Complete conversion at Generali in Germany, Austria, Switzerland | Insurance | 10/11/2022

A few months ago, the Italian insurance group Generali decided to restructure the markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH). Instead of individual markets, the region has been managed as a single unit within the Generali Group since September. The company announced in a press release that a new management team has already started work.

The head of the new unit is the former head of Germany, Giovanni Liverani. He reports directly to Philippe Donnet, CEO of the publicly listed Generali Group. Liverani should ensure further growth: According to the broadcast, the goal is to “accelerate” value creation through synergy effects. “Macroeconomic challenges” are mentioned as background. It is important to “play competitive advantage with combined forces.” According to this, Generali-DACH should “create more value” than the individual markets.

Power struggle in the group.
The restructuring was preceded by a power struggle within the group. Key shareholders had tried to unseat CEO Philippe Donnet and install Luciano Cirinà, country head for Austria and Central Europe, as chief executive. Donnet, who has led the Italian insurance giant since 2016, eventually prevailed and was confirmed for a third term at the end of April 2022. Cirinà was suspended in March; Liverani had taken over the duties from him.

new hierarchy
The country managers report to Liverani in the respective countries: Stefan Lehmann (50) in Germany, Gregor Pilgram (49) in Austria and Christoph Schmallenbach (60) in Switzerland. They are “responsible for the direct implementation of the strategic plan and the achievement of the goals in the respective countries,” he says.

There are also so-called functional managers who also report to Liverani. Their task: “They control specific local and cross-border strategic activities, drive the transformation of the business model and strengthen a common culture in their respective functions.”

The following individuals have a role in the DACH Business Unit in addition to their roles in their respective countries:

  • Giovanni Liverani (58) will also be on an interim basis CFO the DACH Business Unit.
  • Jean-Pierre Schmid (59), currently Director of Human Resources and Organization at Generali Switzerland, will take on a new role in addition to his previous position. Director of Human Resources and Organization.
  • Francesco Ranut (41), currently Head of Strategy & Performance Transformation for a Company in Germany, Director of Insurance Transformation.
  • Robert Wehn ​​(56), currently Director of Human Resources and Organization in Germany, will take on the role of Director of IT, Digital and Operations.

In addition, there are Business Unit Support Roles that, in addition to their local responsibilities, promote joint transnational initiatives and also report to Liverani:

  • In addition to his previous role as Head of Communications, ESG and Public Affairs for Germany, Giulio Benedetti (44) will take on joint responsibility as Head of Communications and Public Affairs. Furthermore, it will Head of Corporate Sustainability and Social Responsibility ad interim.
  • Petar Dobric (44) will be responsible for this in addition to his role as Head of Customer Management and Marketing in Germany. DACH Marketing and Client Management.
  • In addition to her role as General Counsel of Generali Germany, Heike Ottemann-Toyza (49) will take over the management of the Office of the CEO ad interim.

Also, important tasks for the DACH business unit:

  • Katrin Gruber (54) takes on the role of Chief Risk Officer in addition to her current role as chief risk officer for Germany.
  • In addition to his current role as Investment Director for Germany, Ulrich Ostholt (52) will take on the role of Investment Director of DACH. (eml)


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