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Torsten Leue: How to spark a resilient economic growth in Germany

The Federation of German Industries (BDI) organised a congress in Berlin on the state of the German and European economy and its options for action in challenging times. At a panel discussion, Torsten Leue, CEO of Talanx Group spoke with German Minister of Finance Christian Lindner and Anne-Marie Großmann, Managing Director of the GMH Group, about how to spark a resilient new era of economic growth. The BDI also conducted a written interview with Torsten Leue. Read the interview here.


BDI: As a major insurer, the Talanx Group is in close dialogue with companies from all sectors of industry. What cross-industry picture emerges for you regarding the transformation of the economy?

Torsten Leue: I believe in the innovative strength of the German economy. 99% of companies in Germany are SMEs and hidden champions in their fields. We have the most companies in the world that are market leaders in their sector. We know from our business clients that most of them are undergoing a transformation, be it green, digital or cultural. And they are growing in the process. We support them as a partner with innovative insurance solutions tailored to their needs. But the question is: where is this transformation taking place? Studies show that companies are increasingly willing to relocate their activities abroad and invest there due to the improved framework conditions. The success of these companies is based on highly qualified specialists, of which there are increasingly not enough in Germany. It has been obvious for years that we need an economic turnaround in Germany. My customers tell me that we don't have a lack of realisation, but a lack of implementation. Implementation also requires good communication with a credible story.

BDI: Europe has voted, decisive state elections are coming up in Germany and the 2025 federal election is casting its shadow. What would you like to see in a future economic plan for Europe and Germany?

Torsten Leue: Economic policy is half psychology. The European elections have shown that people want change. My clients tell me that we need an ambitious economic plan with a suitable regulatory framework - less "cost of doing business", more "ease of doing business". And we need more public-private partnerships. Germany must not only be the land of poets and thinkers but should also become the land of doers. We are often international leaders in research, but not in implementation - this too often takes place abroad. This applies in particular to leap innovations (e.g. in the platform economy or in logistics). We must not lose touch with the current leap innovation of generative AI. If we lose touch, we will lose our prosperity.

BDI: The further transformation of the industry requires major investments, both from the private and public sector. What needs to happen to release the necessary funds?

Torsten Leue: There’s enough money. Insurers are the largest institutional investors in Germany. A sum of around EUR 1.9 trillion is available to German insurers as a long-term, secure capital investment. Due to the long-term investment horizon, we can make an important contribution to financing the transformation together with the public sector and industry. To be able to invest, we need significantly more projects, secure long-term framework conditions and an adequate return. After all, we invest the money we have available for our customers. So far, however, relatively little has been done in Germany compared to the USA or other European countries.


This news release contains forward-looking statements which are based on certain assumptions, expectations and opinions of the Talanx AG management. These statements are, therefore, subject to certain known or unknown risks and uncertainties. A variety of factors, many of which are beyond Talanx AG’s control, affect Talanx AG’s business activities, business strategy, results, performance and achievements. Should one or more of these factors or risks or uncertainties materialise, actual results, performance or achievements of Talanx AG may vary materially from those expressed or implied in the relevant forward-looking statement. Talanx AG does not guarantee that the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements are free from errors nor does Talanx AG accept any responsibility for the actual occurrence of the forecasted developments. Talanx AG neither intends, nor assumes any obligation, to update or revise these forward-looking statements in light of developments which differ from those anticipated.