’It makes it easier for our brokers and partners as we conduct ourselves with them in a more streamlined way,’ says chief distribution officer

Allianz is looking to ensure it provides broker partners with the best outcome first time for customers after announcing a new structure aimed at simplifying the business.

That was according Nick Hobbs, chief distribution officer for the insurer’s UK commercial business, who told Insurance Times that any improvement made internally “must be aimed squarely at doing better externally”.

Hobbs was promoted to the role earlier this year (23 June 2023) after Allianz announced a new integration that will bring together Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty (AGCS) UK, which focuses on large clients, and Allianz Holdings’ UK commercial business under one strategy and approach.

“Allianz Commercial isn’t a new business or brand in the UK, but we’re approaching the coming together of the businesses with an external mindset and there is plenty of good capability to link up and lean into,” Hobbs said.

“The challenge will be doing it in a way that allows for rapid progress”.

Hobbs explained that “a lot of integration will happen behind the scenes”.

“There isn’t going to be one big ‘Ta-dah’ moment where everything changes, but broker partners should start to feel the difference,” he said.

“Looking outside in is always useful and we’re at a good point in our integration journey to take all of this on board.

“Ultimately, this is a collaboration and relationship driven exercise internally and externally.

“But, whatever we do internally must be aimed squarely at doing better externally.”

Improved collaboration

In his new role, Hobbs will lead all aspects of distribution for the integration – encompassing large-corporates, specialty, mid-corporates, digital/SME and engineering inspection.

Hobbs said that he envisioned the insurer’s integration would “bring Allianz’s Commercial businesses together globally and bring their full weight to bare”.

He continued: “Overall, it makes it easier for our brokers and partners as we conduct ourselves with them in a more streamlined way.

“Allianz has always had a really strong presence in the UK market, but it would be fair to say that having separate large trading businesses with separate underwriting appetites has not always made us easy to deal with, nor could we readily provide the full breadth of our offerings.

“Size and specialism will, of course, continue to play a role, but improved collaboration between our teams will ensure we’re in a better place to maximise our strengths and support our broker partners to get the very best outcome, first time, for our mutual customers, whether mid-corp or large-corp.”

Hobbs added that the business was “passionate about building and maintaining broker relationships, promoting professionalism and joining the dots on expertise”.

He continued: “All those things still apply in the new and expanded role and I’d argue we’re already a leader in the UK commercial market – as will become more apparent when we combine our parts more overtly.

“It’s also a case of really dialling it up, looking at our appetite, our supportive processes and presenting ourselves to the market as a combined force in a way that we haven’t in the past.”