Zurich Insurance Group AG plans to slash about 240 jobs in the UK as part of broader efforts to bring its Life and General Insurance division under a single leadership team.
Zurich disclosed the new UK structure on Jan. 19, following up on a plan announced in 2016 to combine its two divisions and the appointment of a UK CEO in November, Tulsi Naidu.
Zurich said it has already been consulting with affected employees, which involves back-office and nonmarket areas including finance, operations and marketing. Previously, these functions were run separately in the Life and General Insurance arms.
The news follows an announcement earlier this week that Zurich would cut spending on large technology projects to reduce costs. CEO Mario Greco has previously said he wants to save $1.5 billion from 2015 through 2019, in part by dealing with the insurer’s cost structure. Plans to streamline the insurer’s corporate structure were first announced last summer.
Zurich said its new UK structure mirrors ongoing efforts across the insurer “to reshape the business for future success and strengthen customer relationships.”
Plans call for creating a single Commercial Insurance unit in the UK to be led by Vinicio Cellerini. According to Zurich, the new unit combines the best elements of its former Commercial Broker and Global Corporate UK businesses, “bringing scale, powerful broker relationships, market-leading technical excellence and high-quality underwriting talent to the market.”
Meanwhile, Connor Brennan will run a newly created Retail General Insurance unit that will incorporate personal lines, SME business and specialist elements such as Navigators & General and Zurich Private Clients.
Zurich’s UK Life arm has also been simplified around two organizational units: Life Distribution and Life Manufacturing. Anne Torry will continue in her role as head of Life, with regulatory responsibility for the Life legal entities. Torry will also work with Tulsi to reshape the UK business.
Based at around 20 locations across the UK—with large sites in Birmingham, Cheltenham, Farnborough, Glasgow, London, Swindon and Whiteley—Zurich employs approximately 6,000 people in the UK.