My Morning Routine: Ayman Hegazy, chairman and CEO, Allianz Egypt
Ayman Hegazy, chairman and CEO, Allianz Egypt: Each week, My Morning Routine looks at how a successful member of the community starts their day — and then throws in a couple of random business questions just for fun. Speaking to us this week is Ayman Hegazy (LinkedIn), founder and CEO, Allianz Egypt.
My name is Ayman Hegazy, I’m chairman and CEO of Allianz Egypt. I’ve been working at Allianz for almost 20 years, starting my journey as a finance manager. I’ve worked in various Allianz branches, including Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, holding positions in the finance department, until I was made managing director of Allianz’s life assurance company. In 2019, I became the chairman and CEO of Allianz’s two entities in Egypt: Allianz Life Assurance Company and Allianz Ins. Company.
My daily routine is extremely important to me: Because I’m the father of a nine-year-old boy, I usually wake up at 6am to get him ready for school. After that, I like to have a dose of physical activity. In warmer times of the year, I hit the gym before I go to work. However, because it is very cold nowadays [laughs], I walk to work instead.
I use my morning walk to work to give myself a break. The 5 km commute to work gives me time to unwind from work or home-related stresses [laughs]. I usually listen to music or podcasts before I start work at 8:30. The last interesting podcast I enjoyed delved into the development and evolution of the Metaverse.
Interestingly, my kid is the person who keeps me updated about a lot of technological developments. Aside from my child, I always strive to learn more about tech trends from my younger friends and from my friends’ sons and daughters. I believe that keeping your finger on the pulse is vital to adapt to the ever-changing tech scene.
I am personally trying to position Allianz in a way that would be attractive to younger generations. Our main target audience and customer base is currently the “30 and above segment,” but I believe that linking Allianz to the younger generation is very important. We are investing a lot of capital to further digitize all our processes, both internally and externally. Our team is also working on innovation strategies that would better understand the needs of our customers and the younger demographic.
The first thing I do when I get to work is make sure that my inbox is clear. This is almost sacred to me as an organized person. I have to be certain that nothing is pending and that any issue that was unresolved from the day before is dealt with. I read Enterprise to try and catch up on the news when I’m done with my inbox. Then, I get to my daily management meetings. I usually try to finish my meetings and daily work activities by 3pm, so I can work for a couple of hours on strategic projects. I’m also currently involved in the company’s CSR activities, including a project with UNICEF that aims to help with youth skilling and the grooming of the next generation of entrepreneurs. I’m happy that Allianz is the first insurance company in the world to partner with UNICEF.
I try to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and can say that my success rate is 50%. I usually try to finish work by 6pm, then I devote the remainder of the day to my family. After I spend time with the family, and if the need arises, I may work for a couple of hours from home.
I can never truly say that the work is ever done [laughs], but I enjoy playing sports to relax and reduce stress. I continue to play tennis, even after two knee injuries because I’m passionate about the sport.
I believe proper delegation is essential. We have a great management team that I wholeheartedly trust. So to switch off and relax, I also travel with my family knowing that everything will be running smoothly at work.
To stay focused and organized I give myself time to recalibrate and stay on top of things. Every two weeks, I have a day that is blocked out on my calendar. I don’t partake in any meetings. I use this day to ensure that all my work is in order.
I wouldn’t say that I’m the type of person that has long term goals in the traditional sense. If you had asked me five years ago what my work goals are, I wouldn’t have said that my ambition was to become the CEO of Allianz. I would have told you that my goal is to do my job in a better way. Aiming for fancy titles was never my ambition. Instead, I always try to be impactful and constantly strive to excel at whatever it is I'm doing.
One thing that I have to do everyday is spend time with my kid. If I know I will be late for any reason, I make sure to carve out extra time in the morning so I can spend more time with him.
The last great thing I read is Venture [Agreements]. The book provides practical insights into venture capital strategy and structure.