Cutting and Investing

Ergo Banks on Digital Overhaul

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The primary insurance arm of Munich Re plans to slash jobs and costs while repositioning itself with new online and traditional offerings. Among the biggest challenges, however, will be maintaining morale in the sales unit – the focus of its restructuring.

  • Facts


    • Düsseldorf-based Ergo plans to slash 2,400 jobs over the next four years – mainly in sales – while reducing costs by €280 million ($305 million) through 2020.
    • As part of its restructuring, the insurer will merge its individual sales units into a single division by January 1, 2017.
    • Leading the overhaul is 44-year-old sales executive Harald Christ, who once was tapped as economics minister in a Social Democratic Party shadow cabinet.
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The Ergo headquarters in Düsseldorf. Photo: Victoria Bonn-Meuser/dpa

Harald Christ, the new head of sales at Ergo, Germany’s third-largest insurer, relishes a challenge.

Which is a good thing, since he’s helping the Munich-Re subsidiary through a particularly sensitive restructuring that involves cutting 2,400 jobs over the next four years – primarily in its sales department.

It is part of sweeping plans to reduce costs by €280 million ($305 million) through 2020.

“Ergo certainly is one of the most demanding assignments that one could undertake in the financial industry at this time,” Mr. Christ told Handelsblatt in his first interview since joining Ergo in July.

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