According to a report in Germany’ Der Spiegel Magazine, Allianz AG officials have held talks with financial giant Merrill Lynch aimed at establishing a cross selling arrangement between the two companies in the U.S. and Germany.
The deal would involve Merrill Lynch giving Allianz access to its U.S. sales network, either for a set fee, or for a similar access arrangement to Allianz’ network of agents in Germany. It’s hard to imagine that Merrill, which has a rather substantial fund management business of its own, would assist Allianz in that area, but it could provide a substantial growth area for insurance linked products.
Der Spiegel’s article also discussed Allianz’ plans concerning Dresdner Bank. The insurer owns 21 percent of Germany’s 3rd largest bank, and, despite repeated denials, has long been rumored to be interested in either buying the rest of the bank, or selling its interest. The latest report speculates that Allianz would acquire Dresdner, keep its retail branch network and fund management business, as outlets for its insurance products, and sell the Kleinwort Benson investment bank portion. Allianz has made no comment on the rumors.
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