One of the world's biggest insurers, Allianz SE offers a range of insurance products and services -- including life, health, and property/casualty coverage for individuals and businesses -- through more than 1,000 subsidiaries, ventures, and affiliates operating all over the globe (Allianz SE and its subsidiaries are collectively known as the Allianz Group). The company serves some 85 million customers in such key markets as France, Germany, Italy, and the US. In addition to selling insurance, Allianz provides retail and institutional asset management services through Allianz Global Investors, private equity investment through Allianz Capital Partners, and banking services through Allianz Bank.
On the insurance front, Allianz gets more than half of its revenues from its life and health division, which operates under the Allianz brand and serves individual and group accounts. The property/casualty operations account for 40% of revenues. Allianz offers specialty property/casualty and marine insurance under the Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty brand. The unit has offices in more than a dozen locations and is one of the world's largest providers of marine insurance.
Though it has restructured to focus on core insurance and asset management offerings, Allianz still has banking operations in Germany and other global regions.
Its two primary investment management businesses, PIMCO and AllianzGI, operate under the Allianz Asset Management segment. The group has some €1,801 billion total assets under management, making it one of the largest active asset managers in the world. Some two-thirds of third-party assets are from institutional investors, while the rest are from retail investors. Core markets include France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the US, and the Asia/Pacific region.
Allianz operates in more than 70 countries, with most of its operations in Europe. It also operates in the Asia/Pacific region and the Americas.
Sales and Marketing
Allianz markets its products through independent agents and brokers, dedicated agents, bank representatives, and direct marketing channels. It has about 150,000 sales force associates, 1,200 distribution partners, and about 2,000 agencies in its worldwide network.
Allianz reported a 2% increase in revenues to some €103.2 billion in 2014 due to a 4% increase in property/casualty premiums and 19% growth in life and health statutory premiums (largely driven by its fixed-index annuity business in the US). A rise in sales of unit-linked and savings products in Italy, as well as increased single-premium sales in Germany, also contributed to the improvement. However, these rises were partially offset by lower asset management performance fees, which declined after a very strong year in 2013. Banking operations remained flat.
Net income rose 4% to €6.6 billion in 2014, primarily as a result of the higher revenue as well as a decline in income tax provisions. Cash flow from operations increased 39% to €32.2 billion, largely as a result of higher unearned premiums and reserves in the life and health segment.
Allianz is focused on achieving sustainable growth in its property/casualty, life and health, and asset management operations. It also seeks to achieve operational synergies among its businesses through shared technology investments, capital allocations, and best practice sharing. The company's investment strategy is conservative, with the goal of providing stable returns.
While the US and Europe are Allianz's largest markets, the company is pursuing growth in emerging markets as well. It has established significant operations in select Asian countries, and it is expanding its presence in Central and Eastern Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. Targeted markets include China, India, and Russia.
The group has been restructuring its North American business. In 2014 it absorbed the commercial lines of Fireman's Fund Insurance Company into its Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty industrial insurer; it plans to launch new financial lines including directors and officers coverage, professional indemnity, and errors and omissions insurance. The following year Allianz sold its Fireman's Fund Personal Insurance division to Chubb Limited for $365 million, marking the end of the Fireman's Fund brand name.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Boosting its share of the Italian market, Allianz acquired certain distribution activities (comprising a network of 725 agencies) of UnipolSai Assicurazioni's property/casualty business in 2014. It also purchased the property/casualty in-force portfolio managed by the acquired agencies.
The group also purchased the property/casualty business of Australia's Territory Insurance Office in late 2014; it additionally gained servicing responsibilities for the Government Motors Accidents Compensation program.