Allianz

From New World Encyclopedia
Allianz SE
Allianz - Slovenska poistovna headquarters, Bratislava
Type Public (FWB: ALV, NYSEAZ)
Founded 1890
Headquarters Munich, Germany
Key people Michael Diekmann (CEO), Henning Schulte-Noelle (Chairman of the supervisory board), Paul Achleitner (CFO)
Industry Financial services
Products Insurance, banking, asset management
Revenue Green Arrow Up (Darker).png €142.369 billion (2019)[1]
Operating income Green Arrow Up (Darker).png €11.855 billion (2019)[1]
Profit Green Arrow Up (Darker).png €8.302 billion (2019)[1]
Employees 147,268 (2019)[1]


Website www.allianz.com


Allianz SE (formerly AG, FWB: ALV, NYSEAZ) is one of the largest financial services provider in the world, and the largest insurer in Europe. Headquartered in Munich, Germany, its core business and focus is insurance and asset management. Founded by Carl Thieme and Wilhelm Finck in 1889 to serve the insurance needs of the industrial era, Allianz quickly became the largest insurer in Germany. Its international expansion was thwarted by the restrictions placed on Germany after World War I, but like many companies, it rapidly increased its overseas presence by opening branch offices in several major cities during the 1960s and through a series of acquisitions during the 1980s and 1990s. In the 1990s it also established itself in eight countries in Eastern Europe. Today, Allianz serves 60 million customers with over 180,000 employees in 70 countries, following the principle that “all business is local.”

Allianz was the largest insurer in Germany when the Nazi party came to power and has been criticized for collaborating with the Nazi government in the exclusion, expropriation, and extermination of Jews. In the decades after World War II Allianz became a member of the International Commission on Holocaust Era claims, settled its cases and paid every justified claim immediately.

History

Beginnings

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, the German insurance industry was foundering; its main lines of business, fire and marine insurance, were doing poorly. Many small private insurance companies failed, and German reinsurance companies which were tied to these private businesses lost the confidence of European customers. Two-thirds of the German reinsurance business was going to foreign companies. Carl Thieme, Thuringia's general agent and chief representative for the Kingdom of Bavaria, recognized that the rapidly expanding industrialization of the time would increase the types of risk and require new kinds of insurance. He envisioned a new type of independent reinsurance company that would spread risk across a wide range of regions and market sectors, and use standardized contracts to streamline its business. Thieme sought out business partners and in 1880, founded a successful reinsurance company, Munchener-Ruckversicherungs-Gesellschaft (Munich RE).

Allianz AG was founded in Berlin on February 5, 1890 Thieme and Wilhelm von Finck (co-owner of the Merck Finck & Co bank). The joint company was listed in Berlin's trade register under the name Allianz Versicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft.[2] The new company offered transport and accident insurance, and soon added fire insurance.<ref<Allianz, a success story Atlas Magazine. Retrieved February 24, 2021.</ref>

Allianz opened its first international branch office in London before the end of the nineteenth century. Paul von der Nahmer, who became second CEO in 1904, strengthened international operations and by 1913, 20 percent of the company’s premium income came from businesses outside of Germany, primarily from liability insurance. After World War I, however, the restrictions placed on Germany severely limited international business.

During the 1920s, Allianz expanded through mergers with Bayerische Versicherungsbank, Stuttgarter Verein, Frankfurter Allgemeine Versicherungs-AG and other German companies.

World War II

In 1933, the National Socialists (NSDAP or Nazi) Party assumed power in Germany and took control of the economy. Allianz cooperated with the new government, allowing its employee representatives to be replaced by Nazis, and dismissing Jewish employees. After Germany overran Poland in 1939, most insurance risk was due to war. Allianz’s most profitable businesses were marine, construction, industrial fire, and life insurance. Insurance pools were formed to cover major war-related risks. As the war escalated, overwhelming destruction made it increasingly difficult for Allianz to continue its operations. Work came to a standstill after the company’s premises were bombed. By end of war, the majority of the company’s assets had been destroyed and its real estate holdings had been decimated by war damage, confiscation and nationalization. On May 8, 1945, after Germany declared its unconditional military surrender, future CEO Gerd Mueller tacked a piece of paper on the broken door of Allianz’s head office reading, “On the 18th of May we will meet and look ahead.” Almost 250 employees attended the meeting and started the process of rebuilding the company.

Under Allied forces, restitution started soon after end of war and laws were enacted in Germany to compensate those whose property had been confiscated by the Nazis. Allianz both benefited from the restitution and came under heavy criticism for its collaboration with the Nazi government in expropriating Jewish assets and providing insurance for its military installations and death camps. The end of the Cold War again brought issues of compensation the forefront of the European political agenda. As a member of the International Commission on Holocaust Era claims, Allianz settled its cases and paid every justified claim immediately.[3]

International expansion

Allianz shifted its headquarters to Munich in 1949, and global business activities were gradually resumed. An office was opened in Paris in the late 1950s, and a management office in Italy in the 1960s. These expansions were followed in the 1970s by the establishment of business in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, Brazil and the United States. In 1986, Allianz acquired Cornhill Insurance PLC, London, and the purchase of a stake in Riunione Adriatica di Sicurità (RAS), Milan, strengthening its presence in Western and Southern Europe. In February, 2006, shareholders of Adriatica di Sicurt (RAS), Milan approved a merger with Allianz.

In 1990, Allianz started an expansion into eight Eastern European countries by establishing a presence in Hungary. In the same decade, Allianz also acquired Fireman’s Fund, an insurer in the United States, followed by the purchase of Assurances Generales de France (AGF), Paris. Allianz expanded into Asia with several joint ventures and acquisitions in China and South Korea. Allianz enlarged its asset management business by purchasing the California asset management companies PIMCO Advisers L.P. and Nicholas-Applegate.

In 2001, Allianz Group and Dresdner Bank combined their asset management activities by forming Allianz Global Investors. In 2002 the Allianz Group was reincorporated under a European Company Statute. As a result of the cross-border merger with RAS in 2006, Allianz converted into a European Company (SE - Societas Europaea) on October 13, 2006.

Controversy

Allianz has come under considerable criticism for its collaboration with the Nazi government during World War II, particularly in its persecution of Jews. In 1997 Allianz commissioned Gerald E. Feldman, professor at the University of California at Berkeley and an expert on the economic history of the Weimar Republic to present an account of the company’s activities from 1933 to 1945. Allianz and the German Insurance Business, 1933-1945, published in 2001, documents that Allianz, as an organization and through the individual activities of its corporate officers, was heavily involved with the Nazi government and the Third Reich, from the early 1930s and through to the collapse of the Third Reich in 1945. When the Nazi party came to power, Allianz was the largest German insurance company. Allianz Chief Executive Kurt Schmitt served as Hitler’s Reich Economy Minister from June 1933 until January 1935, and can be seen in photographs wearing an SS-Oberführer’s uniform and standing just behind Hitler while delivering the Nazi salute.[4] Allianz General Director Eduard Hilgard was head of the "Reich Association for Private Insurance" (Reichsgruppe Versicherung), during the entire Nazi regime, working both to support the Nazi government and to make sure that German insurance companies profited from its activities. After Reichskristallnacht in 1938, he was responsible for the creation and enforcement of a Nazi policy to block insurance payments to Jews for their damaged property and instead direct the payments directly to the state. Allianz records show that the company benefited by greatly reducing the amount due for these claims before they made the payments to the government, and recorded it as "business as usual."[4] Research did not show that Allianz took unfair advantage of Jews who cashed in their Allianz life insurance policies in order to emigrate, but like other German insurers, it cooperated closely with the Nazi government to locate the policies of those who were sent to death camps.[5]

Allianz played a role in financing and stabilizing the Nazi government, and used its influence to become the dominant insurer in all the countries occupied by the Nazis.

Allianz insured the property and personnel of Nazi concentration camps, including the infamous Auschwitz extermination camp, and the Dachau concentration camp. Allianz also insured the engineers working at the IG Farben Company,[4] which supervised the manufacture of the Zyklon B cyanide gas used at Auschwitz and other camps to systematically exterminate over 1.2 million Jews and others during the Holocaust.[6] Since, as part of the procedure of issuing the insurance policies, Allianz Group inspectors would have toured the camps to make a detailed assessment of the high risks involved at every step of the operation, they were fully aware of the purpose of the camps. Feldman characterizes this as an example of the complete decay of moral standards under the Nazi regime.

Allianz also provided insurance throughout the war to the Nazis for valuables seized from Jews prior to their forced relocation to the camps and eventual extermination.

After World War II, like many German companies, Allianz chose not to reflect on the past, exonerated its employees, and emphasized its contacts to German resistance circles and the courageous acts of various individual employees during the war. It cooperated fully in international efforts to locate and make full payment to the heirs and descendants of Jewish Holocaust victims who held insurance policies with Allianz.

Operations

Australia

Allianz Australia Limited (ABN 21 000 006 226) operates throughout Australia and New Zealand and offers a range of insurance and risk management products and services through its subsidiaries, which include Club Marine, Allianz Life and Hunter Premium Funding.

Belgium

Allianz operates in Belgium through Allianz Belgium, previously AGF Belgium.

Bulgaria

Allianz Bank Bulgaria headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria

Allianz Bank Bulgaria is a universal commercial bank with headquarters in Sofia. It was established in 1991 as 'Bulgaria Invest' Commercial Bank, and renamed in 2003as Allianz Bank Bulgaria. The bank offers its products in more than hundred branches and offices all over the country, as well as through the network of Allianz Bulgaria Holding.

Canada

Allianz originally entered the Canadian market in the early 1990s through an acquisition of several North American insurers, including the American Firemans Fund and the Canadian Surety. Allianz halted its Canadian P&C operation Allianz Canada (market share 2 percent) in 2004 after several years of unfavorable business results. Upon the market exit, the personal and commercial lines unit was sold off to the market leader ING Canada, and its industrial underwriting branch was bought by Allianz US, which has retained the Toronto office.

Allianz Colombia headquarters in Bogotá

Colombia

In 1999, Allianz acquired 60 percent of the shares of Colombian insurer Colseguros, and in 2002 it increases its shareholding, becoming the sole owner of this company in Colombia. In 2012 the operation was consolidated under the name of Allianz.

Germany

The Allianz complex in Alt-Treptow, Berlin

Allianz offers a wide range of general, life and health insurance products in Germany through its Allianz Deutschland AG subsidiary. It is the market leader in both the general and life insurance markets. Allianz products are distributed principally through a network of full-time tied agents. Since September 2010 Allianz products have also been sold through Commerzbank branches.

India

In India, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited is a joint venture between Bajaj Finserv Limited (recently spun off from Bajaj Auto Limited) and Allianz SE. Both enjoy a reputation of expertise, stability, and strength. Bajaj Allianz maintains a countrywide network encompassing over 1,000 towns across India.[7]

Slovakia

Allianz started its life and Property & Casualty (P&C) operation in Slovakia in 1993 but the local subsidiary was never able to achieve a relevant market share. In 2001 Allianz AG bought the majority ownership in then state-owned Slovenska poistovna (Slovak Insurance Company), at the time suffering from political mismanagement, asset-stripping and deep under-reserving. Slovenska however held a market share of well over 50 percent, which had made it an attractive privatization target. The local Allianz operation was merged with Slovenska to create Allianz—Slovenska poistovna. Its combined market share (life and P&C) presently stands at just below 40 percent (about 50 percent in P&C business), making it the market leader in Slovakia.

United Kingdom

Allianz acquired British insurance company Cornhill Insurance plc, in 1986 and renamed it Allianz Cornhill Insurance plc. In 2007 the name was changed to Allianz Insurance plc to directly reflect its continental parentage.

Allianz owns Kleinwort Benson which it inherited when it bought Dresdner Bank. The investment bank has subsequently been merged with the corporate bank of Dresdner Bank and rebranded as Dresdner Kleinwort. It also owns the High Net Worth insurance broker [8]

United States

Allianz has a presence within the United States, including Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America and Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (which incorporates Fireman's Fund). Allianz's investment arm, includes two asset managers, Pacific Investment Management Company, commonly called PIMCO, and Allianz Global Investors, also referred to as AllianzGI or AGI.

Sponsorships

The Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany
Allianz Parque in São Paulo, Brazil

Allianz provides naming rights for the Allianz Arena, a football stadium in the north of Munich, Germany, opened in 2005.[9] Other stadiums associated with Allianz include the Allianz Parque football stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the Allianz Riviera football stadium in Nice, France, the Allianz Stadium football stadium in Turin, Italy, the Allianz Stadion football stadium in Vienna, Austria, the Allianz Stadium in Moore Park, Australia, Allianz Field soccer stadium (for Minnesota United in Major League Soccer) in Minnesota, United States, and the Allianz Dome basketball arena in Trieste.[10]

Allianz has been involved in Formula One since 2000, firstly as a sponsor of the AT&T Williams F1 Team, and since 2011 as a sponsor of the Mercedes GP Petronas team.[11] In 2009 Allianz signed an agreement to become the Global Partner of the St. Andrews Links Trust.[12]

Allianz has been a key sponsor of Formula One since 2000.

Allianz began an eight-year worldwide partnership with the Olympic and Paralympic Movements in 2021, building on a collaboration with the Paralympic Movement since 2006.[13]

The company has also been the sponsor of others sports, including the Women's British Open (golf), Allianz Open de Lyon (golf), Allianz Championship (golf), Allianz Golf Open du Grand Toulouse (golf), Allianz Suisse Open Gstaad (tennis), Allianz Cup (tennis), Allianz Championship (golf), La Liga (football), Premier League (football) and FINA Swimming World Cup (swimming), events.[14][15]

In Ireland, the national Gaelic Football league is officially named the Allianz National Football League.

In Italy, the company is the title sponsor of the main basketball club of Trieste, officially known Allianz Pallacanestro Trieste.[16]

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Allianz Group key indicators Allianz. Retrieved Ferbruary 24, 2021.
  2. Werner Meyer-Larsen, Germany, Inc.: The New German Juggernaut and Its Challenge to World Business (John Wiley, 2000, ISBN 978-0471353577).
  3. Allianz.com Allianz during the Nazi era Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Gerald D. Feldman, Allianz and the German Insurance Business, 1933-1945 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0521809290).
  5. Marc Engels, Review of "Allianz and the German Insurance Business, 1933-1945" by Gerald D. Feldman H-net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences (February, 2004). Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  6. Auschwitz and Zyklon B Auschwitz Alphabet. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  7. About Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  8. Home and Legacy Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  9. General Information Allianz Arena. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  10. L'Alma Arena cambia nome: sarà Allianz Dome fino al 2023 Il Gazzettino, June 13, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  11. Allianz Seals Mercedes GP F1 Deal Sport Industry Group, February 1, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  12. Environmental award for St Andrews Links Golf Business News, November 7, 2009. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  13. Allianz begins eight-year worldwide Olympic & Paralympic partnership Allianz, January 11, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  14. David Cushnan, Allianz to sponsor Recari and Women's British Open Sports Pro Media, July 3 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  15. Rachel Warnes, Allianz to sponsor FINA's Barcelona showpiece Sports Pro Media, June 28 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  16. Inizia l'era Allianz Pallacanestro Trieste Legabasket.it, November 29, 2019. Retrieved February 24, 2021.

References

  • Allianz Versicherungs AG (Germany). Financial Terminology From A-Z. London: Euromoney Publications PLC. 2007.
  • Feldman, Gerald D. Allianz and the German Insurance Business, 1933-1945. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0521809290
  • Imholtz, August A., and Peter Hayes. Germany's Business Leaders, 1400-1917 the Rudolf Mosse collection of business histories and biographies. Frederick, Md: UPA Academic Editions. 1988. ISBN 978-0886921507
  • Meyer-Larsen, Werner. Germany, Inc.: The New German Juggernaut and its Challenge to World Business. New York: John Wiley. 2000. ISBN 978-0471353577
  • Nicosia, Francis R., and Jonathan Huener. Business and Industry in Nazi Germany. New York: Berghahn Books. 2004. ISBN 978-1571816542

External links

All links retrieved May 17, 2021.

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