Lawsuits no bar to alternative classes, Allianz head signals
Real estate, infrastructure and private debt highlighted as main growth areas
Stephan KahlThe logo of insurer Allianz on the company building near Paris, France. Picture: REUTERS/CHARLES PLATIAUAllianz’s new head of asset management plans to push further into alternative asset classes and continue its focus on active fund management, even after the implosion of a hedge fund strategy in the US left the German insurer mired in potentially expensive lawsuits.
Speaking in his first interview in the new role, Andreas Wimmer declined to comment on the legal issues. But in a sign that they have not dented the firm’s appetite for alternatives, he highlighted real estate, infrastructure and private debt as main areas of growth for the owner of Pacific Investment Management and Allianz Global Investors.
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25 January 2022 - 17:14 Stephan Kahl The logo of insurer Allianz on the company building near Paris, France.25 January 2022 - 05:00 Kudos to Louis du Preez, the boss of Steinhoff, for reaching another important milestone in trying to recoup billions of rand in shareholder equity wiped out after the revelations of an accounting fraud at what was once one of the world’s biggest furniture retailers.3 days ago Zungu said skills needed for job opportunities in construction such as for bricklayers, tilers, plumbers and electricians can be acquired in TVET colleges, which are often close to the doorsteps of young people.Editorial 23 January 2022 - 17:20 And so we arrive at that point in the year again: the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) has started its hearings into electricity tariff increases.
Picture: REUTERS/CHARLES PLATIAU Allianz’s new head of asset management plans to push further into alternative asset classes and continue its focus on active fund management, even after the implosion of a hedge fund strategy in the US left the German insurer mired in potentially expensive lawsuits. Speaking in his first interview in the new role, Andreas Wimmer declined to comment on the legal issues. . But in a sign that they have not dented the firm’s appetite for alternatives, he highlighted real estate, infrastructure and private debt as main areas of growth for the owner of Pacific Investment Management and Allianz Global Investors. He said there was already almost 540,000 students attending TVET colleges but emphasised that there was capacity to take up more students as eight new campuses would soon come on-stream.  “Flirting with passive strategies wouldn’t be the first thing I would do,” Wimmer said in a wide-ranging interview last week. This article is free to read if you register or sign in. “But you don’t have to categorically rule out anything for the future. .
” Allianz, whose investment units oversee about €2.. She mentioned among them President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Youth Employment Service, a partnership between the private sector and the government aimed at assisting the youth to get work experience through employment placement.5-trillion for the group’s insurers and outside clients, has long shied away from joining the rush into passive strategies, in which fees are low and scale is everything. While that has mostly served the firm well, it has also exposed it on rare occasions when active strategies failed to deliver or a star manager abandoned ship. Wimmer took over responsibility for asset management in October after Jackie Hunt stepped down amid probes and investor lawsuits related to the firm’s Structured Alpha Funds, which suffered steep losses during the pandemic. Kuben Nair, the chief brand officer for the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, a non-profit social enterprise dealing with youth unemployment, said there will be a demand for hundreds of thousands of skilled trade and artisans over the next 10 years in the plumbing, electrical, automotive and construction sectors. Like Hunt, who helped steady the business after the departure of Pimco co-founder Bill Gross, he argues that active managers have an edge in alternatives. The opposition DA has also pounced on the consumer-driven issue, with Mogale City mayor Tyrone Gray on Friday announcing he has lodged a formal objection with Nersa (https://www.
Real estate Wimmer, who still oversees some insurance activities in addition to his new role, is credited for lowering guaranteed payouts of life insurance products in Germany, protecting Allianz’s margins from negative bond yields. Analysts at Jefferies in a note in 2021 said he appears to be a “safe pair of hands to guide the US franchise through its current difficulties”.. In real estate, he wants to take more advantage of opportunistic investments than in the past. Merging Allianz Real Estate, a more traditional investor, into Pimco is helping Allianz to execute complex property transaction, Wimmer said.  “The acquisition of Columbia Property Trust is a great example,” he said. Our people don’t need a tariff hike at the moment.
Pimco agreed to buy the landlord for $3.9bn including debt in September, betting that demand for offices will hold up as the pandemic spurs people to work from home. Wimmer said Allianz is also likely to target more investments in logistics properties and residential buildings. Another area where Wimmer wants to beef up investments is private debt. In 2021, Allianz Real Estate alone granted €2. A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.
2bn in new loans across Europe, a new record for the region and bringing the European debt portfolio of the unit to more than €11bn. “It’s about areas in which banks have withdrawn and asset managers play a larger role as financiers,” he said.   Potential consolidators While Allianz is expanding some offerings, it has been cutting back others, especially at AGI, which housed the imploded US hedge funds. Of the about 450 active investment strategies that existed at the end of 2019 at the unit, about 140 were discontinued or merged with other strategies in the last two years, Wimmer said. Despite the potential fallout from the implosion of the Structured Alpha Funds, Allianz remains one of the potential consolidators as the asset management industry is forced to reduce costs to compete with cheaper, passive funds.
Wimmer said while his priority is to grow Allianz’s asset management business organically, he would not rule out a deal. “There can also be inorganic growth,” he said. “But we are all aware of what we are now seeing in the markets in terms of prices for asset managers. Allianz’s strategy has always been to look at things with a certain sense of proportion.” More stories like this are available on .