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Greenshields in shock exit from Zurich

Zurich Financial Services UK Life chief executive Ray Greenshields has unexpectedly quit by mutual agreement after only two years in the job.

Greenshields reached the agreement to leave with Zurich Financial Services UK, Ireland and South Africa chief executive Sandy Leitch.

The firm is yet to ann-ounce his replacement, with Leitch and Zurich UK Life chief operating officer Keith Baldwin covering his duties.

During his tenure, Greenshields oversaw the demise of the Allied Dunbar brand and an explicit distribution strategy based on multi-tying before other providers committed themselves to the CP121 proposals.

He is thought to have been concerned about the amount of low-premium sales and wanted its advisers to sell higher-premium business.

It is believed Zurich is not seeking a change of strategy but was concerned about the performance of its UK subsidiary and whether it would meet internal performance targets next year.

Wentworth Rose chief executive Philip Rose says: “This underlines the number of powerful figures in the industry facing real challenges.

“Obviously, the launch and withdrawal of Zurich bank was a real embarrassment and threw them off course.

“Now they have to come back to the market to rethink their strategy into a more compelling one.”

Zurich refused to comment.

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