisse is getting a better price than the recent estimates I'd seen for the IPO. Factor in the fact that the erosion in global equity markets makes the IPO market look a little less certain (Vonage (NYSE:VG) anyone?), and guaranteed cash on-the-barrel looks pretty tasty.

If I had to gripe about something (and I do -- it's in my contract), I'd say that this wasn't exactly the direction I expected AXA to go in right away. This deal will definitely expand AXA's European insurance business and add assets under management. And it's also true that Credit Suisse has done a good job of prettying-up Winterthur for a sale.

But I had thought that AXA might be looking in the direction of an American company that would improve its variable annuity business -- Prudential (NYSE:PRU) or Nationwide (NYSE:NFS), for example -- or maybe a company that would increase its exposure in Asia. Then again, you can only do the deals that are available, and Winterthur was certainly available.

For Credit Suisse, this looks like just another part of the plan to focus on banking and wealth management. Credit Suisse ranks up there with the likes of Merrill Lynch (NYSE:MER) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) in global wealth management and that's clearly now going to be a bigger percentage of the business. And that's a good place to be. Folks are living longer and are increasingly aware that they often need professional help running their money. Heck, we have our own newsletter, Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement, devoted to that cause as well.

All in all, this could turn out to be a win-win for two companies that I already liked to start with.

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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson but has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).