Insurer’s reshuffle includes HQ and HK changes

Jeremy Lau

Zurich’s finance business partner for global corporate in Asia Pacific, Jeremy Lau (pictured), has been named as the new head of the company’s corporate business in Hong Kong.

He succeeds Ken Lai who, the company says, has “left Zurich to pursue other opportunities outside the company”.

Zurich general insurance business chief executive in Hong Kong Eric Hui said the firm had “grown significantly” in the territory’s corporate segment over the past six years, and Lau would provide “strong leadership skills and business acumen”.

“Our business now has the underwriting expertise, authority, underwriting services, risk engineering and deep claims capability to support our position as a leading and responsive corporate insurer in Hong Kong,” Hui said.

Zurich board changes

In other Zurich news, Tom de Swaan has been appointed chairman and Fred Kindle vice-chairman of the board of directors of Zurich Insurance Group. The move follows the resignation late last month of former chairman Josef Ackermann in the aftermath of the apparent suicide of Zurich’s chief financial officer Pierre Wauthier.

Associated Press has reported that Wauthier’s suicide note accuses Ackermann of creating an unbearable work environment.

Ackermann, a former Deutsche Bank chief who only took over as Zurich’s chairman in 2012, said at the time that Wauthier’s death had “deeply shocked” him.

“I have reasons to believe that the family is of the opinion that I should take my share of responsibility, as unfounded as any allegations might be,” he said.

“As a consequence, I see the possibility of a continued successful board leadership to the benefit of Zurich called into question. To avoid any damage to Zurich’s reputation, I have decided to resign from all my board functions with immediate effect.”