Rolf Gerling was born in Zurich, Switzerland, Germany. In 1904, Rolf Gerling's grandfather launched a small insurance business, Gerling Konzern, which his father Hans expanded into a global insurance group. In 1992, following the death of his father, Gerling, an economist by training, sold a 30% stake to Deutsche Bank. He chaired the supervisory board but showed little interest in managing the business. Eventually, mismanagement coupled with losses from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and costly asbestos claims plunged his legacy into turmoil. Forced to sell assets to raise capital, Gerling Konzern became a shadow of its former self. Finally, in 2005, Gerling sold his 94% stake to German insurer Talanx Group for an estimated $1 billion. A passionate environmentalist who lives a withdrawn life in Switzerland, Gerling, while overseeing Gerling Konzern, raised awareness of environmental-related risk factors within the insurance industry. In the 1990s, he was instrumental in getting 50 insurance companies to sign a United Nations pledge to consider the issues of climate change and other environmental problems in their business practices. Today, he sits on the foundation board of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), supports ecology-minded projects through the Gerling Foundation and owns a portfolio including real estate through companies like DufourIm AG, which is headed by long-time Gerling confidant Heino von Have.
Rolf Gerling is a member of Finance