Insurance company talks Australian impact of global streamlining plans

Insurance company talks Australian impact of global streamlining plans

Insurance company talks Australian impact of global streamlining plans Zurich Insurance Group’s global plans to streamline its organisational structure which could lead to 800 job losses in its businesses across the globe will not affect the Australian operations.

A spokeswoman told Insurance Business that changes to the organisation structure will have no impact on the Australian business or customer facing activities.

She said: "We plan to streamline our organisational structure to reduce both complexity and costs as we continue to deliver on the Group’s strategic priorities for 2014-2016. The initiative, which follows a comprehensive review, will remove management layers between Group and the business units. It is designed to position the company for profitable growth and to drive one of the key strategic priorities set out in late 2013, which is growing operating earnings. Our business in Australia and customer facing activities will not be impacted."

Reports say that George Quinn, Zurich Insurance CFO, said most most of the job cuts will be in Switzerland while delivering the group’s results for the three months ended March 31st, and that Britain and Ireland will be affected to a lesser extent.

The group recently reported a business operating profit of US$1.4bn and net income attributable to shareholders of $1.3bn for the three months ended March 31st 2014.

General Insurance recorded an increase in business operating profit of $38m to $845m and gross written premiums and policy fees remained flat compared with the same period of 2013.

The net investment result on Group investments, which includes net investment income, net capital gains and losses and impairments, contributed $2.2bn to the Group's total revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2014, a net return of 1.0% (not annualized).

Total return on group investments was 2.5% (not annualized), an increase of 2.1% compared with the same period of 2013, mainly driven by falling government yields and tightening credit spreads.

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