Zurich bucks trend by reducing tech project spend

Zurich bucks trend by reducing tech project spend | Insurance Business Canada

Zurich bucks trend by reducing tech project spend
As one of the world’s biggest insurers, you may think that Zurich Insurance Group AG, which has Canadian bases in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, would be among the big spenders amid the explosion of insurtech. However, the company has decided to take a more strategic approach that will see it “cut back” and “be more focused”.

The company’s chief risk officer Cecilia Reyes has spoken out about the company’s plans to reduce its spending in relation to large technology projects because “managing, harvesting the benefits from these investments” is proving to be a challenge.

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Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg, Reyes outlined that the company is “much better investing in technology, outsourcing, procurement” and “that will be the source of growth of profits, not growing the top line.”

Her words come after Zurich’s chief executive officer Mario Greco himself outlined plans to “attack” costs within the company in an effort to save $1.5 billion from 2015 to 2019. The firm has been hit by record low interest rates and has struggled for economic growth.

With this in mind, Reyes did not rule out potential job cuts within the area noting that the firm has “many levers to pull to manage our costs”.

In addition, Reyes noted that Zurich is looking at its post-Brexit operations. The firm has several offices in the UK but could move some operations if it were to lose passporting rights. In addition, she outlined that the company wants to expand in both Asia and Latin America during 2017 while also attempting to boost its underwriting revenues within developed markets.

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