Zurich Insurance close to naming CEO, Swiss papers say

A prominent Swiss newspaper is reporting that Zurich Insurance will appoint a rival leader head of the company following Senn’s departure

Zurich Insurance Group AG will appoint Mario Greco, the head of its Italian rival Assicurazioni Generali SpA, as chief executive officer, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported, without saying how it got the information.

While Greco, an insurance-industry veteran, hasn’t yet been formally chosen and his appointment needs the approval of Zurich’s board, the CEO of Italy’s biggest insurer is the only name on the final shortlist, SonntagsZeitung said, citing an insider. The Swiss insurer will make the appointment before its annual media conference on Feb. 9.

“At the end, three names were shortlisted: Mario Greco, Mario Greco and Mario Greco,” the person told the newspaper.

Negotiations to renew Greco’s contract for a second term at Generali are continuing, a person with knowledge of the discussions told Bloomberg. A spokesman for Generali declined to comment.

Martin Senn stepped down as Zurich CEO on Dec. 1 amid a management and business overhaul after falling profit in the company’s general insurance unit prompted the company to drop a high-profile bid for RSA Insurance Group Plc. The insurer announced job cuts and plans to exit some businesses at the non- life insurance unit, which posted a $183 million operating loss in the third quarter.

Sylvia Gaeumann, a spokeswoman for the insurer in Zurich, refused to comment, saying it doesn’t discuss market rumors or speculation.

Before becoming the head of Generali, Greco was the chief of Zurich’s general insurance unit from 2010 to 2012 and was CEO of the global life business between 2008 and 2010.

Roxana Zega and Elisa Martinuzzi
Bloomberg News

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