How Allianz is dealing with market turmoil

Editor’s note: The Economist is making some of its most important coverage of the covid-19 pandemic freely available to readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. To receive it, register here. For more coverage, see our coronavirus hub

OLIVER BÄTE still goes to his office every day on Munich’s Königinstrasse, next to the English Garden, but it is mostly empty. “You are always alone as a CEO,” says the boss of Allianz, who took the reins of the 130-year-old insurance giant in 2015. And never more so than during a pandemic, when you are in charge of 147,000 employees in over 70 countries, who are looking after hundreds of thousands of customers, many of whom are in financial despair because of covid-19. “Italy is overwhelmed,” says Mr Bäte. Only 30 of its several thousand employees in Milan are at the office.

The company will support clients wherever it can, says Mr Bäte. He is frequently on the phone with officials in Brussels and Berlin, discussing ways to help governments marshal money for programmes to support small and midsized companies.

Thousands of firms are looking to their insurers, as well as the state, to cover some of the costs of shutting down. But neither...

Read More