May 17, 2018 / 3:11 AM / 9 months ago

Allianz launches new retirement products business in Australia

The logo of insurer Allianz SE is seen on the company building in Puteaux at the financial and business district of La Defense near Paris, outside Paris, France, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Germany’s Allianz SE (ALVG.DE) is launching a new retirement products business in Australia - a move that comes at a time when the domestic financial industry is on the back foot amid revelations of widespread misconduct.

The new business will target the country’s A$2.6 trillion (1.5 trillion pounds) retirement savings pool and has been in the works since 2015. It will create more than 50 Sydney-based positions.

An ongoing powerful inquiry, known as a Royal Commission, into the financial sector has become a reputational nightmare for Australia’s largest banks and money managers, raising the prospect of more regulation and structural reform as well as creating opportunities for newcomers.

Allianz said the business would use the platform of bond fund manager unit PIMCO and would initially be led by Adrian Stewart, PIMCO’s head in Australia and New Zealand, while a new CEO was sought.

About 700 people retire every day in Australia, Stewart said in an emailed statement, adding that this meant about A$75 billion of saving funds moved into a spending phase each year.

Details about the financial products it would sell were not disclosed.

Reporting by Paulina Duran; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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