Field trip to ERGO insurance group
On Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the SIAM Student Chapter Hamburg visited one of the largest insurance companies in Europe, the ERGO Group. After a warm welcome by Dr. Christian Nagel, Head of Actuarial Inventory Management Life, and Cathrin Wörsdörfer, we retreated into a conference room, where Dr. Nagel introduced himself and his background with the ERGO Group and gave us a brief history of the ERGO Group in Hamburg. Following the introduction, he gave us his personal view on three important challenges life insurances face these days, the main one being the current low-interest phase in capital markets. We learned about the cause of this persistently low level of interest rates as well as its implications and how the ERGO Group reacted to this phase.
During a short break we had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Nagel about the early part of his career and his days as a student, some of which he spent at the University of Hamburg. Having enjoyed some refreshments, Dr. Nagel continued his talk with his view on the Solvency II Directive of the European Union. Finally he told us about the need for insurance companies to modernize their IT systems, create new products and develop new algorithms to process the increasing amounts of data they receive. Naturally this would be an interesting field of work for applied mathematicians.
After a final round of questions, we were given an exclusive tour of the Hamburg branch office with further interesting information about the history of the ERGO Group in Hamburg and its predecessor, the Hamburg-Mannheimer-Group.
We would like to thank Ms. Wörsdörfer for organizing our visit at ERGO Group and Dr. Nagel for his interesting insights into the mindset of a large insurance company, as well as everyone at ERGO Group, who made our visit possible.