Munich Re's troubled Ergo explores digital push in China

FRANKFURT, April 28 (Reuters) - Ergo, Munich Re's

troubled primary insurance company, is making a

digital push in the massive Chinese market.

Mark Klein, Ergo's chief digital officer, recently visited

China to explore how the insurer can partner on data with

Chinese companies, such as the telecommunication giant China

Unicom and the e-commerce business

Ergo aims to use data to grow its insurance business.

Klein gave details of his trip this week in a post on an

Ergo blog. Ergo's parent Munich Re, the reinsurance company

whose profit is set to drop in 2017 for a fifth consecutive

year, has been highlighting its digital efforts and tweeted the

blog on Friday.

Investors voiced concern this week at Munich Re's annual

meeting that multiple digital initiatives have been slow to

translate into profit and growth.

In his blog, Klein described a meeting with China Unicom: "A

formal setting, translators, a huge table."

"China Unicom wants to develop its business with data and we

want to be one of its first customers," he wrote.

"We entered a strategic partnership. The goal: to combine

data analytics applications with the expertise of the insurance


Klein also said he met with Talking Data, which he described

as the Google Analytics of China. It captures the data from more

than half a billion devices and knows user figures of all apps

in China, he wrote.

"Here, too, we are working on a cooperation," he wrote. "The

intention is that they help ERGO China Life to identify

potential clients and improve sales agents management."

Ergo was unable to immediately provide figures for its China


In 2016, Ergo generated nearly a quarter of revenue

internationally, according to information on its website. Ergo

posted a loss last year but expects to post a profit this year

following restructuring and layoffs.

Ergo hired Klein last year from T-Mobile Netherlands.

(Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Keith Weir)