Top company by employee – 59 – Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America – Minnesota US
Industry: Financial Services & Insurance
Ownership: Publicly quoted/held
Previous rank: 51
2011 revenue ($ millions): $10,800
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Golden Valley, MN
|Headquarters||Golden Valley, Minnesota|
|Key people||Walter White (CEO)|
Minneapolis-based Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) provides annuities and life insurance products in the United States in all states except for New York. In New York, annuities and life insurance products are offered by Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York (Allianz Life of NY).
Allianz Life offers various products, including fixed and variable annuities and life insurance. These products are offered through a network of more than 100,000 agents nationwide.
The company is a principal subsidiary of Allianz SE, a global financial services group that is the 20th largest corporation in the world based on revenue (Fortune Global 500, August 2010). Allianz SE employs nearly 155,000 people worldwide.
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America began as North American Casualty, started by Henry Little of Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1896. North American Casualty then merged with North American Life Association – founded in 1910 by Zeke Austin with capital from Henry Little – in 1912 to become North American Life and Casualty (NALAC). H.P. Skoglund served as NALAC’s CEO for 44 years.
In 1979, NALAC was acquired by Allianz AG of Munich, Germany, becoming a company of the Allianz Group. Founded in 1890, the Allianz Group is now one of the world’s largest integrated financial services organizations with asset management, life, health and property-casualty insurance, and banking operations in more than 70 countries.
The company was renamed Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) in 1993. Today, Allianz Life and Allianz Life of NY are the only Allianz Group subsidiaries providing life insurance in the U.S.
1896 – North American Casualty – Founded by Henry Little of Minneapolis, MN
1910 – North American Life Association – Founded in 1910 by Zeke Austin with capital from Henry Little.
1912 – North American Casualty and North American Life Association combined to make North American Life and Casualty (NALAC). Transformed from a regional insurance company to a national industry innovator.
1979 – NALAC acquired by Allianz Versicherungs – Allianz AG of Munich, Germany.
1993 – The company is renamed as Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.
1999 – Allianz Life acquires LifeUSA Holding, Inc. – founded in 1987 by Robert W. MacDonald and four other individuals. MacDonald named CEO of Allianz Life.
2002 – Mark A. Zesbaugh named CEO of Allianz Life.
2005 – Allianz Life acquires retail broker/dealer Questar Capital Corporation.
2006 – Gary C. Bhojwani joins Allianz Life as CEO.
2010 – Allianz Life posts the highest operating profit in the company’s 114-year history at nearly $800 million for its 2009 financial year.
Financial strength ratings[edit source]
Allianz Life and Allianz SE have received some of the highest financial strength ratings available from Standard & Poor’s, A.M. Best and Moody’s. These ratings were affirmed in September 2009.
The Standard & Poor’s rating of AA (Very Strong) is the 3rd highest out of 21 possible ratings, as was affirmed September 2010.
The A.M. best rating of A (Excellent) is the 3rd highest out of 16 possible ratings, and was affirmed February 2010.
The Moody’s rating of A2 (Good) is the 6th highest out of 21 possible ratings, and was affirmed August 2009.
Business model[edit source]
Allianz Life works with financial professionals through field marketing organizations (FMOs) and broker/dealers. This supposedly allows them to effectively and objectively help meet its clients financial needs as well as offer a variety of financial products from which clients may choose. The company also owns nine FMOs, which comprise the Allianz Distribution Group. While they are Allianz subsidiaries, they operate as independent entities and offer a variety of products and services.
Allianz Life also offers variable annuity products, which are distributed by its affiliate, Allianz Life Financial Services, LLC, which is registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as a limited wholesale broker/dealer. This enables the company to distribute its variable products through independent registered representatives, registered investment advisors, banks, and wire houses.
The company also owns a national securities retail broker/dealer, Questar Capital Corporation, which is registered with FINRA and Securities Investor Protection Corporation(SIPC). Founded in 1997, Minneapolis-based Questar Capital serves clients in the financial industry with a full range of products and brokerage services.
As part of Allianz SE, the company exploits the resources of Allianz Global Investors – a sibling company – in the creation of annuity products.
Sales practices[edit source]
• Every fixed annuity application Allianz receives goes through their suitability rules engine, and they have an escalated review process for applications that require further analysis. Allianz does not accept applications that do not pass this suitability screening.
• Customers also receive a third-party survey that evaluates their satisfaction with the sales process and understanding of the product.
• Every customer over age 75 is called to review the features of the product they purchased and to verify their understanding of the contract’s terms and responsibilities. If Allianz determines a customer did not understand the purchase or that it was unsuitable for their needs, Allianz will offer a full refund.
U.S.-based sister organizations[edit source]
Allianz Global Investors – One of the world’s leading asset management companies, providing access to its affiliated investment firms, including PIMCO (Pacific Investment Management Company LLC), one of the world’s leading fixed-income managers
Fireman’s Fund – Has been selling commercial, personal, and specialty insurance in the United States for more than 140 years
Allianz Investment Management – Allianz Investment Management (AIM) handles the investments of Allianz insurance companies worldwide. Regional centers in Milan, Minneapolis, Munich (and Stuttgart), Paris, and Singapore serve as investment services platforms.
Walter White, Chief Executive Officer
Walter White is president and chief executive officer.
White joined Allianz Life in 2009 as chief administrative officer, where he led Operations, Information Technology, Compliance, the Central Project Office and Suitability departments.
Prior to joining Allianz Life in 2009, White was president of Woodbury Financial Services (Hartford Life’s independent broker/dealer). He led the formation of Woodbury Financial after Hartford Life purchased Fortis Financial Group in 2001. At Fortis, White held a number of senior leadership positions in operations, finance, marketing, and sales. Prior to joining Fortis, White was president of MONY Brokerage, the MONY Group’s life insurance brokerage subsidiary.
White holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Yale University and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation.
In 2010, the Allianz Championship returned to Boca Raton, Florida. From February 15–21, defending champion Mike Goodes along with past champions Mark James and Scott Hoch competed against what has become one of the strongest fields on the Champions Tour schedule. The 54-hole stroke-play competition, featuring a purse of $1.7 million, was won by Boca Raton native Bernhard Langer.
- 2010 – Bernhard Langer
- 2009 – Mike Goodes
- 2008 – Scott Hoch
- 2007 – Mark James
- 2006 – Gil Morgan
- 2005 – Tom Jenkins
- 2004 – D. A. Weibring
- 2003 – Don Pooley
- 2002 – Bob Gilder
- 2001 – Jim Thorpe (golfer)
In addition to acting as the title sponsor of the Allianz Championship, Allianz Life currently sponsors five golfers on the PGA, Champions and LPGA Tours
- Steve Stricker – PGA Tour
- Tim Herron – PGA Tour
- Tom Lehman – PGA and Champions Tours
- John Harris – Champions Tour
- Azahara Muñoz – LPGA Tour
Top workplace awards[edit source]
Star Tribune Top Workplaces 2010
In 2010, Allianz Life was recognized by the Minneapolis Star Tribune as one of the top 100 workplaces in the Twin Cities, ranking fifth on the list of top public companies.
Allianz Life was also honored in 2010 as one of Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Best Places to Work winners, ranking eight on the list of large companies with more than 1,000 full-time Minnesota employees.
The Allianz American Legacies Study[edit source]
In July 2005, a survey commissioned by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, in conjunction with Dr. Ken Dychtwald, president of AgeWave, found that there is a huge generational gap on views of inheritance and legacy. The lack of communication or the “Legacy Gap” between boomers and their parents are among the key findings in The Allianz American Legacies Study.
The key findings of the study include:
• There are significant gaps in what baby boomers and their parents expect from, and define as inheritance
• Non-financial items that parents leave behind—like ethics, morals, faith, and religion—are 10 times more important to both boomers and their parents than the financial aspects of inheritance
• Legacy Gaps exist because boomers and their parents are not having the in-depth conversations about legacy and inheritance in any truly productive and meaningful ways—even though they say they are having such conversations
• Thorough discussions about legacy planning include talking about the “four pillars” that are the core of a true legacy: values and life lessons, fulfilling final wishes and instructions, personal possessions of emotional value, and financial assets and real estate.
Women, Money and Power Study[edit source]
Women, Money, and Power Study – Phase I In 2006, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America commissioned The Allianz Women, Money, and Power Study, which sought to better understand the unique relationship women have with money. Allianz learned a lot from the first phase of the Study – despite their educational, professional, and financial gains over the past few decades – women still feel insecure about their financial futures.
Women, Money, and Power Study – Phase II Allianz commissioned Phase II of The Women, Money, and Power Study in 2008 to examine two key questions:
• What do women want to learn about finances?
• How do they want to learn it?
The study found that while women used the internet as their main resource for learning about financial planning, it is the least trusted source. Human interaction remains the “most meaningful and effective” source of information. In fact, 50% of women prefer “a person telling me,” versus “reading about” something.
Reclaiming the Future Study[edit source]
At 76 million strong, the “baby boom” generation represents the largest, wealthiest, and most influential segment of the U.S. population. Yet, this “power generation” will face one of the most pronounced retirement income challenges in history.
The Allianz Reclaiming the Future Study was conceived to be one of the most comprehensive examination of baby boomers’ preparation for and expectations of retirement.
The study looked at the unique needs, perceptions, and strategies that define this generation’s need to rethink retirement. The study also looked into consumer and financial professional attitudes toward annuities, and their role in providing retirement income.
Products are issued by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. Variable products are distributed by its affiliate, Allianz Life Financial Services, LLC,.
Products issued by Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, and variable products are distributed by its affiliate, Allianz Life Financial Services, LLC. Only Allianz Life of NY can offer products in New York.