Allianz’s innovation powerhouse creates new chief data officer role

Allianz’s innovation powerhouse creates new chief data officer role

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) has appointed its first chief data officer, with XSE’s former digital transformation lead, Ali Shahkarami, to take on the newly created role.


As CDO, Shahkarami will head the development and the delivery of AGCS’s data strategy, with a focus “on aligning various data initiatives, tools and investments with AGCS’s business and data strategy”, the company announced in a statement. Shahkarami’s remit will also be extended across the wider Allianz Group.

AGCS is the global insurance giant’s dedicated international business insurance arm.

The company hopes to leverage its new CDO to drive a “data first” decision-making culture across the business, “empower[ing] and expand[ing] AGCS’s data governance framework to ensure privacy and fidelity of all data and applications and [ensuring] that AGCS has the capabilities needed to deliver business-ready solutions that inform and strengthen decision-making across all activities.”

AGCS chief operating officer, Bettina Dietsche, in responding to Shahkarami’s appointment, underscored the importance of data and analytics as critical drivers for the company’s future success and overall transformation strategy.

“Data and analytics are of vital importance for our success and for supporting our clients – not only for reporting and steering but also to boost analytic capabilities in underwriting and claims and discover new insights and opportunities”, she said.

“That’s why it is so important that we created this position with a clear mandate to drive our data initiatives forward.”

Shahkarami previously served as head of catastrophe risk research at AGCS before his move to Allianz’s digital incubator XSE in 2018, leading the hub’s digital transformation of client-facing functions.

AGCS has been a pioneer industry innovator in digital transformation initiatives, including IoT, drone and satellite loss assessments, automated claims processing, and a blockchain-backed captive insurance platform.

AGCS operates independent teams across 33 countries, including Australia, generating €9.1 billion in gross premium globally.

As CDO, Shahkarami will report directly to COO Bettina Dietsche.