Group News

Portrait Torsten Leue: A leader on the international stage

Hannover, Frankfurt, São Paulo, Santiago de Chile, Mexico City, León and back – this is an itinerary that, in a number of different permutations, Torsten Leue knows by heart. Time and again, supervisory board meetings or other appointments with the management of the Talanx subsidiaries in Latin America bring the member of the Talanx Board of Management responsible for international retail business back to the aforementioned cities – most recently in late October 2017. What is more, not only is Torsten Leue at home in Latin America, he is also a frequent flyer to Poland, Italy and Turkey, where further Talanx subsidiaries have their operations. Since 1998 he has spent almost half his working life abroad. "I find other cultures absolutely fascinating", he comments. "I am a very curious person, I like movement in all its facets. It helps me to get my bearings in other countries."

His accomplishments to date have now smoothed the 51-year-old's path to the top of the company: on 8 May 2018 Torsten Leue will become the ninth Chief Executive Officer in the 114-year history of the HDI/Talanx Group. He takes the reins from Herbert K. Haas, who has headed the Group successfully since 2006. With his international background, his experience as an all-round manager and his consistency, Torsten Leue will lead the Group into a bright future. His appointment stands as a sign of continuity, but also of the courage to embrace change. Translated into his own words, what this means is: "We must be quicker than the world around us in order to satisfy customer needs. We must ensure that going forward, as in the past, the Talanx Group demonstrates its agility in an increasingly dynamic environment."

Torsten Leue is able to communicate in six languages – not just German and English, but also Italian, French, Spanish and Slovak. His CV bears witness to an exemplary career in the world of financial services: after starting out in 1985 by training as a certified bank clerk at Deutsche Bank, Torsten Leue studied business administration in Berlin and Montpellier with concentrations in finance and human resources. In 1993 he joined Allianz as an assistant to management via the company's fast track programme. In 1995 Torsten Leue became regional sales manager in Berlin, and just two years after that – at the age of 31 – regional manager for Central and Eastern Europe. "I had very good mentors. In my experience, fair, open and consistent leadership is enormously important for one's own performance motivation." Until 2010 he served for six years as Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Slovakia in Bratislava and most recently also as president of the Slovakian Insurance Association.

In September 2010 Torsten Leue joined the Talanx Group as the Board member responsible for international retail business, which with over 8,000 employees is now the Group division with the largest workforce. Since then he has consistently increased the premium volume and profitability of the division through organic and inorganic growth. With the support of his team, he more than doubled the premium income from EUR 2.2 billion in 2010 to almost EUR 5 billion in 2016 – the operating profit (EBIT) grew close to eightfold from EUR 27 million to EUR 212 million in 2016.

At the beginning of 2017 he was additionally entrusted with responsibility for human resources as Labour Director of the Talanx Group. In this role he was instrumental in setting in motion the transformation to agile working environments so as to further increase the speed of implementation within the Group going forward. "Companies are led by people, not by structures. The focus is always on people."

In his personal life the top manager enjoys spending time with his family and engaging in sports. Torsten Leue is married with three sons. He plays tennis, likes to ski and works out whenever time permits. When Talanx holds its in-house worldwide football tournament in 2018 parallel to the FIFA World Cup, Torsten Leue will be on the pitch.

Following the Annual General Meeting of Talanx AG on 8 May 2018, he is now set to ascend to the top of the company: "With its decentralised and customer-centric positioning, the Talanx Group is a fascinating undertaking. I am greatly looking forward to this new challenge."