Allianz commits E300m to venture investing

The Munich-based insurer has unveiled Allianz Venture Partners, a E300m early stage investment vehicle, to complement its existing private equity business.

Allianz AG, the German insurer and financial services provider, has unveiled an add-on element to its private equity business, Allianz Venture Partners.

The new vehicle, launched in August 2001, has E300m to invest in early stage financial services companies over the next three to five years. It will help fund in-house projects as well as invest in external businesses that operate in asset management, private banking, insurance, retail and investment banking.

The new division is run by Andreas Ritter, a former Deutsche Bank executive. “We are convinced that information technology will increasingly be a key factor for competition, especially in the area of financial services”, Ritter said, adding that future success of financial institutions would to a large degree depend on their ability to identify and exploit new ideas and technological developments.

Allianz already operates a high-profile buyout business, Allianz Capital Partners, which is led by former Goldman Sachs employee Thomas Pütter. Allianz Private Equity Partners is the group’s fund of funds.

The Munich-based group is also in the process of determining the future role of Dresdner Kleinwort Capital (DKC), the global private equity business it came to own by way of last year’s purchase of Dresdner Bank. Negotiation as to how DKC, which is run by Christopher Wright, is to be integrated into the Allianz group of private equity units are ongoing. DKC is focused on investing in the life science and IT sectors.