New Boy

Gearing Up for the Fast Lane

Source: Michael Elleray
Full speed ahead but don't underestimate the competition.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Insiders wonder whether Oliver Bäte, a trained banker and former McKinsey consultant, will be a safe pair of hands or take the insurance giant down a riskier path.

  • Facts


    • Oliver Bäte will take charge of Allianz in May 2015.
    • He will become the group’s 10th chief executive.
    • The insurer has said it expects full-year operating profit to be in the upper end of its €9.5 billion to €10.5 billion forecast range.
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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.

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