As a former head of European insurance and asset management at consulting firm McKinsey & Co., Oliver Bäte advised Allianz on the integration of Dresdner Bank after the German insurer acquired the bank six years ago. Now he will have a chance to practice what he's been preaching. Allianz tapped the 42-year-old executive last month to become its first chief operating officer, a post he will take up in January. Bäte, who will report to CEO Michael Diekmann, will lead a revamping of Allianz's global operations to eliminate duplication and generate synergies between the group's insurance, asset management and banking divisions. The group began restructuring in Germany last year and expects to save as much as 600 million ($848 million) in that country alone by the end of 2008.