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SE (formerly AG, , ) is one of the largest financial services providers in the world, headquartered in Munichmarker, Germanymarker.

Its core business and focus is insurance. With €92.5 billion of revenue during 2008, Allianz is the second largest international insurance and financial services organization in the world.

Allianz has recently (August 2008) announced plans to sell its ownership of Dresdner Bank to Commerzbank, largely for shares. As a result of this proposed merger, Allianz will end up with a 30% controlling stake in the combined Commerzbank/Dresdner.

Allianz Global Investors ranks as a top-five global active investment manager, having €970 billion of assets under management (AuM), of which €725 billion are third-party assets, with specialized asset managers such as PIMCO (Bond fund), RCM(Equity fund), AAAm(Fund of Hedge fund), Degi(Real estate fund), etc.

History

General

Allianz AG was founded in Berlinmarker in 1890 and shifted its headquarters to Munichmarker in 1949. The first step to become an international company started with the opening of a branch office in Londonmarker in the late 19th century. After World War II, global business activities were gradually resumed. Allianz opened an office in Parismarker in the late 1950s, and a management office for Italymarker in the 1960s. These expansions were followed in the 1970s by the establishment of business in Great Britainmarker, the Netherlandsmarker, Spainmarker, Brazilmarker and the United Statesmarker. In 1986, Allianz acquired Cornhill Insurance PLC, London, and the purchase of a stake in Riunione Adriatica di Sicurità (RAS), Milanmarker, strengthened its presence in Western and Southern Europe in the 1980s. Recently, in February 8, 2006, RAS Shareholders approved the mergers with Allianz. In 1990, Allianz started an expansion into eight Eastern European countries with establishing a presence in Hungarymarker. In the same decade, Allianz also acquired Fireman’s Fund, an insurer in the United States, which was followed by the purchase of Assurances Generales de France (AGF), Paris. These acquisitions were followed by the expansion into Asia with several joint ventures and acquisitions in Chinamarker and South Koreamarker. Around this time Allianz expanded its asset management business as well by purchasing for example asset management companies in Californiamarker.

In 2001, Allianz acquired Dresdner Bank, a large German bank. Allianz Group and Dresdner Bank combined their asset management activities by forming Allianz Global Investorsmarker. In 2002 Michael Diekmann succeeded Henning Schulte-Noelle as CEO of Allianz AG. The Allianz Group was reincorporated under a European Company Statute and, as a result of the cross-border merger with RAS, Allianz converted into a European Company (SE - Societas Europaea) in October 13, 2006.

Allianz is now present in more than 70 countries with over 180,000 employees. At the top of the international group is the holding company, Allianz SE, with its head office in Munich. Allianz Group provides its more than 60 million customers worldwide with a comprehensive range of services in the areas of

• property and casualty insurance,

• life and health insurance,

• asset management and banking.

Controversy

Henning Schulte-Noelle was the first CEO of Allianz who took up the history in the Third Reich when he commissioned an Archive for Corporate History in 1993, which was opened in 1996. In 1997 Schulte-Noelle asked Gerald D. Feldman, historian from the Berkeley University in California, if he would undertake a larger research project on Allianz past in the Third Reich. Feldman started the research in 1998 together with a team of young historians. A few month later Jewish World War II survivors and their descendants took Allianz and other European insurance companies to court, accusing them of unpaid insurance policies. Allianz and four other insurers supported the creation of the "International Commission on Holocaust era Insurance Claims" (ICHEIC), furthermore Allianz became a founding member of the German Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future". Both organizations took care of payments for the victims. Feldman published the comprehensive results of his research in September 2001. Based on this results Allianz established an exhibition in the Archive for Corporate History and in the internet.

The research concluded that Allianz, as an organization and through its corporate officers, was heavily involved with the Nazi Regime and the Third Reich, starting as early as the early 1930s and continuing all the way through to the collapse of the Third Reich in 1945.

Among the more notable examples:

  1. Records proved conclusively that Allianz insured the property and personnel of the infamous Auschwitzmarker extermination camp, as well as the Dachau concentration camp. It was also proven that prior to issuing the insurance policies, Allianz Group inspectors toured the camps and were fully aware of the purpose of the camps.
  2. Records also confirmed that Allianz also insured the engineers working at the IG Farben Company, which supervised the manufacture of the Zyklon B cyanide gas used at Auschwitz and other camps used to execute captives.
  3. Allianz provided insurance throughout the war to the Nazis for valuables seized from those captured by the Nazis prior to their forced relocation to the camps and eventual extermination.
  4. Allianz leadership was heavily involved at the highest echelons of the Nazi administration. 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. Allianz General Director Eduard Hilgard was head of the "Reich Association for Private Insurance" during the entire Nazi regime, and was responsible for creation and enforcement of the Nazi policy to terminate or refuse to pay off any life insurance policies issued to Jews, instead sending beneficiary payments directly to the Nazis. Allianz records also show that the company fully supported this policy, recording it in their business records as "business as usual".


Recent Management

CEOs to date:

Australia

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

Belgium

Allianz operates through Allianz Belgium, previously AGF Belgium which has been re-branded to Allianz Belgium on the 29 November 2007.

Canada

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

India

In India Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited is a joint venture between Bajaj Finserv Limited (recently demerged from Bajaj Auto Limited) and Allianz SE.

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%, which had made it an attractive privatization target, where Allianz had to compete with such insurers as AXA or Aegon. Upon the purchase the local Allianz operation was merged with Slovenska creating a new company Allianz - Slovenska poistovna. Its combined market share (life and P&C) presently stands at just below 40% (about 50% in P&C business), still making it by far the market leader.

United Kingdom

Allianz owns British insurance company Cornhill Insurance plc, subsequently renamed Allianz Cornhill Insurance plc. This then simply became Allianz Insurance plc on 30 April 2007 to directly reflect its continental parentage. Their IT captive unit in India Allianz Cornhill Information Services plc is located at Technopark, Keralamarker.

Allianz owns Kleinwort Bensonmarker 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 Home and Legacy.

Sports

Allianz provided naming rights for the Allianz Arenamarker, a football stadium in the north of Munich, Germany, which is sponsored by Allianz. The two professional Munich football clubs Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 München have played their home games at Allianz Arena since the start of the 2005–06 season. Both clubs had previously played their home games at the Munich Olympic Stadium; Bayern Munich since 1972 and 1860 München since the 1990s.

Allianz owns the Polish football team Gornik Zabrzemarker.

Allianz had been in negotiations with the New York Jets and the Giants to buy naming rights to the Meadowlands Stadiummarker in East Rutherford, NJmarker, but those talks ended due to opposition from Jewish groups and holocaust survivors.

Allianz has been a sponsor of the AT&T WilliamsF1 Team since 2000.

See also



References

  1. Allianz note to shareholders confirming conversion to SE
  2. Auschwitz and Zyklon B


External links




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