At the head of Generali Group Switzerland’s management since early May 2016, Andreas Krümmel gave Swiss magazine Schweizer Versicherung an interview and answered some very personal questions.
Have life and your career so far gone the way you thought they would?
Generally speaking, my life’s turned out the way I thought it should. But a lot of the changes on the work and family fronts happened by chance and opened up new possibilities and challenges.
When and where are you able to really switch off?
I find it easy to really switch off away from work and with my family. I try to keep every weekend free for them. Weekends are also often when I go out and about with our dog. I find the best way to get away from it all completely is to travel or play golf. Golf’s a game that allows no distractions but demands complete concentration if the balls aren’t to fly off here, there and everywhere.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
To be authentic and honest and be able to admit my own mistakes.
What do you like about yourself – and what about yourself do you absolutely not like?
What I like about myself is my capacity for balance, my tendency to over-analyse, and my sense of humour. I’m less keen on my impatience, which surfaces from time to time, and the tendency for being rational to smother being emotional.
Which celebrity would you like to get to know?
Quite spontaneously and out of pure curiosity, Donald Trump comes to mind. If he ends up being the most powerful man the world, it might be a good idea to know him. On a less ambitious note, I’d like to get to know Dietmar Beiersdorfer, the chairman of the board of HSV Hamburg. HSV’s been a passion of mine for many years and a source of both sorrow and joy.
What dishes are you best at cooking?
I tend to cook with a lot of preparation, little skill, but lots of bowls and spontaneous creativity, which means I tend to diverge from what the recipe says. No matter what the dish is, it has to be fresh and has to have herbs from the garden in it. Mediterranean vegetables, a tender fillet and – most important of all – the sauce. I might add that I’m ‘gloriously’ inefficient when it comes to cooking and have a real talent for switching off while my wife – standing beside me – goes quietly crazy.
Turning to another sort of pitch, as you sing in a choir, do you prefer bass or tenor?
I’m a fairly mediocre bass. We sometimes try to help the tenors out with their parts, but the result is about as dreadful as what you get when you run your fingernails over a board ...
Andreas Krümmel took over as CEO of Generali Group Switzerland in early May. He is 48, and has been working in insurance since 1987, most recently as Head of Property & Casualty and a member of the Executive Board at Axa Winterthur.
The full article can be found in Schweizer Versicherung’s 06/2016 issue.