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To our investors

Dear Investors, 

2020 will be remembered as the year of COVID-19. As the pandemic swept the globe, it caused an unprecedented public health crisis that threw the world economy into a recession. Yet, even in this very challenging environment, we were able to deliver solid results, thanks to our strong balance sheet and globally diversified business model, proving once again that Allianz is a reliable partner for all its stakeholders.

Our financial performance has been remarkably robust across business segments, though COVID-19 also left its mark on our numbers, especially in the Property-Casualty commercial lines. We generated 140.5 bn euros in revenues and our operating profit came to 10.8 bn euros. Adjusted for the adverse effects of COVID-19, our operating profit even exceeded the prior year’s record levels. This shows how well-diversified and healthy our underlying business performance is. Let me share just a few highlights with you: In Life/Health, we are successfully moving towards capital-efficient insurance products and have entered into reinsurance transactions for some of our European back books. In Property-Casualty, our persistent focus on productivity has led to further improvements in underlying profitability, as we managed to reduce our expense ratio for the third consecutive year. And our Asset Management segment proved highly resilient, with solid net inflows and excellent operating profitability. All in all, our 2020 net income attributable to you, our shareholders, was 6.8 bn euros.

What is more, our capital position also remained strong. Despite the considerable capital market turmoil, our Solvency II capitalization stayed above our 180% target at all times, and we closed the year at a very strong 207%. Our disciplined capital and cash management approach enabled us to pay out a dividend in early 2020, in the midst of the first wave of the pandemic. We are determined to continue on this path and pay a dividend per share at the previous year’s level or higher in line with our dividend policy.

Aside from financial results, the key indicator for the quality of our organization is the feedback we receive from our clients. We ask our customers to rate our services and to indicate their willingness to recommend us to friends and colleagues. The latter is captured in the so-called Net Promoter Score (NPSTM). In 2020, NPS results reached all-time highs: 60% of Allianz businesses were rated “loyalty leaders” in their respective markets and 79% above market average. With these outstanding ratings, we outperformed our 2021 targets (75%+ above market average) one year ahead of time. They prove that our customer-centric strategy is spot on – also, and especially, in times of crisis. We have quickly adapted to the new circumstances and, thanks to previous investments in our global IT infrastructure, continued to offer excellent service even with 90% of our employees working remotely. We helped small and medium-sized businesses to survive financially, we offered telemedicine and psychological counseling, and our doctors dedicated part of their free time to support the healthcare system in covering the extra needs related to the pandemic.

All our actions are guided by our purpose “We secure your future”. The power of this promise and the increasing role Allianz plays in people’s lives were impressively confirmed by our ranking in Interbrand’s 2020 Best Global Brands list: Not only was Allianz recognized once again as the number one insurance brand globally – for the first time we also ranked among the top 40 global brands across all industries.

Strong brands and customer loyalty are created by strong organizations. The exceptional quality and resilience of our employees are at the heart of our success. Despite the challenges this past year presented, our employees remained focused on serving our clients and executing our strategy. And while we are all physically distanced, I have never felt a stronger sense of togetherness and unity across our global organization – a sentiment that is also reflected in our employee engagement results, which reached record levels in 2020. For example, our Inclusive Meritocracy Index increased to 78%, 5 percentage points above the previous year’s level, and already ahead of our 2021 ambition. Like our customers, our employees valued the stability, support, and security that Allianz offers in these uncertain times. I, on the other hand, certainly value our employees’ tremendous commitment in serving our clients and their enthusiasm and drive in transforming our company into a simpler, more digital, and scalable organization. On behalf of the entire Board of Management – and I trust on your behalf as well – I sincerely thank our people around the world for their outstanding work.

While 2020 was not a record year in terms of financial performance, it was a record year in terms of customer and employee satisfaction. It is these impressive results that make me confident that we are not just weathering the COVID-19 crisis but building an even stronger Allianz. Our “Simplicity wins” strategy continues to deliver, and we are on track with implementing our Allianz Customer Model (ACM). Through ACM we are making insurance and investing simpler for our clients while building an integrated global IT platform that features standardized and scalable processes.

We are also moving forward with our ESG agenda: With a view to our net-zero commitment for 2050 – that is, net-zero CO2 emissions for all Allianz insurance assets and operations – we have now set a first intermediate target for 2025. Making such clear and specific commitments to portfolio decarbonization is a unique feature of the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance: Together with 32 other member organizations, covering a total of more than USD 5 trillion assets under management, we are working to create real impact towards a sustainable future for our planet.

Even if our business environment continues to remain challenging due to economic uncertainty and prolonged low interest rates, our strategy combined with our globally diversified business model, strong balance sheet, and highly qualified and dedicated employees provide a solid base for resilience and profitable growth. We are working hard to be prepared for what lies ahead.

Thank you for your continuous support – we look forward to the joint path ahead. 

Sincerely yours, 
Oliver Bäte