The FINANCIAL -- The Allianz SE Supervisory Board made the following personnel decisions at its meeting on March 9, 2017:
Giulio Terzariol (45) has been appointed to the Allianz SE Board of Management as of January 1, 2018. He takes over responsibility for the Finance, Controlling and Risk Management division. He is succeeding Dieter Wemmer (60), whose contract ends at the end of 2017 upon reaching the Board’s designated age limit. Giulio Terzariol joined Allianz 19 years ago and has held various management positions in operating entities as well as in the headquarters. Most recently, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of Allianz Life in the U.S. for seven years and contributed considerably to the successful turnaround of the company. Since the beginning of 2016, Giulio Terzariol has been responsible for Group Planning and Controlling. He is appointed to the Board of Management until December 31, 2020, according to Allianz.
"With today’s appointments, we continue to internationalize the Allianz SE Board,” says Helmut Perlet, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Allianz SE.
Oliver Bäte, Chief Executive Officer Allianz SE, says: “Dieter Wemmer made significant advances to our finance division and particularly to our capital management. Giulio Terzariol is an internationally experienced Allianz manager with a proven track record in our operating business as well as in the headquarters. I am pleased that he will take over the finance division.”
Furthermore, Niran Peiris (55) is appointed to the Board of Management of Allianz SE as of January 1, 2018 until December 31, 2020. Niran Peiris has been with Allianz for 16 years in various management positions at Allianz Australia, where he has served as the Chief Executive Officer since the beginning of 2013. He will take over responsibility for the Global Insurance Lines, Anglo Markets, Russia, ESG from Axel Theis (58).
As of January 1, 2018, Axel Theis will take over the responsibility for Insurance German Speaking Countries and Central & Eastern Europe from Werner Zedelius (59), whose contract ends at the end of 2017 upon reaching the Board’s designated age limit.
Oliver Bäte says: "Werner Zedelius has been a driving force at Allianz for thirty years, the last 16 years as a member of the Board of Management. He is responsible for the successful development of the German-speaking countries and Eastern Europe. It is important that Axel Theis, one of our most experienced managers, will take over these markets. I am particularly pleased that Niran Peiris, a highly successful manager in the Anglo-Saxon markets and with experience in customer centricity, takes over Axel Theis’ area of responsibility and moves to the Board of Management of Allianz SE.”
Chief Operating Officer Christof Mascher (56) has been a Board Member of Allianz SE since 2009 and his contract has been extended by three years until the end of 2020. “It is very good that in these current times of change and digitalization of our business, we can continue to build on Christof Mascher’s experiences and his know-how,” says Oliver Bäte.
In addition, it is planned to put Michael Diekmann (62) forward for election to the Supervisory Board at the Annual General Meeting 2017. Michael Diekmann was the Chief Executive Officer of Allianz SE between 2003 and 2015 and became a Member of the Board in 1998. Helmut Perlet (69) will not stand for reelection at the Annual General Meeting 2017 for age reasons. If Michael Diekmann is elected to the Supervisory Board at the Annual General Meeting, it is planned to propose him to be the Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
Moreover, it is planned to propose Sophie Boissard (46), CEO of the French Korian Group, and Herbert Hainer (62), former Chief Executive Officer of adidas AG, for election to the Supervisory Board at the Annual General Meeting 2017 as shareholder representatives, succeeding Renate Köcher (64) and Wulf Bernotat (68). Renate Köcher has been a member of the Supervisory Board for 13 years. She will not stand for reelection due to the limitation of affiliation recommended by the German Corporate Governance Code.
Wulf Bernotat is close to the Supervisory Board’s designated age limit. Furthermore, it is planned to propose Christine Bosse (56), Friedrich Eichiner (61) and Jim Hagemann Snabe (51) for reelection to the Supervisory Board as shareholder representatives. Helmut Perlet says: “On behalf of Allianz, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Renate Köcher and Wulf Bernotat for their valuable support and commitment to the Supervisory Board over all the years. At the same time, we can propose six excellent candidates for election as shareholder representatives at the Annual General Meeting.”
PROFILE: Giulio Terzariol
In retrospect, it almost looks like Giulio Terzariol’s professional path led straight to the boardroom: he graduated summa cum laude from the Bocconi University in Milan, where he studied Business Administration, pursued a training program at Generali in Munich, worked as an analyst in Group Planning and Controlling at Allianz SE, served as the Chief Financial Officer of Allianz Asia Pacific in Singapore, he held various roles at Allianz Life in the U.S., where he was based for 8 years, before finally coming back to Munich one year ago. Since then he has been the Head of Group Planning and Controlling at Allianz SE.
When Terzariol joined Allianz in 1998, he would have actually preferred to work in portfolio management. But Helmut Perlet, who was Chief Financial Officer of Allianz at the time and who is currently the Chairman of the company’s Supervisory Board, had other plans for the young gentleman from San Donà di Piave, a small town close to Venice. After seeing the good work of the Italian for some years, Perlet proposed him as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Allianz in Singapore in 2004. “Not everyone thought that’s a good idea at the time,“ Terzariol explains and laughs. Too young, too unexperienced, that’s what people said. But Werner Zedelius, the responsible Board Member, supported Perlet’s proposal. “I am grateful for the trust they both placed in me up until today,” says Terzariol. When, two years later, the return on investment in the life insurance business in Asia had doubled, any remaining doubts vanished. Terzariol is a quiet, empathetic person, who is a good listener. Nonetheless, he can also make tough decisions. “When push comes to shove, the quiet ones are often more determined than the extroverts,” he explains.
In 2007, Perlet sent the finance expert from Singapore on a difficult mission to Allianz Life in the U.S. Terzariol wasn’t appointed as the Chief Financial Officer, instead he was made responsible for Corporate Planning and Controlling. His salary was also rather modest. But what at first sight could have been interpreted as a professional downgrade, soon proved to be an important career step – and brought valuable personal experiences. “For me and my family, the U.S. became our second home,” he says. The father of two kids, a son and a daughter, appreciates the positive, can-do attitude of the Americans. “We felt very comfortable there.”
One year after arriving in Minneapolis, he became the CFO and contributed successfully to bringing the company back on track, closely cooperating with Oliver Bäte initially and then later with Dieter Wemmer. In 2013 the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal named him Chief Financial Officer of the year.
Terzariol, who speaks English, German and Italian, understands his role as the new Chief Financial Officer of Allianz mainly as an advisor and initiator. "An athlete might bring along all the physical requirements needed to become a champion, but a coach will be able to show him, how to make the most of his potential,” he says. As a passionate long distance runner and hiker, Terzariol is well-equipped for his new role.
He is starting his new position at a difficult time. “It is easy to deliver results with tailwinds,” the future Chief Financial Officer explains. “But whether one has the instruments required to achieve success only becomes apparent if you have headwinds.” He is confident that Allianz – as well as he himself – have the necessary tools to deliver.
PROFILE: Niran Peiris
Niran Peiris is an Australian with all his heart and soul, although he only arrived there at the age of 16. Shortly after his birth in Sri Lanka, he moved to Great Britain with his parents, both physicians. Later the family, including two siblings, lived in New Zealand for some years, before they settled down in Australia. The only difference between Peiris and a “true” Australian is his steadfast loyalty to the All Blacks, New Zealand’s most legendary rugby team. Thus, he understands cultural differences, change and integration processes.
Perhaps that’s the reason why cultural diversity is so important to him. Peiris leads the Diversity & Inclusion program at Allianz Australia and initiated the cooperation with the organization Set-tlement Services International, that offers initial aid to immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers in the country of their dreams. “There are many great and talented people among them, who are eager to build something,” says Peiris. ”Supporting them doesn’t only make sense from a socio-political point of view. Diversity is also good for the business, especially in such a multicultural country as Australia.”
The experience gained in different worlds – on a personal as well as on a professional level – was one of the reasons why the Supervisory Board appointed the 55-year-old to the Board of Management of Allianz SE. But this was not the only reason. For more than four years, Peiris has lead one of the most successful subsidiaries of the Allianz Group. When he joined Allianz Australia at the end of 2000, coming from the competitor QBE, the premium income was at around 2 billion Australian Dollars. Last year, the company reached 4,6 billion and is one of the largest property insurers in Australia with 3 million customers.
Although Peiris, who studied economics and law at the University of Sydney, has long-standing experience in various functions – he was Chief Financial Officer, headed the retail distribution division and served as the Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Australia Life – he knows that this appointment brings larger responsibilities. “I am excited about the challenge. There will certainly be different management approaches as well as cultural differ-ences, but I would like to think that some of my ideas from the other side of the world will enrich the debate and contribute to the company’s success.”
The only drawback for him, as a real Australian, is that he will miss the beach. As a kid, he spent a few years in Invercargill on the South Island of New Zealand. Although this region is a fa-mous alpine winter sports area, he was never really enthusiastic about racing down a hill on skis. “If it comes to skiing, I am a hopeless case but perhaps I can enjoy the mountains on foot,” he says.