Zurich combines life, non-life businesses in revamp under new CEO

New chief executive Mario Greco puts his stamp on the Swiss insurer

Zurich is in the middle of a $1 billion-plus cost-savings drive and has said that around 8,000 jobs would be affected by the end of 2018.  (Photograph: Adrian Moser/Bloomberg)

Zurich is in the middle of a $1 billion-plus cost-savings drive and has said that around 8,000 jobs would be affected by the end of 2018. (Photograph: Adrian Moser/Bloomberg)

 

Zurich Insurance plans to combine its life and non-life businesses and move to a new regional structure as new chief executive Mario Greco puts his stamp on the Swiss insurer.

In the shake-up announced on Friday, the head of Zurich’s flagship general insurance business Kristof Terryn will take on the newly created role of chief operating officer. Global life CEO Gary Shaughnessy will become Zurich’s CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Chief operations and technology officer Robert Dickie will leave the company.

“This new organisation and strong accountability, empowerment and outcome orientation will be the foundation for our future strategy,” Greco said in a statement. “We will see greater market focus and simplification, and deliver the transformation we need for future success in a disciplined way.”

In the new COO role, Terryn will focus on operations and technology as well as underwriting, claims, reinsurance, actuarial and pricing. Greco, who is around three months into the CEO job at Zurich after joining from Italian insurer Generali, said the new structure would support Zurich’s previously announced cost-cutting programme.

Zurich is in the middle of a $1 billion-plus cost-savings drive and has said that around 8,000 jobs would be affected by the end of 2018.

Zurich has around 55,000 employees. Boosting the performance of Zurich’s general insurance business and delivering a strategy for beyond 2016 were key factors in poaching the 56-year-old Italian. Speaking at Zurich’s first-quarter results presentation last month, Greco made repairing its battered reputation among investors and cutting costs his top priorities. Shares in Zurich were seen opening 0.1 per cent higher in premarket indicators at 0610 GMT, roughly in line with the Swiss blue-chip index.

Reuters