Allianz CDO appointed as CEO of Allianz Asia
The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of German financial services company Allianz, Solmaz Altin, is set to step down from his current role, having been appointed as the new CEO of Allianz Asia.
Having acted as the CDO of Allianz for over two years, Altin has been a crucial member in leading Allianz’s digital transformation strategy. Within this, the company has aimed to boost its digital capabilities by enhancing its digital product range and digital partnerships.
“His primary role as the Global CDO is to make sure that Allianz’s customers have access to world class digital service and services,” says Altin’s LinkedIn profile. “He believes that strengthening Allianz’s DNA as a customer centric, digital organization will provide Allianz’s customers with superior customer experiences, and improved customer satisfaction.”
Previous to his position as the CDO of Allianz, Altin worked as the Chief Risk Officer, Chief Financial Officer and CEO for Allianz Turkey between 2009-2015, whilst also having held senior positions at KPMG and PwC prior to this.
“Solmaz Altin has embraced digitalization and has distinguished himself during his tenure in Turkey and as Chief Digital Officer for the Group,” said Sergio Balbinot, Chairman of the Allianz Asia Advisory Council.
“Over the last two years, he has laid the foundation for our Digital Agenda and the Allianz SE board thanks Solmaz Altin for his outstanding achievements. I am delighted to welcome him to Allianz Asia and I look forward to him leading Asia through the next stage of its development.”
Altin will replace George Satorel as the Regional CEO of Allianz Asia, commencing 1 May 2019.
Start-ups receive $60 billion investment, smash 2020 record
Start-ups on the continent have raised a massive 43.8 billion euros ($60.9 billion) in just the first six months of 2021, according to figures from Dealroom, surpassing the record 38.5 billion euros invested last year..
This is despite the fact that the number of venture deals signed so far is around half the amount agreed in 2020. Only about 2,700 funding rounds have been raised so far this year, compared to 5,200 last year.
Prime examples in times of change
Examples are Swedish buy-now-pay-later firm Klarna which has raised more than $1.6 billion in two financing rounds, the German stock trading app Trade Republic received $900 million in May and British payments provider Checkout.com snapped up $450 million at the start of the year.
The figures suggest that European tech firms are pulling in far larger sums of money per investment than in previous years, which defies the economic uncertainty of the pandemic and boosted online services enormously.
The CEO of Checkout.com, Guillaume Pousaz, said start-ups have often been created in times of crisis, citing the emergence of several new financial technology companies in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.
He added that big transformational change was often the time when there is the emergence of a lot of new start-ups, sometimes when people are losing their jobs for associated reasons.
UK leading the charge
Scale-Up Europe, a group that includes the founders of UiPath and Wise, proposed 21 recommendations to help the region build “the next generation of tech giants.” Among the suggestions are tax credits to corporates for investing in start-ups and regulatory changes that adapt to new innovations.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, said the U.K. leads Europe when it comes to tech policy, and that there were a number of regulatory issues needing to be addressed before the European Union can produce tech giants of its own.
Siemiatkowski highlighted EU regulation of web cookies as an example of “poor regulation.” Yet, as the number of $1 billion start-ups in Europe continues to grow, the number of exits in the continent is also increasing.
This year has already seen some notable acquisitions, including Etsy’s $1.6 billion purchase of U.K. fashion resale app Depop and JPMorgan’s takeover of London robo-advisor Nutmeg.
As for stock market listings, a number of notable debuts have taken place in London in particular, including food delivery app Deliveroo, cybersecurity firm Darktrace and reviews site Trustpilot. Money transfer giant Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, plans to go public in the U.K. capital soon.