Allianz’s Zurkow becomes head of alternatives

The German asset manager’s former infrastructure debt chief will be looking after assets worth €15.7bn, with Claus Fintzen promoted to her current role.

Allianz Global Investors has named Deborah Zurkow, its chief investment officer and head of infrastructure debt, as head of alternatives.

Her role will involve working on building up AllianzGI’s alternatives unit, which looks after a combination of liquid and illiquid investment products. Assets managed by the division have nearly doubled since the firm created a dedicated “pillar” in December 2014, AllianzGI said in a statement, growing from €7.9 billion to €15.7 billion by the end of Q1 2016.

Zurkow, who joined the asset manager’s infrastructure debt platform in 2012 headed a team that has deployed about €7 billion into 25 projects in the last three years. These have covered 12 countries, including lately four transactions in the US.

“Over the last few years, Deborah and her team have helped turn the idea of infrastructure debt as an asset class for institutional investors into a reality,” said Andreas Utermann, AllianzGI’s chief executive and global CIO.

“In her new, expanded role, Deborah will be able to put her experience of developing innovative solutions […] across the entire spectrum of alternatives, one of the fastest growing parts of our investment platform, increasingly attractive to investors looking for alpha in era of financial repression.”

Claus Fintzen, who joined AllianzGI at the same time as Zurkow and is currently a director within the infrastructure debt team, has been promoted to become CIO and head of the unit.