The Allianz Company was founded as Allianz AG in Berlin, in 1890. The company has a rich and remarkable history. A few years after its founding, Allianz ventured into international markets by opening a branch office in London. The company expanded its horizon just after World War II and opened its doors in Paris in the 1950’s and Italy in the 1960’s.
Eighty years after its birth, Allianz started offering its services and products in key countries around the world like Great Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, and the United States. In the 1980’s, Allianz AG acquired several companies to bolster its strength. It has continuously expanded its size through the end of the century and into the early 2000’s. The company’s strategy brought it to the shores of China and Korea. At the same time, it set up an asset management business in California. Allianz AG was changed in to a European company with the official company name, Allianz SE (Societas Europaea).
Proving itself to be a leader in the industry, the company is now ranked second among the largest providers of life insurance services around the globe. The company now has more office in more than 70 countries around the world, employing over 180,000 employees. Currently, the company provides services to some sixty million customers in the areas of property and casualty insurance, health and life coverage, and asset management and banking. Its assets as of 2007 were reported at 102.6 billion Euros or 130.217 billion US dollars.
Researchers have connected Allianz to the Nazi government in documents showing that the company had insured property and employees at notorious sites like the Auschwitz internment camp. The company also cancelled and refused the insurance claims of Jews just before the outbreak of war. Today, the company asserts its stand that the Nazi regime offered very little freedom to German companies during its stay in power. However, the chief executive of Allianz in the 1930’s served as the Economic Minister for the Third Reich from 1933 to 1935.
Allianz SE’s astounding success is often credited to its sharp knowledge of market trends and their haste in withdrawing from unprofitable markets. One of the best examples of this was the company’s complete departure from Canada in 2004. Allianz sold off all its investments with ING Canada, preserving only the industrial branch and selling such guarantees to Allianz US which now owns the properties, including their Toronto offices.