GERMANY - Insurance giant Allianz has created a pension sales and advisory firm in a bid to capitalise on an expected boom in German occupational pensions over the next decade.

It said Allianz Pension Partners would incorporate a 60-member team that, since 2002, has been marketing the MetallRente scheme.

Launched in 2002, MetallRente is an occupational pension targeted to employees in Germany’s engineering and metalworking industries.

Allianz said APP planned to add 30 people to its staff by 2007. Chief executive of the firm is Tobias Pross, who already led Allianz’s MetallRente marketing team.

The emergence of APP comes amid Allianz’s projection that Europe’s market for occupational and private pensions will double to €16.4trn in 2015 from €7.4trn now. Of the €9trn in new pension assets, Allianz believes that 80% will be concentrated in France, Germany and Italy.

Beyond continuing to promote the MetallRente, Allianz said APP would open itself to all German companies needing corporate pension products and advising, particularly small- to midsize firms.

Allianz already operates a pan-industry pension fund called Allianz Dresdner Pensionsfonds (ADPF). Yet while ADPF is a German Pensionsfonds, or one of the newer equity-oriented vehicles, APP provides all five forms of pension administration, including the Pensionsfonds.

APP also will offer so-called ‘overtime accounts’ and contractural trust arrangements (CTAs) – two products which are currently heavily in demand from German corporate clients.

In terms of investment products for occupational pensions, Allianz said APP would only offer those from its life insurance arm Allianz Leben and its asset management arm Allianz Global Investors.

Regarding sales goals, Allianz said APP would “seek to build on last year’s very good sales of the MetallRente”. Last year, sales of the occupational pension totalled 140,000, up 44,000 from the previous year. Contributions to the MetallRente fund rose to €176m in 2004 from €120m in 2003.