In May 2011, Ergo Versicherungsgruppe, a Dusseldorf, Germany-based subsidiary of Munich Re, was at the centre of a huge scandal when details of a huge, prostitute-filled party in Budapest appeared in the German press.The party was held for Ergo-owned subsidiary Hamburg Mannheimer International (HMI) and occurred in 2007. It was described as “killer fun” by one attendee, but others weren’t so sure. Reports of a 120 person in the historic Gellért thermal baths orgy with “colour-coded” prostitutes eventually led to a number of employees being fired from the insurance firm and Munich Re issuing a full page apology for the party in a German newspaper.
Ergo has finally released a report investigating the party. Some of the new details are interesting — for example, Der Spiegel notes that a boat floated by on the nearby Danube River carrying “topless hostesses” holding placards reading “We love HMI”.
But what may be even more damaging is financial irregularities during the trip. The flights, which cost around €36,000 ($44,193), were paid for twice, and 20 people too many were mysteriously added to the bill. The report also reveals that the company may have had a history of excess. Der Spiegel reports that “prostitutes were flown in as part of an HMI leadership seminar at Lake Zurich in the late 1970s.”
Prostitutes in Budapest say that corporate sex parties are surprisingly common, and the only thing exceptional about the Ergo party was its scale.