Zurich CEO: we’re back on track

Rajbir Nanra, Zurich’s Chief Executive Officer, General Insurance, Australia and New Zealand, says the company is back on track after a challenging 2015.

Nanra, who was formally announced as Zurich CEO for General Insurance in January after a four-month stint as interim CEO, has overseen a transitional period for the company in which it announced its exit from the CTP and strata markets to concentrate on areas where it has particular expertise and a distinct market position.

“We are a broker-only distribution channel, so it’s been about realigning ourselves with where the brokers saw us,” Nanra told Broker Buzz.

“We felt that the best way forward was to look at our product suite and to focus on the areas that brokers see us as providers of, namely heavy motor, financial lines, global corporate, liability, construction and our business pack. I’m pleased to say that the actions we took late last year have been well received by the market.”

Nanra also said that the business was on a more stable footing after a number of high-profile figures left Zurich’s Australian operations in 2015.

“We’ve been able to attract some very good talent from the external market, which is an indication that people see a clear path of what we’re going to do in Australia,” he added.

“We recently announced Steven Ord joining us as Executive General Manager, Commercial, and are in the final stages recruiting for other senior executive positions. This is a sign to me that people are seeing that things are more settled with us, and that Zurich has a clear direction in terms of its strategy in Australia and New Zealand.”

At a global level, Zurich announced last year that it will shed 8000 jobs by the end of 2018. Although Nanra admitted that it’s still unclear how this will be felt in Australia, he added that the restructuring of its operations late last year had left them “slightly ahead” in terms of taking action.