Elizabeth Corley is to step down as chief executive at Allianz Global Investors (AGI) after four years in the role.

Corley, who led AGI’s European business prior to taking over as head, will become a non-executive vice-chair – a new role for the company – in April 2016.

AGI co-chief executive and global CIO Andreas Utermann will succeed her.

Utermann joined the company in 2002 as global equities CIO.

He was subsequently promoted to global CIO and given responsibility for managing RCM Capital Management.

George McKay, the current global COO, who joined in 2006 from Mellon Bank, has been promoted to co-chief executive alongside Utermann.

Corley said it had been a “privilege” to work at AGI.

“This is a wonderful company with fantastic employees, and I am most grateful to them making my time here such a pleasure.”

Commenting on the changes, Jay Ralph, a member of the Allianz board in charge of asset management, praised Corley’s work.

“Elizabeth has deftly steered Allianz GI to become a successful, globally integrated asset manager,” he said. 

He added that he looked forward to working with Corley in the future as she developed her career as a non-executive.

Utermann also praised Corley’s time as chief executive.

“Elizabeth’s inspirational leadership, passion for investment and boundless positive energy have contributed immeasurably to the success and standing of Allianz GI today,” he said. 

“Naturally, I am delighted she will continue to act as an ambassador for the firm into the future. Equally, I look forward to cementing a similarly productive partnership with George, who has demonstrated his leadership and agility in many roles since joining the firm in 2006.”

Utermann will retain responsibilities for investment matters, while McKay will be responsible for global distribution, global solutions, corporate marketing and COO functions.

Read Elizabeth Corley’s piece in IPE’s November 2013 issue on financial repression