Allianz Cornhill to Change Name; Continue Expansion

Allianz Cornhill, one of the U.K.’s largest general insurers and part of Germany’s Allianz Group since 1986, has announced a number of developments for its business, including a change of its corporate name to Allianz Insurance plc.

The changeover is scheduled for April 30, 2007, and it will apply to most of its business, including the commercial lines and personal lines products sold through the UK broker network.

A bulletin on the Allianz Website ( explained that “two parts of the company will keep their old name. The direct personal lines business will continue to operate under the Cornhill Direct brand, which enjoys high brand recognition by retail customers in the UK. The Animal Health business, meanwhile, will remain under the market-leading Petplan brand, which has built up an excellent reputation among pet owners.”

CEO Andrew Torrance commented: “I am personally very excited about this move and the potential to gain maximum benefit from the global strength, marketing activity and financial security of the Allianz brand. The Cornhill brand has served us well for over one hundred years, but it is now time to move on and, in an ever more international market, the Allianz brand will carry us into the next phase of the company’s development.”

The bulletin gave further details for the Group’s future expansion plans. These include strengthening its participation in UK niche markets for personal lines, where it is concentrating on growing control of its distribution channels. “As part of its expansion strategy, Allianz Cornhill has acquired Home and Legacy, a specialist distributor of household insurance for mid- to high-level net worth individuals,” the bulletin noted. “Home and Legacy will operate as an independent broker, separate from the rest of Allianz Cornhill’s personal lines business, and will retain its existing staff and management team.”

In the field of small and medium enterprises, which continues to focus on the intermediary distribution model, Allianz noted that it had “completed the purchase of Premierline, a specialist marketer of SME policies. Allianz Cornhill already had a 20 percent stake in the business and has now acquired the remaining 80 percent. Premierline will operate as a separate business unit and the existing management team, led by founder and Chief Executive Barrie Wells, will remain in place.”

Allianz Cornhill also noted that it has “been very successful with its property owners’ business, which supplies commercial insurance to landlords, property companies and property owners.”

In addition Allianz Cornhill Commercial “recently hired an established team of 20 people to launch a new push for property owners’ business in London and South East England. With the new team on board, premiums are expected to exceed 100 million British pounds sterling (almost 150 million euros [$188 million]) within three years.”

“We expect to grow our participation in the market substantially,” Torrance indicated.