Zurich CEO Martin Senn steps down - FREE

Zurich CEO Martin Senn steps down - FREE

Zurich Insurance’s CEO Martin Senn will step down from his role at the end of the year, by mutual agreement with the insurer's board of directors.

Tom de Swaan, who has been a member of the board of directors since 2006 and was named chairman in 2013, has been appointed interim CEO with immediate effect.

The process to appoint Martin Senn’s successor is already underway.

The news comes after Zurich Insurance had terminate its proposed buyout of RSA Insurance in late-September after discovering its general insurance arm suffered a $183m operating loss for the third quarter. This was partly because the insurer took a $275m hit from the Tianjin port explosion in China.

“After ten very intense years with Zurich, I have decided to step down as CEO and to make way for new leadership,” Senn said.

“There have been some setbacks in recent months, but I am convinced that we have put in place the right measures for Zurich to reach its targets. I will remain closely tied to the company and am proud of what we have achieved together over the years,” said Senn.

Senn spent a decade at working at Zurich. Stepping into his shoes as temporary CEO, de Swaan’s responsibilities at other listed companies will be temporarily suspended.

Fred Kindle, vice-chairman of the board will take on certain additional responsibilities, the firm said, to ensure continued good governance.

De Swaan said: “The board of directors owes a massive thanks to Martin Senn. First as our chief investment officer and in the past six years as CEO, he has successfully guided our company through a challenging environment, showing great foresight and tireless personal commitment.

Zurich said Martin Senn’s departure will have no impact on Zurich’s strategic focus or its financial targets.

“The company is confident that it will be able to achieve or exceed its three financial targets for 2014-2016,” the insurer said in a statement.

Its three financial targets are business operating profit after tax return on equity of 12% to 14%, a ‘Zurich economic capital model’ ratio of between 100% and 120%, and net cash remittances after all central costs in excess of $9bn over the three year period.

Zurich said it will provide information on the deployment of $3bn in excess capital when it publishes its results for 2015.

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