Zurich has confirmed a new UK structure with senior appointments across its business. This follows plans announced last year that Life and General Insurance would be brought together under a single leadership team, and the appointment of a UK CEO in November.
This new simpler UK structure, effective immediately, mirrors work underway across Zurich Insurance Group to reshape the business for future success and strengthen customer relationships.
Commenting on these changes, said, “We have built a truly integrated and diverse executive team promptly, and one with significant experience in our markets. We want to continue our market leadership in some areas and take advantage of opportunities to grow in others, making a strong business stronger still. It will be very much business as usual from a market standpoint as we simplify our structure.
“We have an outstanding commercial insurance offering, great life propositions but an underdeveloped presence serving retail and small business insurance customers. We have fantastic momentum in our business and I see opportunity for us to succeed in all our markets by taking a very customer focused approach.
“This integration does mean that proposals are underway to remove some roles from the UK business. Making these decisions is never done lightly, but the steps we are undertaking will make us sustainable in a highly competitive market - creating a platform for growth”.
What does the new structure look like?
As the first step to bring its Life and General Insurance businesses together, a new single UK Executive team has been put in place to ensure Zurich remains focused on each of its markets.
In line with the rest of the Group, there will be a single Commercial Insurance unit, which will be led by Vinicio Cellerini. This brings together Zurich’s commercial offerings into one market -focused entity.
This new unit combines the best of both its former Commercial Broker and Global Corporate UK businesses, bringing significant scale, powerful broker relationships, market-leading technical excellence and high-quality underwriting talent to the market.
Zurich Municipal will continue to be run by Andrew Jepp and will remain a distinct proposition to reflect its unique place in the market.
Conor Brennan becomes responsible for a newly created Retail General Insurance unit where there are particular opportunities for growth. This means a focus on driving performance and innovation. The new unit incorporates personal lines, SME business and specialist propositions such as Navigators & General and Zurich Private Clients.
Similarly, Zurich Life has been simplified around two organisational units, Life Distribution and Life Manufacturing. This enables faster decision-making, streamlined processes and a more responsive approach to the market. These changes will help to ensure the Life business area continues to grow successfully.
As well as continuing in her role as Head of Life with regulatory responsibility for the Life legal entities, Anne Torry will take on additional responsibilities in working with Tulsi to reshape the UK business.
David White becomes Head of Life Distribution, bringing together all UK Life routes to market including Retail Protection, Retail platform, Corporate Savings, Corporate Risk and Zurich FutureYou. Jim Sykes has been appointed Head of Life Manufacturing, taking responsibility for product management, post-sales customer service, oversight of outsourced services and core business activities such as underwriting policy.
These changes mean proposals are underway to remove around 240 jobs from the UK business as functions are aligned. Consultation has begun with employees on these proposals. While making these decisions is never done lightly, Zurich is committed to sharing the conclusion of these proposals with employees first.
It is anticipated that roles will be largely removed from back office and non-market facing areas, such as finance, operations and marketing. These functions have in part been run separately for Life and General Insurance in the past, and there are roles which can be merged.