A Rhinelander for Munich

You can hear that he comes from the Rhineland, even though he has lived in Zurich for 15 years. Dieter Wemmer now has a Swiss passport as well as a German one, but once a man from Cologne, always a man from Cologne. "You can't just shrug it off," says the doctor of mathematics, whose heart – one suspects – beats for FC Cologne.

Wemmer began his career in 1986 as an actuary at Zurich Re in Cologne. In 1996 he moved to the company's head office in Zurich, where he served in various positions, including Head of Financial Controlling, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions and COO of the Europe General Insurance business on the Group's board. Finally, in 2007, he assumed the role of CFO on the board of Zurich Financial Services.

When work allows, the father of three children dedicates himself to cooking and fine art. The former benefits his family and friends and the latter benefits visitors to the Zurich Kunsthaus and the Haus Konstruktiv museum where he is a member of the board.

For the Allianz Group in Munich from January onward he'll be in charge of insurance activities in Western Europe – with the exception of the Iberian peninsula and German-speaking countries. In Munich he's particularly fond of the Neue Pinakothek and the Brandhorst Museum. Brandhorst, incidentally, was one of Wemmer's first German clients at Zurich Re in Cologne.

The 54-year-old seldom switches off completely from his day job. "As CFO of an international company it’s virtually impossible," he says, "especially in times of crisis like the current one."

Things aren't going to change much at Allianz either, which until now he observed from the outside as a market player and competitor. His impression: "After what happened to AIG in the crisis, Allianz was given the opportunity to become a global market leader. Now it's a question of making effective use of its strengths in the market."

This is something Wemmer can work towards from January as member of the Allianz Board of Management for Western Europe. Having been responsible for insurance business in the region for several years at Zurich, it's like a home game for him. After 25 years with Zurich, Wemmer justifies his move to Allianz at this stage of his life by saying that he simply fancies trying something new, adding: "And I didn't want to retire while still working for the same company where I started my career."

Dieter Wemmer

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