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Allianz (AGCS) takes a new strategic direction

1st July 2020 - Author: Luke Gallin

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE (AGCS), the industrial insurer of the Allianz Group, has announced the details of a new comprehensive transformation program designed to regain profitability and market leadership, called “New AGCS.”

Allianz Global Corporate and SpecialtyOn June 22nd, the company announced the realignment of its Board of Management, explaining that from July 1st, the number of Chief Regions & Markets Officers (CRMO) on the AGCS Board of Management will be reduced from three to two.

Now, AGCS has provided more information as it embarks on its global transformation program and looks to strengthen its position in the corporate and specialty insurance sector.

Joachim Mueller, AGCS CEO, commented: “We will now focus our entire business under a new strategic direction. 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 the full turnaround and transformation of our company by 2024.”

In 2020, the company plans to simplify its regional organisation by cutting the number of regional units to six from seven, and to move from a country-centric to a more global set-up with regional delivery.

The current regions North America, Asia Pacific, Central & Eastern Europe, Regional Unit London (including Nordics) will remain unchanged. A new Mediterranean & Africa region will consist of France, Benelux, Italy and Africa, bringing the whole of Africa under one unit. Additionally, Spain, Portugal and South America will be merged into a new Ibero/LatAm regional unit.

In each of these six units, leadership will be consolidated under one Regional Managing Director. Furthermore, explains AGCS, underwriting, claims, or other market-facing teams will be managed across regions under single empowered Regional Heads.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the regional leadership is set to change for certain regions: Nuno Antunes is set to join the firm from AIG to lead the new Ibero/LatAm regional unit, and Alfredo Alonso is to join the firm from Argo Global to take over the Regional Unit London. Current Country CEO for France, Corinne Cipière, will take over as the new Regional Managing Director for the Mediterranean & Africa region.

The company states that under its new business model and strategy, it will remain focused on specialist property and casualty insurance products and will target complex risks for large multinational corporates or firms looking for expert solutions.

“This should be our core stronghold and key differentiator. 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,” says Mueller.

In addition, the company will continue to serve mid-size firms in the U.S. in particular through its MidCorp Line of Business, which in 2019 produced gross net written premium of €965 million.

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

AGCS also says that it will invest in improving its technical capabilities and skills in its core insurance business, including in pricing, portfolio management, loss trend analysis, volatility management and actuarial modelling, with more than 30 new roles identified.

“We have already significantly reduced our exposures in our portfolio and will continue to apply corrective actions and adjustments where needed. 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,” says Mueller.

As well as all of the above, AGCS will establish a new dedicated Global Distribution function, comprised of roughly 35 employees and that will be led by Patrick Thiels, who is currently Regional CEO for the Mediterranean region. To oversee the firm’s global insurance program offering for multinational companies, Nigel Leppitt has been appointed as Global Head of Multinational. Additionally, AGCS has revealed that a new Global Product Management function will be led by Guy Money, who joins rom AXA Group, while a new Global Process Management function will be led by Erika Cubova.

“Expanding the use of data analytics and digital technologies for both our core business and for our customers will be crucial to deliver the new AGCS ambition.

“Building the ‘New AGCS’ is not business as usual, but the opportunity has never been greater. 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 for Allianz Group,” says Mueller.

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