Zurich uncertain of staff numbers following underwriting shakeup

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Exclusive: Zurich has said it is uncertain as to whether or not it will lose staff as a result of its recent shake up to change where certain types of business are underwritten.

The insurer will place a new SME underwriting team in Leeds that will handle small businesses with more complex requirements and a new team in Birmingham will write international business outside London.

Zurich’s existing team in Cardiff will retain its focus on micro-SME and package business while Croydon will become the hub for business written through schemes.

A spokesperson from Zurich told Post that while the insurer intends to retain staff, it is uncertain what will happen to staff numbers as a result of the change.

“This marks the next step in Zurich’s complete change structure of business in the UK,” a spokesperson said.

“The restructure is not about losing or gaining people and we expect that the head count will be similar to as before. Where SME business was previously underwritten in Birmingham and will now move to Leeds and international underwriting will move to Birmingham, people’s jobs will change, and we are expecting a lot of people to relocate or change discipline.”

The shakeup in its underwriting structure is part of the insurer’s plans to strengthen its underwriting capabilities in the UK and become a “more streamlined” organisation.

Zurich will also make a number of key appointments in the north of the country to help bolster its expertise at a regional level.

The appointments come as Amanda Blanc joins the insurer as CEO from Axa.

In Zurich’s Manchester hub, Antony Statham will join from Chubb in the summer as head of regional financial lines and will lead the strategy across its directors and officers liability, professional indemnity, cyber financial institutions and crime business. Paul Mundy will join from QBE as regional underwriter leader.

Justin Wood, previously commercial director at Aviva, joins the business to lead retail and mid-market underwriting.

Joachim Tolle has been appointed as head of financial institutions business and joins from Brit Insurance.

Adrian Jenner is to become head of D&O and joins from Beazley. James Roberts has been promoted to the role of head of regional markets, following the decision by Roy Standish to leave the business.

Tulsi Naidu, CEO of Zurich, 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.”

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