Zurich elects former Swiss Re CEO Liès as chairman
Zurich Insurance Group has elected former Swiss Re CEO Michel Liès as chairman of the board of directors for a one-year term.
His appointment follows the retirement of Tom de Swaan who served for five years as chairman and for 12 years on the board. All members of the board of directors standing for re-election were re-elected for another one-year term of office.
De Swaan said: “Zurich’s ability to embrace this changing environment is not by chance. It is through the vigilant oversight of a management team that understands the realities of these markets today, has a vision for where these markets are going in the future, and has a proven capability to drive necessary change. This is why I and my fellow board members feel such confidence in the future earnings potential of the Zurich Group.”
The company noted that in 2017 Zurich made progress in refocusing its core business, diversifying its portfolio and exiting underperforming lines of business while acquiring new capabilities and growing its distribution footprint. It improved underwriting, reduced costs and expanded its service offerings, while growing premiums and improving its customer retention levels.
For 2017, Zurich reported a net income of $3.00 billion, down from $3.21 billion in 2016. The underlying business operating profit, however, improved to $4.76 billion from $4.50 billion over the period.
Group chief executive officer Mario Greco commented: “In society, in our industry and at Zurich, you’re witnessing fundamental change. But we are not mourning the end of an era, we are welcoming a new one. We are not being disrupted and reacting to technology, we are anticipating what customers expect of us and leading the change. We are systematically adding service capabilities and distribution platforms that build on our core strengths. And we are future proofing this organisation with a renewed culture and revamped leadership team.”
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