Allianz Global Investors has announced a succession plan in which its chief executive, Andreas Utermann, leaves, and its head of alternatives, Deborah Zurkow, leads its investment operations.
Utermann has been chief executive since 2016 and will step down in January. He will be succeeded by Tobias Pross, head of distribution, while Zurkow will become global head of investments, sister publication PDI reported.
As chief executive, Utermann built out AllianzGI’s fixed income and alternatives platforms and strengthened its advisory capability, as well as increasing the firm’s focus on sustainable investing.
Pross has been at Allianz Group for more than 20 years and developed the firm’s client-centric business strategy, seeing the firm strengthen its distribution channels and expand into new channels. He has been part of the firm’s global executive committee since 2015.
Zurkow joined AllianzGI in 2012 to establish its infrastructure debt capabilities. She has overseen the growth of its alternatives platform which now accounts for more than €80 billion in assets under management. She has also promoted institutional clients being able to co-invest alongside Allianz in a number of private market strategies and been part of the global executive committee since 2016.
Zurkow has also played a major role in promoting the growth of private debt as part of the firm’s offering and recently wrote for PDI on the threat of “impact washing”.
The changes will take effect on 1 January 2020 as part of a succession plan which will see Utermann available to the firm’s leadership for the first six months of the year on an advisory basis.