Allianz Group: Everything you need to know
- Headquarters: Munich, Germany
- Total revenues: €140 billion (according to 2020 annual report)
- Employees: 150,000+
- Global locations: 70+ countries
- Underwriting expertise: property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, credit insurance, travel insurance, and asset management services
- Key people: CEO Oliver Bäte
The Allianz Group is one of the largest financial services providers in the world. The Munich, Germany-headquartered firm is a global leader in the insurance and asset management business. It boasts 100 million retail and corporate clients in more than 70 countries and employs over 150,000 people worldwide. Allianz offers property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, credit insurance, travel insurance, and asset management services via a number of brands and subsidiaries.
A brief history of Allianz
Allianz was established in Berlin, Germany, in 1890 by insurance specialist Carl Thieme (who also established Munich Re in 1880) and banker Wilhelm Finck. After putting up the starting capital of four million marks, Theime and Finck entered Allianz into the commercial register at the municipal court of Berlin on February 05. It was initially established as a transport and accident insurer.
In 1893, Allianz made its first international move by opening an office in London, UK. The London office was initially managed by Carl Schreiner, who was also head of Munich Re’s international operations, and it was set up to serve German customers insured against transport losses abroad. This expansion into London was the first of many foreign investments for Allianz. By the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the insurer had operations in the USA, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Italy, Belgium, France and the Balkans.
The beginning of the First World War marked a significant milestone for Allianz, because the company started hiring women for the first time. It also meant the end of a period of continuous growth for the young firm. Like many companies, Allianz lost employees to the war and Germany’s defeat left the country in a serious economic crisis.
Despite global inflation, Allianz managed to become Germany’s largest motor insurer by the 1920s. It also started branching out beyond transport and accident insurance lines, creating Allianz Life in 1923, which would soon become one of the leading life insurers in Germany.
From 1933, Allianz became an important part of the National Socialist dictatorship’s economic system. The firm’s general director Kurt Schmitt was appointed as economics minister for the Third Reich and he became part of Adolf Hitler’s cabinet. Schmitt resigned from the post in 1935 due to ill health and he later returned to Allianz in an advisory capacity. Like many German companies, Allianz faced economic ruin at the end of the Second World War.
Fast-forward 35 years and Allianz managed a major operational turnaround to become the largest insurer in Europe. This is partly due to the insurer’s investment into modern technologies and its merger and acquisition (M&A) strategy around the world. The group started creating new subsidiaries in selected markets around the world in the early 1970s, including in the USA. This helped to build its international premium income. In 1985, Allianz created the holding company Allianz AG in order to facilitate its international M&A goals. The holding company became Allianz SE in 2005.
Allianz – the well-known insurance unit.
Euler Hermes - a credit insurance company that offers a wide range of bonding, guarantees and collections services for the management of business-to-business trade receivables.
PIMCO - one of the world’s premier fixed income investment managers.
Allianz in Europe
The Germany-based firm has extensive operations throughout Europe in both insurance and asset management. It currently has presence in: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
Allianz in North America
Allianz has a number of strong subsidiaries in North America, including:
Allianz Global Assistance USA
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
Allianz Global Investors
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York
Euler Hermes North America Insurance Company
PIMCO – Pacific Investment Management Company LLC
Allianz Global Assistance Canada
Euler Hermes Canada
Allianz in Asia-Pacific
Allianz Asia-Pacific serves 18 million customers in more than 14 markets and via multiple distribution channels. The insurer has been present in the region since 1910, when it started providing fire and marine insurance in the coastal cities of China. It has been a story of swift growth in Asia-Pacific ever since. The insurer now has subsidiaries in countries like Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Pakistan, India, and Australia. In 1997, Allianz made history when it became the first foreign life insurance company to be granted permission to operate in China since 1949.
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) is a global insurer that focuses on business insurance and large corporate and specialty risks. It has a worldwide network in more than 210 countries and territories, dealing with some of the largest risks in global business insurance. AGCS covers a wide range of sectors and services, including: alternative risk transfer, financial lines, aviation, entertainment, international insurance programs, captive and fronting services, liability, claims services, marine, energy, property, engineering and risk consulting.