bigstock-Businessmen-shaking-hands-to-s-42928921-merger-hired-hiringZurich Insurance Group has tapped a former Generali executive to run its Asia Pacific operations, six months after it recruited Mario Greco from the Italian insurer to become its new CEO.

Jack Howell will be regional CEO of Zurich in Asia Pacific, effective Sept. 1, 2016. He’ll be based in Hong Kong and report directly to Greco, who left Generali to lead Zurich back in February.

At Generali, Howell had been regional officer for Asia since early 2015. He brings over 20 years of industry knowledge and a successful track record in managing insurance businesses in the Asia Pacific region, including CEO positions in the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia at AIG and Prudential.

In a statement, Greco, said that Zurich hopes to develop its operations in Asia Pacific, and that Howell’s “extensive experience coupled with his leadership capabilities” would help make that happen.

Howell is replacing Stuart Spencer, has held the position of regional Zurich/Asia Pacific CEO in the interim, though he’ll remain in the region and work closely with Howell.

Greco came on board at Zurich with a mission of trying to boost profits. His reorganization plan has included slashing jobs, selling assets, and being more selective about which risks it insurers. Another mission: to boost efficiency by combining its global life and general insurance units – the two biggest at Zurich. On Aug. 11, Zurich said profit for the first half of 2016 grew 3 percent to $1.2 billion in its General Insurance division, though net income declined at the overall Group.

Also, all other Zurich units saw their earnings decline.

Source: Zurich Insurance Group