Zurich has relaunched its engineering units as Zurich Risk Services (ZRS), with five of its branch offices becoming "customer risk centres".

Zurich Engineering and Zurich Risk Engineering head Roger Cottell is managing director of the new business.

He said ZRS would provide a total risk management service, covering physical assets, systems and controls and personnel.

Zurich Engineering traditionally offered plant and equipment inspections, while Zurich Risk Engineering covered more complex risks such as business interruption and business continuity.

Cottell said the launch was given impetus by the changing attitude of corporations to risk following 11 September.

"The customer's view of risk today is much more integrated," he said.

"They have an awareness of lots of different elements of risk, from plant and equipment to competition, key people, health and safety issues and regulation."

Cottell said new market pressures, such as increasing corporate governance, the cost of risk, discounts on liability factors and new health and safety responsibilities for directors, also prompted the change.

The centres are in Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, London and Sutton.

Douglas Creevy will run the northern region, which includes Glasgow and Leeds; Tracy Hardcastle will oversee the Midlands; while Len Joyce will head the offices in southern England.

Ian McNeil has become the national risk manager, overseeing ZRS's work with large corporations.

Cottell said the changes meant that some engineering staff were redeployed with Zurich's construction team.

He said the combined turnover of the two engineering teams was £50m last year, but said he would be more concerned with ZRS's profit and customer service levels.

"We're looking at a period of substantial growth," he said.

"We have an open agenda in terms of taking on more staff, working with key partners and meeting brokers who have a good understanding of risk."