Church & General adopts new name
Insurer Church and General will trade under the Allianz brand owned by one of its parent companies in the corporate insurance market.
Opening a marketing campaign, the company said in a statement that the Church and General brand would be retained for its personal and religious insurance business.
Allianz Group's director with responsibility for Europe, Mr Detlev Bremkamp, said Allianz Church and General was seeking further growth opportunities in the Irish market, particularly in its corporate insurance business.
Asked if this meant the company was seeking to make an acquisition, a spokeswoman said there had been no suggestion that it was.
Mr Bremkamp cited consolidation in the European insurance sector, however, and said it would be led by a small number of players.
"As the industry consolidates across Europe, this creates further opportunities for companies like Allianz," he added.
The company employs 850 workers and claims to be the largest multi-line insurer in the State, with 15 per cent of the market.
A spokeswoman said most of this year's £1 million (€1.3 million) advertising budget had not yet been used and would be dedicated to fund a television, radio and print campaign managed by the CDP agency.
The company has committed a similar amount to continue the campaign next year.
Allianz Group owns 66.3 per cent of the company while Irish Life and Permanent holds 30.4 per cent.
Allianz acquired its stake after it bought the French-based multinational AGF. The remaining 3.3 per cent is held by the Catholic Church.
Allianz Church and General's pre-tax profit in 1998 was €21.2 million (£16.7 million). Allianz Group's after-tax profit in 1998 was €1.8 billion.
The group employs more than 105,000 workers in 70 countries.