Axel Theis: Allianz Australia ambitions realistic

Allianz SE global Management Board member Axel Theis says he is ‘excited’ by the ambition shown by Allianz Australia – and he has backed them to succeed in their bid to become Australia’s third largest insurer by 2020.

On a rare visit to the southern hemisphere, Theis told Broker Buzz that Allianz has lots of opportunities to grow in Australia, and that the future looks bright for the country from his global vantage point.

“We have lots of opportunities in Australia as we are present in all sorts of distribution channels and we have strong relationships across financial institutions, and also with brokers and agents,” Theis said.

“We do want to grow our direct channel, of course, and have been heavily investing in that, and in hiring the right people, but maintaining broker relations is paramount to us. Allianz Australia has a very high net promoter score with brokers.”

As recently as February, John Myler, Allianz Australia’s Chief Market Manager, said the company was ‘not content to be the fourth player in the Australian market’ behind IAG, QBE and Suncorp, and signalled an intent to break into the top three by 2020.

Speaking on that, Theis said: “I find that sort of ambition exciting, and we see great growth potential within the Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality (AGCS) and Allianz Global Assistance areas of the business here, so I believe we can achieve that goal.”

Allianz Australia has since announced the creation of a new business unit within its Broker & Agency Division – Tailored Underwriting Solutions – to focus on the mid-corporate area of the commercial insurance market.

Theis added that he believed Allianz’s stability as a business put them in a strong position to grow and forge meaningful relationships with brokers.

“Both globally and here in Australia, the feedback we’re receiving from brokers is very positive. A core part of that is our stability,” he said.

“We don’t change our people all the time, so we are talking to the same people, we know their expectations and can build stable relationships. Allianz will never be the cheapest, but we deliver quality and a promise which is coming from a financial and stable organisation.”

A full interview with Axel Theis will appear in the May issue of NIBA’s Insurance Adviser magazine.