On August 1 there will be a generational change at the Gartenbau-Versicherung: Manfred Klunke will retire in the summer after more than 40 years with the company and hand over the chairmanship to Christian Senft. According to the announcement, this will in the future take place in a team of two with Dr. Dietmar Kohlruss at the helm of the Gartenbau-Versicherung.
More than 40 years at the service of gardening insurance
As Manfred Klunke (see image to the right) begins his professional retirement in the summer, the qualified horticultural engineer, born in Bork/Selm in 1958, can look back on more than 40 years of service with the horticultural insurance company. The 63-year-old, who had completed a gardening apprenticeship in flower and ornamental plant cultivation in Münsterland prior to his studies, joined the company in 1982 as a member of the external sales force with a focus on project management. risks and settlement of claims. As head of the claims department, he was given power of attorney and, according to the Gartenbau-Versicherung, in 2007, Klunke was appointed deputy director of insurance operations. Three years later, he was appointed alternate member of the Board of Directors and has held the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2012.
Klunke as “member community attorney”
“Above all, Manfred Klunke decisively advanced active claims management processes. With his invaluable detailed knowledge, but above all with a strong spirit, he always saw himself as a defender of the community of members who stood for fair solutions and fast and uncomplicated help in the event of a claim”, says Frank Werner, chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Gartenbau-Versicherung draws great respect for the work of his professional life. As chiefly responsible for the company’s development, Klunke has made expanding the company’s position as a specialist European horticultural insurer a matter close to his heart, as Werner points out. After his official farewell, which Klunke held on the sidelines of this year’s member representative meeting at the beginning of July, he will continue to work as an advisor to the Gartenbau-Versicherung until the end of the year.
Christian Senft new CEO from August 1
According to the company, Klunke’s successor as the new CEO will be 43-year-old Christian Senft (see picture left), who has been a member of the Gartenbau-Versicherung board of directors since 2016, on August 1. Senft’s career began at the specialty insurer in 2008, where he initially oversaw risk management and various strategic projects, especially in the areas of horticultural technology and internationalization. In 2013 he was reportedly appointed Authorized Representative for Southern Europe, and from this position he was eventually appointed to the board. Senft, who was born in Schweinfurt in 1978, had previously studied horticulture at the Technical University of Munich (Weihenstephan) and at the Università di Bologna, where he graduated with a Master of Science (Horticulture). During his studies and afterwards, he worked for consulting institutions in the fields of technology, business administration, crop protection and cultivation.
The management duo together with Dr. Dietmar Kohlruss
According to Gartenbau-Versicherung, Senft and Dr. Dietmar Kohlruss (see image on the right), a member of the Board of Management since July 2019, a team of two heads the company. Kohlruss, who has a doctorate in mathematics, initially worked for Westfälische Provinzial Versicherung AG in Münster for more than ten years before moving to the Cologne-based actuarial firm Meyerthole Siems Kohlruss (MSK) in 2005 and becoming a member of the management board. starting in 2008. It was there that the first contacts were made with the Gartenbau-Versicherung, which, as a long-standing customer, continues to seek advice from MSK on actuarial matters to this day.
“Professionally interconnected know-how of both worlds”
“We have the greatest confidence in the abilities of Mr. Senft and Dr. Kohlruss to lead Gartenbau-Versicherung into a continuously successful future,” explains Frank Werner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, of the long-term preparations for a change of generations at the top of the company. As an experienced management team, Senft and Kohlruss represent continuity and at the same time new accents and the will to create, as Werner emphasizes. “And they embody the skills we blend to perfection as a specialist insurer: Christian Senft, with a Master of Science in Horticulture, is a founded expert in international horticulture, while Dr. Dietmar Kohlruss made a name for himself in the insurance industry as CEO of an actuarial company. With the interconnected professional knowledge of both worlds, they will also optimally protect our members in horticulture against increasing risks and dangers.”