Q&A: Jackie Hunt, Chair of Allianz Asset Management and Member of the Board of Management for Allianz SE
What is your personal story about “Wunderbar Together – Germany and the U.S.”?
Over the past three years I have been the Board Member responsible for several Allianz business units in the United States which include PIMCO, Allianz Life, and Allianz Global Investors. I also serve on the Board of Directors of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies which seeks to promote a better understanding of the United States-German relationship with the goal of promoting the ideals that bind us. These ideals include freedom, respect for human rights, the rule of law, free markets, democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and inclusive diversity and are ideals in which I passionately believe.
In an interview with ZEIT, Oliver Baete, Chairman of the Board of Management of Allianz SE said: “We live in a world full of uncertainties in areas of life – technological, social, political.” In this vein, why are projects like the “Year of German-American Friendship” so important?
The fast pace of life, with internet, social media, 24 hour news cycle, and the constant deluge of emails may have its benefits, but also has diminished rather than enhanced interpersonal connections.
Just as the Holidays of the year bond us and bring us back home for Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukah and Easter/Passover or other celebrations, we need to have events like Wunderbar that bring people together and remind us of the importance of good friendships based upon enduring values and respect. Wunderbar helps to do this, and reminds us how much we have to be thankful for.
Why are the United States so important for Allianz?
Our Allianz U.S. business operations employ more than 8000 people (about 6 percent of the global employees of the company). They generate almost 25 percent of global profits earned. However, the relationship between the United States and Germany goes far beyond business and profits. The United States has led the effort with Germany and many other countries as partners, in promoting our values and bringing the gifts of democracy and liberty to other nations in the world. We sometimes take these rights for granted and it is important for us to recount to each other how important these ideas and values are.
We have also seen that the United States remains a leader in technological development and innovation. It’s new world tradition of embracing rather than resisting change often means that our U.S. business units are ahead of the curve. There is much to be learned from them.
Why is Allianz participating in the PopUp Tour station in Chicago?
Chicago is the quintessential great United States City, located in the Midwest and with that fantastic polyglot culture which brings together immigrants from all over the world, as well as its large African American, Hispanic and Native American Culture. It is a city steeped in business, finance, entertainment sports and culture and has that wonderful raw energy that is so uniquely American. Allianz has a large presence in the property/casualty insurance business in Chicago with operations just down the street from the Daley Center where the Wunderbar Exposition will be taking place.