Allianz to boost alternatives programme

Europe’s largest insurance company is set to double its €15bn alternatives programme, which includes €8bn of private equity investments.

Allianz, Europe’s largest insurance company, plans to substantially increase its investments in private equity and other alternative asset classes, sister news site InfrastructureInvestor has confirmed. The group does not have a set timeline for this, a spokeman said.

The shift could see Allianz double its investments in infrastructure, private equity and real estate to €30 billion, Paul Achleitner, Allianz’s board member in charge of finance, told the Financial Times.

Allianz manages some €400 billion of client capital in insurance policies. However, lower than expected returns in traditional investments such as bonds are leading the group to seek better results from less liquid assets. Achleitner told the paper that Allianz had the advantage of having “a very long-term investment horizon”, which makes it particularly suitable for these asset classes.

It currently holds about €8 billion of private equity investments with a further €7 billion of investments in other alternative asset classes. Almost 10 percent of the Allianz’s investments are in equities.

Achleitner's comments follow a year of upheaval for the insurance company's alternatives divisions. Last summer it underwent a restructuring which saw the group’s direct private equity investment arm merged with its indirect investment and infrastructure businesses.