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In last year’s letter to you I stated that your company was positioned well to deliver impressive results even in difficult times.

This still holds true, as our results for 2016 demonstrate. 

Dear Investors - 

In last year’s letter to you I stated that your company was positioned well to deliver impressive results even in difficult times. This still holds true, as our results for 2016 demonstrate: our operating profit improved by 0.9% to 10.8bn euros; our net income attributable to shareholders was 6.9bn euros. A very good result, considering the persistent low interest rate environment, as well as a fiscal period that has the entire business world holding its breath in the face of war, terror, and sudden political changes.

That said, our share price could not repeat the double-digit performance seen the previous year, what with unprecedented negative interest rates, political instability, and a difficult second quarter. But as the figures in our annual financial statements show, we are working hard to sustainably increase your company’s value to key stakeholder groups and to place customers at the center of all our actions.

Our strategy and our Renewal Agenda are taking effect: they strengthen Allianz and enhance your company’s competitiveness.

  • A year after the introduction of the E.U. solvency guideline Solvency II, we can report a strong Solvency II capitalization ratio of 218%.
  • Our Property-Casualty segment – a business with relatively low capital requirements – achieved a strong performance despite headwinds, with our units in Turkey and Germany particularly standing out in terms of top-line growth.
  • We are making good progress in shifting our Life portfolio towards capital-efficient products; our new business margin has increased to 2.7%. And we continue to address deficits in the existing portfolio just as rigorously, as the successful sale of our South Korean business demonstrates.
  • In Asset Management, the new PIMCO management team (with Emmanuel Roman as CEO and Dan Ivascyn as CIO) produced excellent results: Despite the recent rise in U.S. Treasury interest rates, we registered third-party net inflows in the last two quarters of 2016 – for the first time since 2013. Furthermore, 88% of PIMCO’s third-party assets under management exceeded their respective benchmarks. Allianz Global Investors continued on its road to success, achieving excellent results.
  • In order to make a comparative assessment of our customer orientation, the measurement of customers’ willingness to recommend Allianz (Net Promoter Score) was harmonized on a group-wide basis. Results for 2016 were quite gratifying: 55% of our businesses achieved an NPS above the respective market average.
  • We also moved up the newly defined Inclusive Meritocracy Index, which measures progress in establishing an inclusive performance culture: it stood at 70% in 2016, after 68% in 2015.
  • Our commitment to being a sustainable business was rewarded by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, one of the most prestigious Responsible Business ratings. We achieved a gold rating and were the highest-placed primary insurer. Over the last year, we continued to take industry-leading steps including our divestment from coal-based industries and the growth of our renewable energy portfolio to 4.6bn euros.

Well, the good results of 2016 are history now and it is time to look to the future. As stated before, we want to use our present financial strength and solid balance sheet to strengthen Allianz even further. When asked about the long-term growth prospects for your company, I usually point out three things: first, over seven billion people wake up every day, and for most of them it is a key concern to have their safety and well-being protected and be able to appropriately partake in global prosperity. Second, only about one percent of these people are our customers at present. Third, since we are one of the world’s leading financial services providers, we are in a better position than most to fulfil this basic need for financial security and a share in prosperity. In other words, there are basically no limits to our growth – all we need to do is tap these opportunities prudently and in sustainable ways.

We are experiencing an exciting moment in the history of Allianz, with huge and tantalizing challenges ahead. It makes me happy to see how, at the various Allianz entities, young talents work with experienced veterans to take this proud global company further into the digital age. I am very pleased that we have such talented employees, and I extend my warmest thanks to them for their hard work and outstanding dedication. Special thanks also go to our sales partners, in particular our capable Allianz representatives worldwide. I am sure I am expressing these thanks on your behalf as well.

All of these women and men work hard and successfully to provide you with both robust returns and superior capital efficiency, in keeping with our promise. And, as you may remember, there is another promise we have made: any capital we don’t use to expand our business will be returned to our investors. We have kept this promise as well. At the same time, we work to ensure we have the flexibility required to keep a sound balance between Allianz’s capital efficiency on the one hand and its balance sheet strength on the other.

Dear investors, we greatly appreciate your ongoing loyalty and support. Please be assured that in 2017, as in the past years, we will not rest on our laurels, and we are making good progress despite all the uncertainties and challenges we are facing. It is not in our power, obviously, to prevent low interest rates, strong market fluctuations, or natural catastrophes. But we can work hard to achieve our ambitious goals, and to ensure that your Allianz will remain successful as the world goes digital.

Sincerely yours, 

Oliver Bäte

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Our strategy

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Annual Report 2016

The Letter to the Investors is part of Allianz Group's Annual Report 2016. You can read the whole report here.