You are the CEO of the world largest insurer. In your view, what are the key aspects of a resilient world economy?
First of all, trust is important for human collaboration. This includes a stable political environment and fair competition. Reasonable, adequate regulation helps to safeguard consumer and producer rights. On the business level, the needs of large and small enterprises look different to me: large enterprises usually have easier access to capital markets but suffer from a more and more rigid regulatory environment. Smaller enterprises and entrepreneurs are obviously more flexible but face challenges in financing new business ideas.
You are a busy man. With the chair of the B20 Taskforce Financing Growth and Infrastructure you have taken on another responsibility. What motivated you to get engaged in B20 Germany?
Allianz Group is a European company with a strong German foothold and a broad global presence as an insurer and asset manager. We are conscious of our responsibility as a corporate citizen and sustainable long-term investor. Since global growth is slowing, extraordinary energy and measures are necessary from all stakeholders, not only central banks and governments.
What do you want to achieve in the B20 Taskforce Financing Growth and Infrastructure?
Growth needs entrepreneurial ideas and capital. Plenty of both is available! Today more than ever before. So why is growth slowing? Capital does not find its way to financing ideas and needs. This is true for private businesses as well as financing public infrastructure. Be aware: infrastructure does not only mean roads and bridges. It also includes IT, fast internet, schools and education, healthcare, clean energy, smart grid, as well as Governmental and other public authorities .
If you had a wish to the German G20 Presidency: What would it be?
The German Federal Government should focus on the key obstacles to global growth: international challenges like private and public indebtedness, demographic change as well as – last but not least – an inadequate regulatory framework for investors should be discussed. The central banks cannot fix it alone, since monetary policy no longer exerts a positive impact on economic growth. In such a situation, all stakeholders have to take action – now.