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Sims gets joint chief exec role at Zurich

Zurich says David Sims is to be chief executive for both its manufacturing and distribution businesses despite pledging to separate the two within five years.

Sims, who was revealed as chief executive of the UK life insurance business in June, is to take the same job with the as yet unnamed distribution business when it launches in January 2005.

Current Zurich Advice Network sales director and managing director of tied distribution Andy Ferns becomes sales director while former Zan marketing director Kevin Ronaldson, who led the steering group which designed the new-look Zurich presence, has left the company.

Steve Colsell, who with Ronaldson ran the project to design the new operation, will become chief finance officer and chief operations officer of the multi-tie operation.

The Zan franchise-based salesforce will cease to exist early in 2005 when the new business will start to trade with some of its 3,000-plus salespeople being merged into the new operation which will multi-tie with best of breed providers.

Colsell is working on the detail of the contracts which will bring existing ZAN advisers into the new operation.

Zurich says it intends to keep an interest in the business once it has been floated. It says Zurich IFA Network operation will not be affected by the changes.

Media relations manager Debi Isaac says: “Confirmation of these leadership roles is the first step in the evolution of our tied distribution as it enters the new world of multi-tie. The project to construct the detail of the new company continues apace and we hope to be able to confirm further details in the autumn.”

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