Members of the Allianz Women's team stop for a photo as they prepare for the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Championship in Singapore.
Allianz ideal Championship representative
of unique Frankfurt Corporate Challenge
FRANKFURT, April 5, 2011 — As it prepares for its 19th year in June, the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge® in Frankfurt has evolved into a unique event.
It is not just the staggering number of participants and companies — 72,741 from 2,752 companies in 2010 — that makes it stand out. It is how those numbers are reached each year and the careful organization that goes into making this race such a large-scale success. This is an event embraced by corporations literally throughout Germany. In recent years, teams have traveled to Frankfurt for the Corporate Challenge from more than 300 cities across the country.
“It's fascinating to see how the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge has developed over the years,” said Dr. Karl-Georg Altenburg, J.P Morgan CEO for Germany/Austria/Switzerland. “Team spirit is what really counts in the business world and that is what this event is all about.”
A noteworthy example is Allianz Deutschland AG.
Allianz just happens to be one of the companies that will be representing Frankfurt in the 2011 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Championship in Singapore on April 21. Allianz swept to the Women's team title at the 2010 Frankfurt Corporate Challenge to earn the honor and trip. Joining them in Singapore as representatives of Frankfurt will be Men's team winner III. BPA Würzburg, and Mixed team champion Bundespolizeidirektion Flughafen Frankfurt/Main.
They will compete against the first-place teams from the other 11 cities in the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge Series in the first-even J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Championship held in Asia.
In many ways, Allianz is an ideal representative of its qualifying event.
Like the Frankfurt Corporate Challenge itself, Allianz is big. One of the leading integrated financial services providers worldwide, the Allianz Group has about 151,000 employees, and serves more than 76 million customers in about 70 countries. On the insurance side, Allianz is the leader in the German market and has a strong international presence.
|2011 Frankfurt Championship qualifiers
III. BPA WÜRZBURG
|Florian Johannes, Sandro Rink, Manuel Stöckert, Mario Wernsdörfer
ALLIANZ DEUTSCHLAND AG
|Andrea Dick, Elke Lewerenz, Kirsten Braun, Monika Fischer
|Yvonne Conrad-Hebel, Michael Pfeil, Kristina Schumacher, Simon Schwarz
"First of all, our victory was the result of our team captain's efforts," said team member Andrea Dick. "And it was possible since Allianz is a very large insurance company with thousands of employees."
Also like Frankfurt's Corporate Challenge, Allianz' team members come from across Germany.
"Team members are working in different locations like Munich, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart," said Dick, who will be joined in Singapore by fellow Allianz runners Elke Lewerenz, Kirsten Braun, and Monika Fischer. "We all do have different responsibilities at Allianz."
And, like winners traditionally at the ultra-competitive Frankfurt Corporate Challenge, Allianz has a fast team.
"Some of us have been competitors during our active time as semi-professional athletes," said Dick. "Some are running marathons, one of us is a triathlete. Myself, I am just jogging in my spare time without competitions."
The varied backgrounds of its members helped Allianz produce a combined team time in Frankfurt last June of 1:27:57, putting it a competitive third behind only Morgan Stanley from New York City and London's HSBC among Women's team competing in Singapore. And, to earn the Women's title in Frankfurt, Allianz had to get past perennial power Polizei Hessen, which had been Frankfurt's champion for six consecutive years.
"Two or three times we have been on rank 2 (finished second)," said Dick. "Therefore, I think it was time to win the race."
Frankfurt's other two teams in Singapore also clearly follow the German tradition of producing fast championship teams. III. BPA Würzburg has the second fastest Men's time coming into Singapore with a 1:11:21 combined time. Bundespolizeidirektion Flughafen Frankfurt/Main — spurred by third-place individual finishes at Frankfurt from Michael Pfeil (16:49) and Kristina Schumacher (19:52) — leads all Mixed teams with a time of 1:15:40.
So, Frankfurt's representatives figure to be in the thick of the battles for team prizes in Singapore, something Dick seemingly takes in stride as she and her teammates prepare for the Championship.
"We want to have fun and a good competition," she said. "We have some experience since we started in New York in 2007 and 2008. So, we will see what is possible."
Judging from past performances of Frankfurt teams at the Series Championship, what's possible figures to be pretty good.