Allianz to eliminate 7,480 jobs in insurance, banking


Allianz AG, Europe's largest insurer, plans to cut about 7,480 jobs, or 4.2 percent of the workforce, in Chief Executive Officer Michael Diekmann's biggest overhaul of the company's insurance operations since he took over three years ago. Allianz will shed about 5,000 workers at its German insurance unit by reducing administrative offices to 10 from 21, and trim about 2,480 jobs at Dresdner Bank, the Munich-based company said in a statement today. Diekmann, 51, is merging Allianz's German life, health and property and casualty units under one holding company and seeking to reign in costs at Dresdner to make European operations more profitable. Allianz expects the job cuts at the insurance unit to reduce expenses by as much as 600 million euros by 2008. ``They need to be efficient,'' said Markus Engels, who helps oversee about $55 billion, including Allianz shares, at Cominvest Asset Management in Frankfurt. ``If you compare Allianz with international competitors it still isn't top in terms of capital returns.'' He spoke before the announcement. Allianz's return on equity, a measure of profitability, was 12.6 percent in 2005, lagging behind Paris-based Axa SA's 13.4 percent and Trieste-based Assicurazioni Generali SpA's 16.5 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Allianz said the reorganization won't lead to any firings at its German insurance units until the end of 2007. Job losses could result as Allianz shuts offices and employees decide to leave rather than move to another city, said Frank Lehmhagen, an official at Ver.di, Germany's biggest labor union, and a member of the supervisory boards at Allianz's German insurance units. Unions criticized Allianz for making job cuts after net income almost doubled to a record 4.4 billion euros last year. Ver.di said in a statement today it's preparing warning strikes to protest the reductions cuts and will pursue such actions unless Allianz offers more job guarantees. Allianz plans to cut 3,300 jobs at the property and casualty unit in Germany, 1,000 at the life unit and 700 at the health insurance unit. Allianz earlier this year already announced the reduction of 700 jobs at its sales organization in Germany. Allianz said in February that it expects the reorganization of the German insurance units will boost operating profit by 200 million euros in 2007, 400 million euros in 2008 and 600 million euros in 2009.

Allianz plans to close its regional headquarters in Cologne and the property and casualty unit's offices in Mainz, Aachen, Hanover, Augsburg, Freiburg, Mannheim, Nuremburg, Magdeburg and Ulm. It will also close the life unit's office in Frankfurt and the health unit's office in Dortmund. (Bloomberg)


Hungarian Meat Companies Get Export Clearance from Philippin... Trade

Hungarian Meat Companies Get Export Clearance from Philippin...

Gov't to Launch HUF 700 bln Business Credit Scheme  Government

Gov't to Launch HUF 700 bln Business Credit Scheme 

Montenegro's Q4 Retail Sales Rise on Year, Fall on Quarter  Retail

Montenegro's Q4 Retail Sales Rise on Year, Fall on Quarter 

Avatar: The Way of Water Breaks Box Office Record in Hungary Art

Avatar: The Way of Water Breaks Box Office Record in Hungary


Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.