Retail boss Dye makes first changes since appointed to role

Allianz is to re-structure its retail division to meet the changing demands of its customers and increase operational efficiency, effectiveness and competitiveness.

The move could see as many as 170 redundancies, the insurer said.

Allianz Retail will be configured around specific customer groups with the aim of delivering targeted products and services and facilitating the more effective sharing of ideas, best practice and know-how.

To achieve this, a number of changes to the organisational structure will be implemented by June 2009.

There will be three sales and distribution teams, each with their own channel marketing function. These will be direct, specialty and corporate partner and broker.

A number of shared services will operate across the retail Division to streamline internal processes, including technical, operations and market management.

Jon Dye, general manager of Retail Division said: “Retail insurance is central to Allianz’s aspirations in the UK market and the aim is to grow our retail business profitably to £1bn Gross Written Premium by 2013."

He added: “We have a number of very successful businesses within our Retail operation and are looking to share best practice from these units across the business. We will put the customer at the heart of everything we do and will underpin this with our technical and operational excellence.”

Allianz said that in order to bring the Retail Division closer together and consolidate similar operations to achieve benefits of scale it proposed that a number of functions would be relocated.

The Tunbridge Wells office will close in the second quarter of 2009, with Schemes Operations relocating to Brentford to be amalgamated with the Animal Health Operation. Other Schemes functions will relocate to Guildford, Bristol or home working as appropriate

There will also be a number of changes to the personal lines operations in Bristol to improve operational efficiency.

The personal lines office at Horsforth, Leeds will close when the leases expires in June 2009 with jobs being transferred to home working, ACIS or re-locating to Bristol.

The plans are subject to consultation.

The insurer said the proposal would inevitably involved changes to individual roles and responsibilities and includes around 170 potential redundancies. With the corresponding expansion of the operations in Brentford, Bristol and Guildford, Allianz is anticipating a reduction in headcount of around 60 people.

Allianz will be centralising its Retail Operations teams into sites at Brentford and Bristol, with the appropriate functions expanded to accommodate the additional workload.

Dye said: “We will do everything we can to minimise the impact of these changes on our people and will seek to find suitable alternative employment for those affected. “

He added: “I am very excited about the potential of Retail Division. The new structure will enable this business to be greater than the sum of its collective parts and create a more joined-up proposition for our customers.”