The firm currently uses Grayling for its corporate PR account, but is understood to have put the agency on notice some weeks ago.
Justin McKeown, divisional director at Grayling, said: ‘Grayling’s corporate division has worked with Allianz for two-and-a-half years. Allianz wants to pursue an alternative approach to reaching its media objectives.
The relationship between the companies remains very positive and we wish Allianz every success.’
The insurer has drawn up a final shortlist of agencies, understood to include corporate agencies with consumer PR capabilities.
Mark Bishop, group comms manager at Allianz Insurance, stated: ‘We are in discussion with three agencies about our corporate PR requirements and we expect to make a decision shortly.’
The successful agency will report directly to Bishop, who declined to comment further on the pitch process.
The focus of the brief is understood to be corporate media relations, with a particular focus on boosting the brand’s presence in the national media.
Allianz Group, the German financial giant, bought British insurance firm Cornhill in 1986 and renamed it Allianz Cornhill before undergoing another name change to Allianz Insurance in 2007.
As part of one of Europe’s biggest insurance groups, the UK operation is looking to achieve more mainstream national exposure, as well as coverage in the more specialist insurance titles.
The brief also has a consumer element, but is primarily focused on corporate media relations and helping build a corporate client base.
Allianz Insurance comprises several trading divisions, including Allianz Commercial, Allianz Retail, Cornhill Direct for personal insurance products, and Pet-plan for animal insurance.
Despite tough economic conditions for insurers, its most recent financial results showed continued strength. Allianz saw half-year gross written premium rise 4.4 per cent over the same period in 2009 and an operating profit of £78.4m, although this was down on 2009 because of lower investment returns.