If Allina Hospitals & Clinics ever finds itself at the center of multiple state investigations or lawsuits, or in economic free-fall, the hospital chain now knows where to seek advice.
Allina this week named Allianz North America CEO Gary Bhojwani to its board of directors, addingthe crisis-tested executive to its ranks. Allianz North America, based in Golden Valley, Minnesota, is a unit of German financial giant Allianz SE.
Bhojwani joined Allianz, the country’s largest seller of annuities, in 2007 just as its regulatory, legal and economic woes began to take shape. State officials, including Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, accused Allianz of improperly marketing equity-indexed annuities to senior citizens, damaging the company’s reputation and prompting consumers to file several lawsuits against it.
At the same time, the economic collapse of 2008 hit Allianz’s bottom line hard. Morale plummeted as the company shed payroll.
Under Bhojwani, Allianz has made a stunning comeback. The company settled with Swanson and though a federal jury found Allianz guilty of deceptive marketing, it awarded no money to consumers.
Allianz’s annuity business also has roared back to life. Last month, the company said fixed-income annuity sales jumped 36 percent from a year earlier to $1.9 billion, while variable-annuity sales nearly quadrupled to $800 million.
“Since joining Allianz, [Bhojwani] has driven a significant increase in operating profit, led the development of an industry-leading suitability practice and significantly improved employee morale,” according to an Allina statement.