AGCS Expert Days 2015

From cybersecurity to critical infrastructures, the next generation of industrial risks were the focus of these year’s AGCS Expert Days, from 16-17 November in Munich. More than 100 attendees came from across the globe to discuss the fresh challenges businesses face in today’s interconnected world.

Digital innovation and the Internet of Things – an ever-growing network of devices, people and machines – are bringing a wealth of opportunities. But increasingly sophisticated production processes pose brand new business interruption risks: How is the world of insurance and risk management responding?

Read on to find out more the topics discussed at the conference. To view and download the presentations in PDF format, please view page 3.

To view the full agenda, please click here.

To view pictures from the event, please click here.


Day one: Natural catastrophes and supply chain resilience

Opening proceedings in Munich was AGCS Chief Underwriting Officer Hartmut Mai, who addressed the increasingly diverse focus of the Expert Days, which were open to an international audience for only the second time. “The forum has become global, because risk is global,” he said, before emphasizing the importance of interaction between Allianz, its clients and experts from other fields.


Hartmut Mai, Chief Underwriting Officer and Member of the AGCS Board welcomed the international audience in Munich

Next came the key note speech from Armin Nassehi, sociology professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Nassehi discussed the importance of risk in society and how complex systems can be easily destabilized. But risks have to be taken in order to achieve progress, he said. The key lies in actively managing risk – no easy task, when we often have to base our decisions on data from the past.

For natural catastrophe experts, this is a familiar issue. Karsten Block, from engineering services company Wölfel Group, looked at changes in earthquake risk assessment of structures, before handing over to Ceyhun Eren, Head of Technical Underwriting and Risk Control at Allianz in Turkey. He presented his findings on a risk-based approach to seismic vulnerability and the impact it would have on insurance rates.

Ali Shahkarami, Head of Catastrophe Risk Research at AGCS, broadened the scope, looking at general nat cat trends. “We are very thirsty for data,” he said, which is crucial for improving the accuracy of catastrophe models. “But even in the digital age, it means little without expert human analysis.”

With global supply chains more tightly linked than ever, Volker Münch, Global Practise Group Leader at AGCS, addressed the important role that Allianz can play in minimizing business interruption risk by identifying the impact of interconnectivity and helping to prevent losses occurring. He was followed by AGCS Senior Risk Consultant Björn von Diepenbrock, who shed light on the many potential pitfalls of supply chains in countries with lower infrastructure standards.

BMW’s Robert Mann and Maria Steinmeier then offered an insight into the challenges the car manufacturer faces in monitoring and managing its thousands of suppliers around the world.

Rounding off the first day was Christof Bentele, Head of Global Crisis Management, AGCS. Touching on the tragic events in Paris just a couple of days previously, he described the changing landscape of international geopolitical risks and what Allianz can offer in the area of crisis management.

Day two: Industry 4.0 and critical infrastructures

AGCS’ Head of Emerging Trends Michael Bruch, began day two with a look at “Insurance 4.0,” and the risks and opportunities posed by automation and interconnectivity across almost every industry. Cyber security and the question of liability in automated systems are just two of the factors that will shake up the insurance industry, he said.


Michael Bruch, Head of Emerging Trends at AGCS, presented risks and opportunities of "Insurance 4.0"

Kai Peters, from German engineering association VDMA, went into more detail on the possibilities of Industry 4.0, which connects the virtual and physical world and is already influencing the way things are made. How this looks in practice was shown by Bosch’s Thorsten Widmer and ABB’s Bernhard Hennicke. But as Stefan Thumm, General Manager of the Allianz Center for Technology, reminded everyone, it is important for companies not to lose sight of the basics and to be fully aware of the level of complexity they can handle.

As the backbone of our society, energy is vital to almost everything we do, said Idan Udi Nedry, CTO of Israeli cyber security firm Nation-E. This means protecting our energy supply against cyber-attacks is absolutely paramount.

Meanwhile, supertall buildings combined several topics addressed across the two days, from a reliance on interconnected systems to safety from natural catastrophes. Clive Trencher, Engineering Risk Consultant, AGCS said that reaching new heights will continue to pose new challenges.

Bringing the Expert Days to a close was Paul Carter, Global Head of Allianz Risk Consulting, AGCS. He acknowledged that corporate insurance often needed to react quicker in the face of technological changes, but stressed the importance of collaboration, “as nobody has all the answers.”

Presentations from the AGCS Expert Days 2015

Day 1

- Key note speech: Risk Research and Risk Management, Prof. Armin Nassehi, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich

- Earthquake Risk Assessment of Structures, Dr. Carsten Block, Wölfel Group

- Risk Based Approach to Seismic Vulnerability, Dr. Ceyhun Eren, Allianz Sigorta A.S.

- Natural Catastrophes: Risk Relevance & Insurance, Ali Shahkarami, AGCS SE

- How resilient is your Supply Chain?, Volker Münch, AGCS SE

- Supply Chains in Countries with Substandard Infrastructures, Björn von Diepenbrock, AGCS SE

- Challenges of CBI Insurance, Robert Mann & Dr. Maria Steinmeier, BMW Group

Day 2

- Insurance 4.0, Michael Bruch, AGCS SE

- Industry 4.0, Kai Peters, VDMA

- The Factory of the Future, Dr. Thorsten Widmer, Robert Bosch GmbH

- Setting Standards for the Connected Industry, Bernhard Hennicke, ABB Automation GmbH

- Supertall Buildings, Clive Trencher, AGCS SE

- Lessions Learned for Infrastructures of Modern Production Facilities, Stefan Thumm, AGCS SE


Dr. Thomas Meschede                                                                                     Head of Allianz Risk Consulting Central & Eastern Europe                             e-Mail: