AGCS confirms global transformation program

It streamlines operations and makes new leadership announcements

AGCS confirms global transformation program

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), the industrial insurer of Allianz Group, has announced a comprehensive transformation program, “New AGCS”. The program aims to regain profitability and market leadership in the corporate and specialty insurance segment.

The company has made a number of new leadership appointments as part of the move, and aims to strengthen its technical capabilities across its core underwriting and claims functions, streamline its organisation and processes, enhance its current distribution and sales abilities, and invest in digitalisation.

“We will now focus our entire business under a new strategic direction,” said Joachim Mueller, who was named CEO of AGCS in December. “We will put technical excellence in underwriting before growth, simplify and strengthen our global model to ensure that we think and act as one team, and become more efficient, leaner and faster – benefitting us and our clients. Our joint ambition is set high: The ‘New AGCS’ will be the market leader in our target segments. We expect to see significant profitability improvements of our underwriting results from 2021 onwards and aim to achieve full turnaround and transformation of our company by 2024.”

Regional units reduced
During 2020, AGCS will reduce its number of regional units from seven to six and move from a country-centric model to a more global one with regional delivery, the current regions of North America, Asia Pacific, Central & Eastern Europe, Regional Unit London (including the Nordics) will remain unchanged. AGCS will form a Mediterranean & Africa region that will consist of France, Benelux, Italy and Africa, bringing the whole of Africa under one AGCS unit. Spain, Portugal and South America will be merged into a new “Ibero/LatAm” unit.

As previously announced, there will now be only two chief regions and markets officers on the AGCS board of management: Bill Scaldaferri for North America and Henning Haagen for all other AGCS regions and markets.

Leadership for each of the six regional units will be consolidated under one regional managing director. Underwriting, claims and other market-facing teams will be managed across regions by regional heads who will steer each function across all countries in the region and report to the regional managing director, AGCS said.

AGCS also plans some regional leadership changes. Pending regulatory approval, Nuno Antunes will join AGCS from AIG to head up the Ibero/LatAm region, and Alfredo Alonso, previously with Argo Global, will lead Regional Unit London. Corinne Cipiére, currently country CEO for France, will be the regional managing director for the Mediterranean and Africa region. Regional leadership for the other regions will remain unchanged.

Focus on large corporate risks, MidCorp
The company will continue to focus on specialist property and casualty insurance that targets complex risks for large multinational corporations.

“This should be our core stronghold and key differentiator,” Mueller said. “Here we win on deep risk expertise, outstanding claims management, and a strong relationship model that creates value and solutions for customers, bringing together all of AGCS and also Allianz Group worldwide.”

AGCS will also continue to serve mid-sized companies through its MidCorp line of business, which generated €965 billion in gross net written premium last year.

“With dedicated turnaround measures and selected segment exits, such as agribusiness in the US or MidCorp in Canada, we have repositioned our portfolio and achieved real progress in this part of our business,” Mueller said. “We will now focus on securing the benefits of the profitability and expense improvements in the current hardening market environment.”

Investments in tech
The company also plans to invest significantly in expanding its technical capabilities. This includes strengthening its capabilities and tools in pricing, portfolio management, loss-trend analysis, volatility management and actuarial modelling. More than 30 new roles have been identified for this effort, AGCS said.

“We have already significantly reduced our exposures in our portfolio and will continue to apply corrective actions and adjustments where needed,” Mueller said. “Underwriting is the engine of profitability, and we must truly regain our position as a technical underwriting company leveraging our talents as well as new technology and analytic tools.”

New functions and teams
As part of its transformation, AGCS aims to provide brokers and clients with improved service delivery and strengthen its own business-development approach by establishing a dedicated global sales and distribution function, which will consist of about 35 employees. The new team will be led by Patrick Thiels, who currently serves as regional CEO for the Mediterranean region.

AGCS will also form a number of specialist industry teams under the leadership of “industry solution directors.” These teams will serve customers in targeted industry segments, starting with financial institutions, telecoms and IT, construction, and aviation and aerospace. The company plans to expand the approach to other sectors in the future.

To oversee AGCS’s global insurance program offering for multinational companies and expand digital customer services, the company has appointed Nigel Leppitt as global head of multinational. Leppitt was previously AGCS chief transformation officer.

The company is also introducing other new functions to reduce cost and complexity. Global product management, led by Guy Money, previously of AXA Group, will oversee product harmonisation and simplification. Global process management will be responsible for improving process efficiency and customer service. That function will be led by Erika Cubova, who will move from her current position as global head of claims portfolio intelligence and coordination.

“Building the ‘New AGCS’ is not business as usual, but the opportunity has never been greater,” Mueller said. “It means a big leap forward through the comprehensive transformation of our company. With the new leadership team and a clear focus on our target clients in the right segments and markets, we will drive for market leadership, putting AGCS back on top of our industry for our customers, employees and Allianz Group.”

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