Canadian Underwriter

Zurich Insurance Group reshapes company, creates chief operating officer role

June 10, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Zurich Insurance Group announced on Friday a reshaping of the company, which includes the creation of the new role of chief operating officer (COO) and a move to a “simpler, more customer-oriented structure.”

businesswoman´s hand holding pen“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,” Zurich said in a press release.

Effective July 1, Kristof Terryn will be COO, “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,” the release said, adding that the new responsibility will also enhance Zurich’s ability to manage costs throughout the entire organization. Including Terryn (pictured below left), the Zurich executive committee will consist of the following members:


Effective July 1, Kristof Terryn will be Zurich’s chief operating officer.

  • 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; and
  • Gary Shaughnessy – CEO EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)

Robert Dickie, chief operations and technology officer, has also decided to step down by mutual agreement with the board of directors to pursue other opportunities outside Zurich, the release noted. Dickie (pictured below right), appointed in March 2014, has agreed to support the transition and will leave the company “in the coming months.”

Robert Dickie

Robert Dickie, chief operations and technology officer, has also decided to step down to pursue other opportunities outside Zurich.

Zurich will be organized in a customer-oriented structure in which the heads of regions (North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific), Global Corporate, Farmers and Investment Management will report to the Group CEO.

“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 releases said. “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.”

Greco said that the new organization will be more agile and accountable, with a “clearer line of sight between the top of the company and the people looking after our customers. 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.”