May 17, 2018 / 3:06 AM / 11 days ago

Allianz launches new retirement products business in Australia

* Business to target Australia’s $2 trillion retirement pool

* Royal Commission expected to lead to structural change in sector

By Paulina Duran

SYDNEY, May 17 (Reuters) - Germany’s Allianz SE is launching a new retirement products business in Australia - a move that comes at a time when the domestic financial industry is on the back foot amid revelations of widespread misconduct.

The new business will target the country’s A$2.6 trillion ($2 trillion) retirement savings pool and has been in the works since 2015. It will create more than 50 Sydney-based positions.

An ongoing powerful inquiry, known as a Royal Commission, into the financial sector has become a reputational nightmare for Australia’s largest banks and money managers, raising the prospect of more regulation and structural reform as well as creating opportunities for newcomers.

Allianz said the business would use the platform of bond fund manager unit PIMCO and would initially be led by Adrian Stewart, PIMCO’s head in Australia and New Zealand, while a new CEO was sought.

About 700 people retire every day in Australia, Stewart said in an emailed statement, adding that this meant about A$75 billion of saving funds moved into a spending phase each year.

Details about the financial products it would sell were not disclosed. ($1 = 1.3305 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Paulina Duran; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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