Zurich announces new leadership team to drive dual proposition strategy

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Zurich has unveiled details of the executive leadership team that will take its Australian Life & Investments business forward once the acquisition of OnePath Life has completed.

The composition of the new team reinforces Zurich’s commitment to a dual proposition strategy which will see the Zurich and OnePath Life brands and products continue to operate alongside each other in the retail market.

Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur in March 2019.

The combined business will be led by CEO Tim Bailey, a long term Zurich executive who has led the Australian Life & Investments division since 2015 and whose tenure has seen the acquisitions of both Macquarie Life and OnePath Life.

Gavin Pearce, currently MD Insurance, ANZ will join Zurich as Chief Operating Officer, Life & Investments whilst ANZ’s Linda Griffin will join the Zurich team as Head of Customer and Corporate Affairs.

Zurich’s Chief Distribution Officer Kristine Brooks will lead the Distribution and Marketing teams across the newly expanded business, whilst Matt Drennan continues as Head of Savings and Investments.

Reflecting Zurich’s commitment to a dual proposition strategy in the retail channel, Gerard Kerr as Head of OnePath Propositions and Group Insurance, and Tim Howell as Head of Zurich Propositions, will drive expansion of the OnePath and Zurich market offerings respectively.

Kieran Forde, currently Head of Wealth Solutions and Partnerships, ANZ, will have responsibility for overseeing the strategic partnership with ANZ as Head of Bancassurance and Direct.

After eight years leading the OnePath sales team, Don Sillar has decided to pursue other opportunities. He has agreed to continue as OnePath’s Head of Sales through to completion to ensure continuity and a smooth transition.

In confirming the appointments, Zurich’s APAC Region CEO Jack Howell, said the announcement was another major milestone on Zurich’s journey to become Australia’s leading retail life insurer.

“Our acquisition of the OnePath Life business reflects both our commitment to the Australian life insurance market and our belief in the underlying quality of the business the ANZ and OnePath team has built.

“Upon completion of the acquisition, the newly combined business has an opportunity and a responsibility to take the local industry forward, investing and innovating to deliver ever better customer outcomes.

“This transaction brings together two highly successful businesses, each with a strong brand heritage and loyal customers. The senior leaders of both businesses are amongst the most talented and respected in the industry,” Howell said.

Commenting on the announcement, Life & Investments Australia CEO Tim Bailey said that the new combined team leveraged the depth of experience across both the Zurich and OnePath businesses.

“The balance of the team also sends a powerful signal about our intention and capability to execute our dual proposition strategy.

“We will continue to invest extensively in both the Zurich and OnePath brands and propositions, ensuring both advisers and customers can benefit from genuine choice and a superior customer experience,” Bailey said.

Until completion of the transaction in early 2019, the existing leadership teams will remain in place at both Zurich and ANZ Wealth with both businesses continuing to operate on a separate, business as usual basis until then.

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