Zurich reveals major changes to its UK underwriting operations and announces a round of hires from rivals

Zurich has revealed plans for major changes to its UK operations as it looks to build on its regional presence in the North.

It has also unveiled a round of key hires from Chubb, QBE, Aviva, Beazley and Brit, following a reshuffle of its broker distribution team in December.

Under the new plans, the insurer will introduce underwriting centres across the UK and alter where different types of business are underwritten.

It is unclear yet whether the proposed changes will lead to any job losses or job creation, with Zurich currently anticipating that staff will show flexibility in taking on new roles and challenges.

New underwriting bases

In Leeds, a new SME underwriting team will take on small businesses with ‘more complex’ requirements, according to a press release.

In addition, a new team in Birmingham will write international business outside London.

Zurich’s Cardiff office will continue to focus on micro-SME and package business.

Commenting on these enhancements to the business, Zurich’s UK chief executive, Tulsi Naidu, said, “We’ve had a positive start to the year, and I’d like to thank brokers and customers for their support. We have ambitious plans for growth from here, and to achieve this, we need to keep flexible, agile and have the right people in the right place.

“Our technical expertise is well-known, but making sure it’s well-balanced across the country means we will always be on-hand to help brokers and customers with their needs wherever they’re based. These new appointments in Manchester and our new team in Leeds reflect our growing capability across the country.”

New appointments

As part of the changes, the insurer has announced a round of appointments.

Chubb’s Anthony Statham and QBE’s Paul Mundy will both join Zurich’s underwriting operations.

Statham will join Zurich in the summer. He is expected to ‘lead a new approach’ for Zurich as head of regional financial lines, the release reveals.

Mundy will take on the role of regional underwriter leader for the North.

Zurich has made several other key appointments.

Roy Standish has chosen to leave the business, the release shows. Current head of broker market for the South East, James Roberts, replaces him as head of regional markets.

Justin Wood, former commercial director at Aviva, will lead retail and mid-market underwriting.

Brit’s Joachime Tolle has been appointed as head of financial institutions.

Adrian Jenner, formerly of Beazley, has been appointed as head of D&O.