Allianz Global Benefits on the launch of its new unit | Video
European CEO speaks to Dirk Hellmuth, CEO of Allianz Global Benefits, to find out about the launch of its global benefits unit
A happy workforce translates into a successful business, but is it enough to just offer competitive salaries? Allianz believes so, and has launched a global benefits unit to address the needs of multinational organisations. European CEO speaks to Dirk Hellmuth, CEO of Allianz Global Benefits, to find out more.
European CEO: Dirk, your global benefits unit was launched earlier this year. Why was this implemented?
Dirk Hellmuth: Allianz Global Benefits was launched to offer a full range of corporate life, pension and health products at a global level to global companies, with one face to the customer. Allianz Global Benefits therefore builds on the life and health expertise of more than 100 Allianz entities, in over 80 countries. And allows especially multinational corporate headquarters, to buy in their employee benefit plans centrally.
European CEO: Well what company needs did this unit address and what benefits do you focus on?
We focus on state of the art product and solutions, on both global and local levels
Dirk Hellmuth: We focus on state of the art product and solutions, on both global and local levels. We are looking for solutions in terms of best services and best administrations, again on both global and local levels. Furthermore we are putting out clients in the middle of our activities, in order to offer the best solutions that we have; even with global lines such as Allianz Global Investors on PIMCO, our asset managers and for instance Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty, which is our sister company for non-life business.
European CEO: Well obviously a good benefit system can ensure staff motivation, but why is this such a fundamental aspect to corporate success?
Dirk Hellmuth: Employee benefits are about attracting and retaining talents while controlling costs. In today’s market place, employees are looking for more than just average benefits; especially in regards to life, disability, accident, medical and pension coverages. We believe companies should invest into their workforce, to secure a sustainable future; and talents are the key to that.
European CEO: How do you approach benefit schemes across different countries, and how important is this?
Dirk Hellmuth: Our approach to think global and to act local. In the first step we develop global employee benefit standards, with global headquarters and their intermediaries, such as brokers or consultants. In the second step, we reconnect client’s local subsidiaries and the local subsidiaries of Allianz; entities to work on local solutions. It is important to imbed local solutions into a global perspective.
Europeon CEO: How vital is it for a company to control the cost of benefits?
Dirk Hellmuth: Uncontrolled cost of benefits and unfunded pension liabilities can have severe consequences on a company’s liquidity. Therefore it is crucial that companies are looking for that. And we at Allianz Global Benefits are able to support as far as, for instance, the switch from existing defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans are concerned.
A proactive risk management approach will help companies to understand the risks of employee benefits on worldwide basis
European CEO: How can looking at employee benefits from a risk management perspective aid corporations?
Dirk Hellmuth: A proactive risk management approach will help companies to understand the risks of employee benefits on worldwide basis. Once the company is fully aware of the existing and potential risks within employee benefit plans, Allianz Global Benefits is able to solve and reduce these risks via our local expertise, which we have in more than 80 countries. The key is that the company sees the entire pictures, which are related to employee benefit schemes, and not only parts of them.
European CEO: Well finally, how do you see the management of employee benefits developing?
Dirk Hellmuth: The management of employee benefits becomes more and more global, even though we talk about local plans. Furthermore it is really important that you do have a proactive approach on that, because employee benefit schemes have to be managed proactively both on global and local levels. And this is where we can support multinational corporate plans and their intermediaries; this is what Allianz Global Benefits is about.
European CEO: Dirk, thank you.
Dirk Hellmuth: Thank you very much.