Zurich has appointed Ian Stuart as chief executive officer of its UK general insurance business, with immediate effect.

Subject to regulatory approval, Stuart will report to Axel Lehmann, chief executive officer of Europe personal and business.

Stuart's predecessor Geoff Riddell was recently appointed chief executive officer of Zurich's global corporate customer business, covering both international and large domestic risks.

Stuart joined Eagle Star in Dublin in 1980, becoming managing director and chief executive officer of Eagle Star Insurance in 1994. He will continue to oversee Eagle Star's general business in Ireland until a successor is appointed, said Zurich.

Meanwhile, Zurich has expanded its broker clubs facility.

Zurich now has a three-level 'club' for 400 of its top intermediaries to try and build up both long-term relationships and business levels.

The scheme is based on silver, gold and platinum categories, corresponding to levels of business from the broker, and financial incentives and service from the insurer.

Zurich head of business development John McCheyne said: "The agreements themselves are very broad ranging, but they are based on income and potential to become a major provider in at least one product line.

"What we want to do is reward our principal partners and set down agreements for what each partner has to do to move up a level."

The scheme will affect about 10% of Zurich's current 4,000 brokers, with less than 100 in platinum ranging up to about 200 in silver.

As part of the package, Zurich will be investing in training for staff, and advising on areas such as health and safety, business continuity planning and marketing.

McCheyne said: "We are also keen to offer non-partners the chance to participate and will soon be launching a marketing campaign to publicise the initiative."