Active is: Insurance related strategies

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  • 04 mins 21 secs
Karl Happe, CIO - Insurance Related Strategies, discusses the team, the different strategies used by insurance companies, and their focus on ESG.

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So my name’s Karl Happe. I’m the Chief Investment Officer for Insurance Related Strategies. Me and my team manage about €140bn of insurance assets. I’ve got a team of over 50 portfolio managers that manage fixed income, equity, private debt and the derivative strategies where we do both hedging and income generating strategies. We manage only insurance assets and we manage for both the Allianz Group and for third party customers. We’re managing core portfolios, so these portfolios are really portfolios that are important for the insurance companies’ P&L and solvency ratios and are not discretionary in the typical sense of just benchmark oriented investing. The team is very focused on investing in coordination with the insurance company clients to fulfil their needs, so they’re in regular contact with our clients and we’re very used to a high-touch, a consultative portfolio management.

So, as CIO for the Insurance Related Strategies, I have been with Allianz Global Investors now for five-and-a-half years. Before that I spent nine years at Allianz at the Group where I was in charge of our fixed income strategy globally, so both me and my team have extensive insurance expertise, both as an asset manager, but many of us also come from the insurance business as well.

Allianz Global Investors is I think unique in the extent to which we have real insurance dedicated portfolio management skills on a global basis or certainly across Europe and in North America and really focus on insurance as a core asset management function for the insurance balance sheets.

Some of the clients that we serve are specialty insurers where we’re able to provide not just portfolio management services, but also ALM advice and some of the reporting and follow-up services that many companies need to provide their regulator and their accountants the information that they need. So, where Allianz Global Investors differentiates itself from many other asset managers is that we can start early on in the investment value chain with ALM, SAA and asset manager selection advice and then in the portfolio management context provide real insurance oriented investments that are focused on solvency and P&L management, followed by reporting and accounting services that allow the insurer to provide all of the information that they need to both the regulators and their shareholders ultimately.

So, one of the areas where we’ve been focusing a lot of energy recently is on ESG topics. The Allianz Group has made ESG a very important topic and therefore we in our portfolios, both in the equity and in the fixed income side, now have almost full coverage in all of our portfolios from an ESG perspective. We think this is increasingly important for many insurance companies as they are focused more on their social responsibility and other dimensions besides just return in their investment strategies.