Zurich reorganises to ‘enhance broker focus’
Zurich Australia has shaken up its leadership structure to “strengthen and enhance its core focus on the commercial intermediated insurance market”. Under moves announced today, Head of Commercial Insurance Giles Crowley takes the newly created role of Chief Distribution and Deal Management Officer. Chief Underwriting Officer Sean Walker will take responsibility for the commercial insurance portfolio, adding to his oversight of Zurich’s SME offering. Chief Claims Officer Hilary Bates’ remit expands to include operations, with Head of Operations Wilson Varghese to take another, as-yet-unannounced role within Zurich. Chief Distribution Officer Steve Ord will leave the group. In a note to brokers General Insurance CEO Tim Plant says that brokers “regularly tell us the things they value most are responsiveness and speed of decision-making, and that’s what our simplified structure is designed to do”. “From today, we will place even greater emphasis on our state and regional presence, and empower our local teams to trade and make decisions closer to our customers.” Mr Plant says the changes, effective immediately, are driven by “a desire not to change course, but to move faster, clarify accountability and be even more responsive to the needs of our brokers and our customers. “Our simplified structure will make us a stronger and more deeply connected insurer… better able to anticipate the rapidly evolving needs of our broker partners and customers.” Zurich says executive responsibilities in areas including finance, risk and governance, human resources, and communications and marketing are “largely unchanged”. Mr Ord was made Chief Distribution Officer in March last year, in a reorganisation shortly after the global merger of Zurich's commercial and corporate operations. “Steve has been at the forefront of driving Zurich’s broker engagement strategy, and he leaves a proud legacy in terms of the capability he has developed across the team,” Mr Plant says. Today’s changes follow Mr Plant’s move to Zurich from Insurance & Care NSW in July.