Allianz takes bullish view on private equity

Germany's largest limited partner, which for the first time has agreed to manage third party capital, has announced plans to invest more in private equity going forward.

Allianz chief financial officer Paul Achleitner has told journalists at a press briefing that private equity would play a more important role in the insurance and financial services group's asset management strategy going forward.

Allianz currently has €3.4 billion ($4.3 billion) invested in private equity, just under 1 percent of the group's €350 billion in assets. Achleitner said that this figure was likely to increase over the coming years, while Allianz's exposure to quoted equity was expected to diminish.

Allianz also said that Allianz Private Equity Partners (APEP), its private equity fund investment arm which manages €2 billion, has for the first time accepted a mandate to invest in the asset class on behalf of a third party. Additional mandates are to be added over time, the group said.

APEP was set up in 1996 and has since then invested in approximately 80 funds. Last year the unit deployed €261 million said APEP's Munich-based CEO Wanching Ang. This year APEP's deployment target was €330 million, she added.

Alongside the fund investment arm, Allianz also has a direct investment business, Allianz Capital Partners (ACP). ACP currently manages investments worth €1 billion, having deployed a total of €2 billion since inception.

Achleitner said that ACP, which is run by Thomas Pütter, has to date generated a 17 percent return on investment, despite write-offs of failed investments in Fairchild Dornier and Bundesdruckerei.