Allianz drops to second place


Ping An is now the world’s most valuable insurance group, knocking German insurer Allianz off its 2016 top spot.

The China-based insurance group has a brand value of about $16bn, a 29% increase from 2016, according to global business valuation consultancy Brand Finance. The brand value of Allianz fell 7% to $15bn this year, to put the insurer in second spot.

China Life Insurance, the country’s largest life insurer by premium, stayed unchanged in the third place with a brand valued of $10.3bn.

This is the first time a mainland Chinese company has risen to the top of the 100 most valuable insurers worldwide.

Ping An reported a net profit of $9bn for 2016, its highest since 2003.

In addition to the group’s strong profits, its brand value was also boosted by a highly successful cross-selling strategy and a focus on brand and reputation management, Brand Finance said.

The consultancy calculates brand value using the royalty relief method, which determines the value a company is willing to pay to license the brand as if it did not own it.

“Ping An has lofty ambitions, aiming to become the world’s leading provider of personal finance,” said David Haigh, chief executive of Brand Finance. “Based on this evidence, in the long term it may not be an unrealistic goal.”

According to the research, Chubb is the fastest growing brand in the list with a brand value growth of 180% to $5.6bn. This saw its rank jump from 36th to 11th.

Its rapid brand value growth this year was primarily owing to the group’s rebrand after the mega-merger of Chubb and ACE last year, creating one of the biggest publicly traded property and casualty insurance businesses in the world.

Allianz slid down the ranking following higher damage claims, historically low interest rates, a loss on the sale of its South Korean business and a weaker investment performance, Brand Finance said. Despite this gloomy picture, Allianz reported strong full year results due, in part, to increased demand for its retirement products.