Allianz offices in two English towns may be about to get the boot.
The major insurer has revealed that it is proposing to shut down operations in Woking and Luton amid “changes in local market dynamics and the need to continually evolve in a highly competitive environment.” Nearly 100 employees are expected to be put at risk of redundancy.
In its announcement, the Munich-headquartered enterprise explained: “Allianz constantly reviews the effectiveness of its business structures and from time to time makes changes driven by the need to compete efficiently and deliver a sustainable service to customers and brokers.
“The recent office move in Newcastle is an example of the business taking a positive proactive step to meet local demand.”
According to Allianz, it will now enter a 45-day collective consultation process after briefing the staff in both offices. It said should the proposals push through, redeploying as many people as possible will be a key objective as 75 new roles will be created across other locations.
Forty-nine (49) employees in Woking and 48 in Luton stand to lose their jobs. Meanwhile, Woking’s small credit management team will be transferred to the UK head office in Guildford.
“These proposals will bring a short period of uncertainty to the people in these locations during which we will do everything we can to support them,” noted Simon McGinn, general manager of commercial & personal.
“This proposal is not in any way a reflection on my colleagues working at Woking and Luton or the business results they have achieved, but is a necessary decision as part of our focus on efficient transformation.”
If things go as envisioned, the two locations will cease to operate on September 30. Moving forward, affected brokers will be serviced by offices in London, Chelmsford, Birmingham, Maidstone, and Southampton.
“I cannot stress strongly enough that Allianz remains fully committed to its strategy of providing a quality service to brokers where we are central to a sustainable local market,” asserted McGinn.
“We have communicated the proposal to brokers and made it clear that should it go ahead, we have robust plans in place to maintain the high levels of service they have come to expect from Allianz.”