Net premiums written 1999: $1,213m (£852.7m)
Tel: +49 221 1441
Fax: +49 221 14433 19
Year established: 1904
Main classes of business: All classes
History: In 1904, Robert Gerling established the “Bureau für Versicherungswesen Gerling GmbH & Co. KG” in Cologne. In the early years, he faced fierce competition from the fire insurance cartel. Gerling's entrepreneurial idea was based on an uncompromising philosophy – customers and their needs must be the most important consideration for the company. Thanks to his initiative, the Chamber of Commerce created an association that authorized his bureau to negotiate all contracts with established insurance companies.
The commissions were collected by a company in which all insured parties had a stake. The concept was successful.
In 1911, Robert Gerling founded the Rheinische Feuerversicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft (Rheinische Fire Insurance Corporation); further primary and reinsurance companies followed. When he died in 1935, he left behind a flourishing business.
Chief officer: Jürgen Zech
Biography: Jürgen Zech is chairman of the executive board and chief executive officer of the Gerling Group of Insurance Companies. He is also chairman of the board of trustees of INSEAD Germany, chairman of the board of trustees of the NUK (Verband neues Unternehmertum Köln e.V.) and a member of the executive committee of the National Association of German Insurers.