Germany’s Allianz announced that Chris Fischer Hirs will take over as President of Allianz Risk Transfer on July 1, 2006, “assuming the day-to-day operational management responsibility for the company.” He will become CEO as of January 1, 2007, and is expected to lead the unit to a “wider role within the Allianz Group.”
Jay Ralph, who has headed Allianz Risk Transfer since its founding in 1997, will continue as CEO until the end of 2006 and will assume the position of Vice Chairman of the Zurich-based Company on January 1, 2007.
Allianz explained that “Ralph has taken on additional responsibilities within the Allianz Group, and as a result of this, he will be sharing his time between Allianz Risk Transfer and other duties reporting to Clement Booth, member of the Allianz AG management board and Chairman of Allianz Risk Transfer.
“These responsibilities include the Advanced Risk Intermediation Project, which is aimed at facilitating the transfer of insurance risk into the financial markets. The market for risk intermediation is expected to grow strongly in the coming years as large risks become more complex and expensive to insure.”
The risk transfer unit’s increased importance underscores the renewed interest in alternative risk transfers (ART’s) within the global insurance community. As reinsurance rates remain high and many companies’ own capital resources are committed elsewhere, the financial markets offer insurers both a way to decrease their risks and to conserve capital.
“Since its founding, Allianz Risk Transfer has been consistently profitable and among the top-performing Allianz entities in terms of return on equity,” said the bulletin. “I am confident that the company will continue to meet the unique demands of this specialized market segment,” Booth commented.
“Allianz Risk Transfer is the center of competence for structured risk transfer solutions for corporate clients and financial service providers within the Allianz Group,” the bulletin explained. “The Company is also active in the alternative assets markets. The Zurich-based Company, founded in June 1997, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allianz AG. It also operates through affiliated companies located in New York, Bermuda, London and Amsterdam.
“Allianz Risk Transfer endeavors to assist its clients through tailored applications of insurance and financial risk transfer techniques. The Company’s solutions are most effective for clients facing unusual or complex risks, where traditional insurance or banking products are inadequate.
“Allianz Risk Transfer’s client base spans the entire industrial spectrum worldwide, including aerospace, real estate, banking, insurance, leasing, construction, auto manufacturing, petrochemicals and entertainment. As such, the firm works closely with other Allianz Group companies serving corporate clients, including Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, which is planned to be launched in the second half of 2006, pending approval by relevant regulatory authorities.”
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