The FINANCIAL -- Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) has begun a process to reshape and simplify the Group to create a framework for enhanced future success. Over the coming months, the business will move to a simpler, more customer-oriented structure, reducing complexity, creating greater accountability and empowering teams to deliver products and services in a differentiated way.
Decisive action on reshaping the business over the coming months will create the platform on which Zurich will build its longer-term profitability strategy. The new structure will enable countries to strengthen customer relationships with a comprehensive customer view. The global businesses will continue to expand and deepen their footprint by offering broad risk solutions - both life and non-life - to customers around the world. The new structure is the acceleration and globalization of work already underway in key markets like Switzerland, Germany and Italy, combining life and non-life under one leadership team and applying a unified go-to-market approach, according to Zurich.
“This new organization will be more agile and more accountable, with a clearer line of sight between the top of the company and the people looking after our customers,” said Group Chief Executive Officer Mario Greco. “We will approach our target customers with a unified and distinctive face to the market. We will prioritize sound customer outcomes and in so doing ensure that the business delivers consistent levels of profitability.”
“I want to renew the sense of an ambitious, entrepreneurial and innovative culture at Zurich, where talented team members put the customer at the center of everything they do and have all the tools to develop their business within a clearly defined framework towards a shared vision for the company overall.”
New leadership structure
Zurich will be organized in a customer-oriented structure in which the heads of regions (North America; Europe, Middle East and Africa; Latin America; Asia Pacific), Global Corporate, Farmers and Investment Management will report to the Group CEO. Their people will be focused on first-class global and local provision of the right mix of products and services to help customers understand and manage risk.
Zurich is also creating the new role of Chief Operating Officer, which is a new approach in that it combines responsibility for operations and technology with underwriting, claims, reinsurance, actuarial and pricing, creating a unified sense of purpose and responsibility for technical excellence, efficiency and business transformation across all parts of the business. This new responsibility will also enhance our ability to manage costs throughout the whole organization.
The Zurich Executive Committee, effective July 1, 2016, will be formed of the following members:
Mario Greco - Group CEO
Urban Angehrn - Chief Investment Officer
Jeff Dailey - CEO Farmers
Mike Foley - CEO North America
George Quinn - Chief Financial Officer
Cecilia Reyes - Chief Risk Officer
Gary Shaughnessy - CEO EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)
Kristof Terryn - Chief Operating Officer
“This new organization and strong accountability, empowerment and outcome orientation will be the foundation for our future strategy. We will see greater market focus and simplification, and deliver the transformation we need for future success in a disciplined way,” continued Mario Greco. “The simplified structure will also allow us to become more efficient and support the implementation of our communicated cost reduction programs.”
Robert Dickie, Chief Operations and Technology Officer, has decided to step down by mutual agreement with the Board of Directors to pursue other opportunities outside Zurich. He has agreed to support the transition and will leave the company in the coming months. The Board of Directors expressed its gratitude to Robert for his excellent contributions since his appointment in March 2014.
Industry changes create market opportunity
The decisions announced today are a response to the changed dynamics of the insurance industry and the turning point at which Zurich finds itself. The new structure will promote innovative thinking and meet the demanding expectations of customers, employees, shareholders and the broader societies in which Zurich operates. The prospects for the insurance sector are strong in a world of proliferating risks, but the company must adapt to remain effective at helping customers manage those risks.
“Zurich is a sound business with an excellent brand, a strong capital position and adequate reserves. The company has excellent people around the globe and I count on them to shape our successful future. The business has been improving its profitability in recent months, as evidenced by 2016 first quarter results. The changes announced today reinforce this positive momentum,” concluded Mario Greco.