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The Pandemic Is a Stern Teacher: Idea File

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What You Need to Know

  • Jirele is on track to take over from Walter White as the CEO of Allianz Life Dec. 31.
  • Today, she is the company’s chief growth officer.
  • She sees plenty of room to grow.

Jasmine Jirele is trying to protect Americans against the risks of death and longevity.

Currently she’s chief growth officer at Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, and she’s on track to succeed Walter White, the CEO of the Golden Valley, Minneapolis-based company, Sept. 31.

Allianz Life is part of Allianz SE, a Munich-based insurance giant.

Jirele has been working for Allianz since June 2017. She also worked for Allianz Life from 2006 through 2012, then left to work in operations at Wells Fargo.

Here are four points about what Jirele is seeing, drawn from a recent interview.

1. The pandemic is an opportunity.

Although trying to sell during periods when social distancing rules are in effect may be challenge, the pandemic could make life insurers like Allianz Life stronger, Jirele said.

“We’re really seeing it as an opportunity to dial down on our core business,” Jirele said.

The company will work to increase sales of those core products, as well as expanding into new markets, she said.

The pandemic has highlighted the need for consumers to protect against mortality risk, she added.

“We’re very optimistic about insurance,” Jirele said.

2. Having a German parent company may provide a different perspective.

Germany takes pride in providing a stable workplace, “with benefits such as generous paid time off and flex-time benefits,” Jirele said.

3. Product details are important.

Critics sometimes accuse insurance company executives of focusing on product details, but Jirele spoke proudly about an Allianz Life registered index-linked annuity, and the app that helps holders use the annuity.

Combined with the digital technology, a unique index lock feature will help the holders lock in gains, she said.

4. She lives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

One of Jirele’s first jobs as in marketing, communications and market research at Securian Financial Group. She also has run into executives from UnitedHealth Group Inc.

She said one of the influences of UnitedHealth on Allianz Life and other companies in the area is UnitedHealth’s excellence at developing and applying new information technology tools.

Jasmine Jirele (Photo: Allianz Life)