Allianz

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Group.png Allianz PowerbaseRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Allianz.png
Formation1890
Member ofGerman Institute for International and Security Affairs, Transatlantic Policy Network, World Economic Forum/Strategic Partners
Membership• Oliver Bäte
• Sergio Balbinot
• Jacqueline Hunt
• Christof Mascher
• Niran Peiris
• Klaus-Peter Röhler
• Ivan de la Sota
• Giulio Terzariol
• Günther Thallinger
• Renate Wagner
• Peter Skinner
• Daniel Bahr

Allianz SE is a European multinational financial services company headquartered in Munich, Germany. Its core businesses are insurance and asset management. Oliver Bäte has been the CEO since May 2015. In 2019, the company posted total sales of around 142 billion euros and net income of 8.3 billion euros.

History

Allianz AG was founded in Berlin on 5 February 1890 by then director of the Munich Reinsurance Company Carl von Thieme and Wilhelm von Finck. In 1900 the company became the first insurer to obtain a license to distribute corporate policies. In 1904 Paul Von Naher took over the sole leadership of the company, as it moved into the US and other markets. Markets entered by 1914 included the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, France, the Scandinavian countries and the Baltic States, and Allianz had become the largest maritime insurer in Germany.[1]

Allianz was a major supporter of the Nazi movement, Hitler's first cabinet included the head of Allianz as a cabinet member. On June 30, 1933, Kurt Schmitt, Allianz Director-General, was appointed Economics Ministers for the Third Reich under Adolf Hitler[2].

During World War II the Berlin headquarters of Allianz were destroyed by Allied bombing runs. Following the end of the war in 1945, Hans Heß became head of the company, and Allianz shifted its headquarters to Munich in 1949 due to the split between East and West Germany. Heß only held the position until 1948, when he was replaced by Hans Goudefroy. After World War II, global business activities were gradually resumed. Allianz opened an office in Paris in 1959, and started repurchasing stakes in former subsidiaries in Italy and Austria. In 1971 Wolfgang Schieren became the head of the company.

These expansions were followed in the 1970s by the establishment of business in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain, Brazil and the United States, followed by corporate mergers and purchases the next few decades.

Driving up Food Prices

In May 2012, the aid and development organization Oxfam published a study entitled “You don't play with food!” on the occasion of the annual general meeting of Allianz SE. According to Oxfam, speculation in foods such as wheat or corn leads to extremely fluctuating prices and price spikes in the commodity futures markets, which have an impact on real prices. Rising or volatile prices therefore cause hunger. People in the global south in particular are suffering from rising prices.[3]

In the study, Oxfam comes to the conclusion that Allianz is number one in Germany - even ahead of Deutsche Bank - when it comes to speculation with staple foods. Allianz SE invested an estimated 6.242 billion euros in five funds in 2011, either directly or indirectly in agricultural raw materials. According to the study, this corresponds to about one sixth of the world's fixed assets in this area.

Party Donations

Allianz is one of the major donors to political parties in Germany and has donated the known sum of more than 3.2 million euros to the parties in parliament, with the exception of the left wing Die Linke and the right populist AfD, since 2000. The corporation justifies this with the fact that the left is clearly opposed to any form of market economy, and that the AfD, according to its party program, would be very committed to a strongly controlled economy[4][5][6].

Lobbying for Privatization

Allianz had a representative, member of the board of directors Helga Jung, in the so-called Expert Commission for Strengthening Investments in Germany. This commission of experts existed from 2014-2015 and has the purpose of promoting private investments in public infrastructure (Public Private Partnership (PPP)).

Revolving Door

Allianz is increasingly relying on former top politicians in its lobbying work:

  • In November 2014, it became known that the former British Labor MP in the EU Parliament, Peter Skinner, will become a lobbyist at Allianz SE. Skinner was primarily active on the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON). There he played a leading role in the European regulation of the insurance industry. Skinner switched over to the industry for which he for years had created the framework. Allianz told LobbyControl that it had been agreed with Skinner that he would not be allowed to contact the EU Commission or the EU Parliament for a year.[7]
  • The former German Federal Health Minister Daniel Bahr has been working as General Manager for the "Allianz Private Health Insurance" since November 1st, 2014[8]. On January 1, 2017, he was promoted to the board.[9]




References