Sabia Schwarzer | Influence 100

Sabia Schwarzer 

Global Head of Communications & Responsibility 



Sabia Schwarzer is viewed as one of the best of a new breed of German communicators, challenging a PR landscape that is often typified by a reluctance to take risks, and was honoured with an Outstanding Individual Achievement SABRE Award at the virtual EMEA ceremony last year.

She took on the top communications job at Allianz in 2015, filling the shoes of 23-year corporate communications veteran Emilio Galli Zugaro. Her elevation came after spending two decades with the insurance giant in a variety of senior marketing and communications roles across the world, including as head of communications for North America for 14 years, being a board member of the Allianz Foundation, and as head of communications for Asia Pacific.

Schwarzer acts as a coach and “sparring partner” for the group CEO and senior executives and is a firm advocate of a robust social media strategy and data analytics, including developing and monitoring meaningful KPIs across all media and communications activities.

She is now responsible for global communication and environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy for the Allianz Group, managing a global team of communicators and corporate responsibility professionals whose challenges have included being part of an insurance sector facing increasing pandemic-related claims from businesses and individuals.

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR’s direct impact on business performance
Anytime I put empathy before reason it changed outcomes.

What are the communications industry’s biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
The biggest challenge and opportunity is to build trust by being radically transparent and honest.

What have you most admired about this industry over the past year?
I have admired how the industry has helped put a spotlight on ESG and diversity and inclusion.

What has most disappointed you about this industry over the past year?
The challenge to attract talent with business acumen.

How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness in lockdown?
Daily walks in nature and writing a diary each morning with some reflections on things I am thankful for.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
None of the above, but more and deeper conversations about life with my kids.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
A medical doctor.

Sum up 2021 in one word.