Insurer implements three-way structure for its GI operations

Zurich has shaken up its UK management structure, with the aim of simplifying business for brokers, according to head of UK strategy Kay Martin.

Zurich’s UK general insurance operation, previously part of a Europe-wide structure, has been channelled into three divisions:

• Commercial broking, led by managing director Dave Smith, which brings together the SME and corporate business, including construction, real estate and professional lines.

• Personal lines will be led by managing director Karl Bedlow, bringing together Zurich UK’s direct, personal lines broker, marine and boat and high net worth business.

• Zurich Municipal, which will be led by managing director Rob Allison, with Anne Torry taking over in March next year. It will provide public sector insurance and risk management.

Each managing director takes full responsiblity for their division, including claims and underwriting performance, and reports to chief executive Stephen Lewis.

Martin said: “The aim of this is to make it easier to do business. We’ve got three managing directors, meaning there is an end-to-end accountability.”

She insisted that the restructure was intended to improve the business and was separate from the $350m (£221.5m) cost savings announced earlier this month for Zurich Group general insurance.

Elsewhere, AXA has restructured its personal lines unit to include intermediary, partnerships and direct business, including Swiftcover.

Mike Keating will lead intermediary and partner sales, Dave Fretter takes responsibility for customer service, Richard Coombe is managing director of direct sales and Tony Peppard will lead claims.

Craig Staniland is managing director of product, to whom all the underwriting teams report.

AXA personal lines chief executive Steve Hardy said: “Our new structure will provide much greater focus on the customer and result in us being better placed to respond to market challenges, as well as distributor and customer needs.”