GERMANY – Beleaguered insurer Allianz AG says the chairman of its management board, Henning Schulte-Noelle, is to resign and be replaced by Michael Diekmann, a board member who is currently head of insurance activities in North and South America.
The move was a surprise and follows a third-quarter loss of 2.5 billion euros at the Munich company. At the time it said it was unable to provide a reliable forecast for its performance the whole of 2002 due to market volatility.
In his statement, Schulte-Noelle said that he felt the element of surprise was necessary to avoid public discussion about his succession which he felt would have been damaging to the company. He added that his decision was entirely personal, “determined by his own life planning.” Schulte-Noelle had served on the board for over 11 years and will be 61 next year.
Schulte-Noelle commented that he felt the timing to be right, and, as the board was “well-coordinated”, and a suitable successor was available, his conscience was clear.
He praised Allianz saying that a lesson had been learned for the weakness of the capital markets, citing a recall on “old strengths” and the motto “back to basics.” With regards to asset management, he said; “we have accomplished the right strategic step.”
Michael Diekmann will take over from Schulte-Noelle as of the end of the annual general meeting on April 29 2003, and it has been proposed that Schulte-Noelle will assume a position on the supervisory board.
Allianz AG is the parent company of the asset management companies AGF Asset Management, Dresdner Bank Group, PIMCO Europe and RAS Asset Management. Dresdner Bank Group had 24 billion euros in European pension fund assets under management as of the end of 2001 and is the second largest manager of German pensions assets in Germany. AGF Asset Management holds the same title for French pensions assets in France, and has a total of 8.38 billion euros in European pension fund assets under management.