Oliver Bäte is about to become the most powerful insurer in Europe.
The 49-year-old will take over the helm of one of the world’s largest insurance companies, Allianz.
On Thursday, current Chief Executive Michael Diekmann announced that he would retire in May 2015, just a few months after turning 60, instead of extending his contract by one or two years as many believed he would.
Mr. Bäte’s appointment is not a surprise. He has been groomed for the job for almost two years. During that time, he had been chief financial officer of the Munich-based insurance company, before taking charge of the group’s operations in southern and western Europe, trading jobs with Dieter Wemmer.
It was a slightly unusual move for a rising star, but it meant Mr. Bäte could acquire operational experience running the company he will now take control of next May.