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Allianz considers mammoth legacy restructure

German insurance powerhouse Allianz is in the early stages of restructuring its global legacy assets to bring them under the control of its holding company in a 100 percent reinsurance arrangement, The Insurance Insider understands.

At present the carrier's legacy business is managed by two separate teams, one in the US and one in Germany. The two divisions have people in France, London, the US and Germany, but the restructure will integrate the teams into a single entity.

The new division is expected to be overseen by Reinhard Thoennissen, based in Switzerland.

Thoennissen currently heads up global reinsurance asset management for the group's reinsurance branch and holding company in Zurich, Allianz SE.

He is expected to report directly to the CEO of Allianz SE, Michael Diekmann.

The reorganisation is expected to see Brent Sorenson, the well-respected head of the global discontinued business division for Allianz Global Corp and Specialty, leave in October.

Sorenson, based in Los Angeles, has been with the company for more than three decades and is thought to be retiring.

The US legacy book is understood to be well managed and it is expected that this will now be reinsured into Switzerland.

This would see the Allianz global legacy book melted into one entity with a single line of reporting.

There has been some suggestion that this restructure could be a precursor to a huge legacy transaction as Allianz moves to rid itself of its old liabilities.

But one market source said this was unlikely.

Thoennissen is thought to be a very pragmatic operator who would want to have a complete understanding of the book and all the potential diversification advantages before making any decisions on whether to commute.

The decision-making process is thought to be in its early stages and no major decisions are believed to have been taken at this point.

Allianz declined to comment.

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