You know how I am always going off about how the insurance industry has this huge reputational millstone around its neck, and that it really would be in its best interest to deal with it, despite the fact that doing so will require a very long, sustained effort?
It’s because stuff like this happens. Basically, back in 2007, an agency in Germany ultimately affiliated with Munich Re held a party in a Hungarian bath for 100 of its top producers. 20 prostitutes were brought in to service the producers. Those wearing white armbands were reserved only for top-level executives. The women were stamped on their arm each time they serviced a producer. Apparently, the agency even bragged about the event in their company magazine.
I know. I suddenly feel the need to wash my hands, too. You’d think this sort of thing doesn’t happen anymore, but sadly, it does. A woman I know spent a brutal few years working in Wall Street right out of college, and she was on the trading floor. Sexual harrassment doesn’t even begin to describe what she endured, and by year’s end, she got a rather remarkable bonus that amounted to a “thanks for not suing us” payment.
Now, I suspect there are some who will read about how a Munich Re subsidiary held an orgy as a collective attaboy for its top producers, and think, “Hmm. Too bad I missed that.” But for those of us who might be a little skeeved out by the thought of attending a corporate function that looks like the last 30 minutes of “Eyes Wide Shut,” allow me to observe that when you are one of the world’s biggest reinsurers, and when you are in the midst of a major global branding campaign, news of company-sponsored Bacchanalia is not the best thing for your image.