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Commercial insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE targets growth in South Korea with new Seoul Branch

  • Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) continues to expand in Asia, responding to the needs of global corporate clients.
  • Seoul branch to target South Korean firms looking to expand internationally and serve global clients with interests in the country.
  • International insurance programs for South Korean automobile manufacturers, technology and electronics clients seen as key growth area.
  • Noh Chang Tae will assume the role of CEO of AGCS South Korea.

PRESS RELEASE. Seoul, South Korea - June 29, 2017.

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE (AGCS) has become the first foreign non-life insurer in almost a decade to receive regulatory approval from South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) to open a branch in Seoul. As Allianz Group’s dedicated carrier for corporate and specialty insurance business, AGCS aims to further expand its presence across Asia to serve global corporate clients.

A Unique Growth Opportunity

The South Korea branch is the latest addition to AGCS Asia’s regional footprint which currently includes Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, China, India, Brunei and Myanmar, supported by Allianz Group entities and network partners in other countries. The Asian business contributed 5% to AGCS overall global premium volume of EUR 7.6 billion in 2016.

Carsten Scheffel, AGCS Board Member and Chief Regions and Markets Officer for Asia said: “A local South Korean branch presents a unique opportunity for AGCS and will play a key role in our Asian growth strategy. We have been active in this thriving market for several years. The local office in Seoul will allow us to serve both local South Korean and global companies with South Korean interests much more efficiently. Already, more than 11% of our global clients have operations in South Korea protected under our international insurance programs.”

South Korea is the world’s 11th largest economy and the 4th largest in Asia. AGCS estimates that the Asian non-life insurance market currently accounts for about 30% of global market premiums and AGCS expects this to grow approximately 5% each year.

In particular, AGCS sees significant opportunities for growth in the corporate and specialty insurance segment in South Korea. The country’s rising number of large infrastructure projects in railways, ports and subway lines, and a focus on environmental liability require tailored insurance solutions with significant capacity. In addition, the South Korean economy receives strong contributions from the automotive, electronics and high-tech communication industries, all of which complements AGCS’s areas of specialist expertise.

The AGCS South Korea branch will focus on serving companies with multinational operations extending beyond the country, leveraging on AGCS’s technical expertise and experience in running international insurance programs. Global insurance programs provide a central oversight with local coverage that is harmonized for all locations in which a company operates. In 2016, AGCS led 2,500 such programs with approximately 19,000 local policies. It will offer a variety of product lines, including Engineering, Financial Lines, Property, Marine, MidCorp and Liability. Mark Mitchell, Regional CEO for AGCS Asia, said: “We have seen an increase in demand for global insurance programs as more South Korean firms look to expand overseas as well as from the growing pool of global corporations with South Korean interests. AGCS is one of the very few global insurers to focus exclusively on the needs of global corporate and specialty clients. Our expertise in serving clients with international activities will allow us to provide the best coverage for clients as they seek to compete on a global scale.”

The opening of the South Korea branch means that AGCS now operates with its own teams in 31 countries globally including all the top 10 insurance markets worldwide, as well as through other Allianz companies or network partners in over 210 countries and territories. As a branch of AGCS SE, the office in Seoul will benefit from AGCS’s strong financial ratings, and will continue to work closely with the regional office in Singapore. AGCS is rated AA by Standard & Poor’s and A+ by A.M. Best and is among the highest rated global Property and Casualty insurers.

Local expertise and talents for more tailored solutions

Noh Chang Tae will assume the role of CEO of AGCS South Korea. Chang Tae, who is a Korean national, was previously in the regional market management team in AGCS Singapore, and has almost 25 years of experience in the insurance market. “AGCS has been serving the South Korean corporate insurance market since 2010 from the AGCS Hong Kong and Singapore offices but having an on-shore presence in Seoul will allow local teams to deliver more tailored and relevant solutions for our customers,” he said.

The new AGCS Korea office will be located at 21st Floor, Seoul Finance Center, 136 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea 04520. The South Korean team will initially consist of 13 underwriters and market facing staff, which will be reinforced through additional hiring of local talent.

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