Everything was fine at Ergo in July 2007. More than fine. “There are things, impossible things. Or maybe they are just so wild, so incredible and so indescribable that they almost shouldn’t exist. But you can be sure of this: They do exist. And the only place they exist is here, here at HMI!”
Those breathless sentences appeared in an in-house newspaper for agents at Hamburg-Mannheimer Insurance. HMI, a subsidiary of Ergo Insurance. The company was boasting about the fact that it had invited its top agents to a sex orgy, prostitutes provided, in Budapest a month earlier – at an event at the historic Gellert Baths. The in-house publication read: “No matter how you look at it, it was definitely a blast. In any event, we haven’t found anyone yet who was there and doesn’t want to do it all over again.”
Times have changed. HMI no longer exists today. The sales organization underwent a major restructuring and streamlining, and the name was changed to Ergo Pro. Ergo filed charges against the former head of HMI and the former sales director in June 2011. What had been celebrated enthusiastically four years earlier was now viewed as a serious breach of trust and, from Ergo’s perspective, needed to be atoned for, preferably in court.
It was clearly not the best idea the Ergo leadership had ever had. Almost five years have passed since the entire company was talking about nothing but the unsavory details of that trip to Budapest. And now, just as the furor has died down somewhat, the incident is being revisited.
Handelsblatt has learned that the trial relating to the Budapest sex party is expected to begin on June 14. It will be a long haul. The Hamburg Regional Court has stated that it intends to wrap up the proceeding by February 2017. At two court days a week, that would be 70 sessions on the subject of Budapest, Ergo and sex.