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Building Knowledge and Trust at
Allianz Global Investors:
A Senior Management Perspective
Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) is a diversified active investment manager,
serving clients from 23 offices in 17 countries across the world. Combining
global investment and research capabilities with consultative local delivery,
AllianzGI manages more than $490 billion in assets for individuals, families,
and institutions worldwide.
At Allianz Global Investors, Global Chief Operating
Officer George McKay describes the “Understand.
Act.” philosophy as central to the organization’s
decision making, behavior, and corporate lexicon—
as it White
relates to serving clients.
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“The more you understand how the business works, the better
you understand what the client needs. It’s about seeing the
whole picture and being able to deliver—and that’s where the
Claritas Program can help us.”
—George McKay
Global Chief Operating Officer
Allianz Global Investors
“We are a people business and our real investment
is in our people,” McKay says. “An education
program such as Claritas Investment Certificate
gives everyone a foundation of understanding the
industry. This helps our clients, and as well it helps
us internally in our daily work.”
That’s why when Andreas Utermann, ASIP, Allianz
Global Investors Global Chief Investment Officer, Cohead, and member of CFA Society UK, introduced the
program, the organization saw immediate potential.
“I have been a big supporter of the Claritas
Investment Certificate from the start,” Utermann
says. “I think it’s a fantastic and necessary
opportunity for those not traditionally exposed to
clients and investments. The Claritas Program will
likely become an industry standard very quickly.”
George McKay
Success Criteria
•Advance the company’s two-word philosophy:
Understand. Act.
•Better serve clients, shareholders, and internal
•Manage and mitigate risk for clients
© 2014 CFA Institute
From Pilot to Implementation
Through the coordination of Learning
Network Program Manager Katrin Bittner,
Allianz employees registered for the Claritas
global pilot program. Today, more than 72
employees are engaged globally. Most
employees study individually on their own
time, for an average total of about 100 hours.
“Completing the program really helped me
to roll it out and work with employees. It can
be easy to lose sight of the learning process
unless you experience it yourself. I definitely
have my favorite chapters, understand the
study conditions, and what it is to sit for the
exam,” she says.
“The Claritas Program has allowed me to add a good foundation of
knowledge about the financial industry which I can build on. The
structure of the Claritas Program, along with its study materials,
allows you to familiarise yourself with a broad range of technical
subjects in your own tailored learning pattern.”
Nick Davis, Finance and Controlling,
Allianz Global Investors, United Kingdom
“For Allianz employees, the program is completely voluntary and has attracted a wide
variety of areas, mostly from the business
support functions, including marketing, legal,
operations, compliance, and HR,” Bittner
says. “We’ve seen a wonderful variety of
participants, both new joiners and those
who’ve been here 20 years. The Claritas
Program shows us the importance of training for everyone who works in our industry.”
So much so, Bittner registered for the selfstudy course herself.
“The Claritas Program fills a gap
in the industry. It’s the content,
the breadth, and the foundational
level—that’s something that
wasn’t available before.”
—Katrin Bittner
Program Manager
Learning Network
Allianz Global Investors, Europe
Getting the Word Out
After the pilot, with support from CFA
Institute, Allianz Global Investors offered
information sessions in Frankfurt, Hong
Kong, and the United States, using Claritas
support and marketing materials.
“The way the program was advertised is
the way it was delivered,” Bittner says. “All
employees I spoke with found the study
materials interesting, easy to follow, and
rewarding. The chapter review questions,
practice tests, and mock exam are especially helpful. You always know where you
Client Satisfaction and
Employee Engagement
“At Allianz Global Investors, we measure our business in five key areas,
and client satisfaction and employee
engagement are two of them,” McKay
says. “The Claritas Investment
Certificate gives us value in both. It
creates an environment where clients
can trust; it gives that perspective,
which we measure in surveys with
clients on perceived value.”
Greater Ethical Knowledge
and Integrity
“One of our core values at Allianz Global
Investors is integrity. There is an entire
section in the Claritas Program on
ethics and industry roles that ties very
neatly into the messages we are trying
to impart to our staff about integrity
and trust,” McKay says.
Increased Confidence
and Communication
“The Claritas Program confirms what
you already know and makes you more
confident to speak to investment professionals and senior management,”
Bittner says. “That adds huge value to
those conversations and helps to build
trusted partnerships between support
functions and the business.”
Utermann adds, “The program fills a
gap in the industry as it’s designed to
help those not directly related to sales
or investment to better understand the
foundations of our industry.”
Sharing a Common Language
“I think the Claritas Program also works
very well for our non-native English
speakers, in terms of learning the terminology. The Claritas Program connects
the dots of how everything relates and
paints a bigger picture of the financial
services industry,” Bittner says.
Learn more about what the Claritas Program can do for your organization.