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Zurich to cut 800 jobs in £150m global cost-cutting drive

Zurich plans to cut up to 800 jobs across its global operations as the insurer seeks to make annual savings of £150m by 2016.

Zurich this week set out proposals to “reduce complexity and costs” over the next two years. The decision follows a review of the company’s corporate structure and will see layers of management between the group and its business units reduced. Operations in Switzerland, the UK and Ireland will be affected.

Zurich chief executive Martin Senn says: “We continue to make significant progress towards our strategic goal to make Zurich a focused and more profitable business.

“This latest initiative empowers our people to act decisively while also minimising overheads. It will be implemented through a measured process, with employees supported at every stage of the transition.”

In September 2012, Zurich’s UK arm announced 200 job cuts as part of a restructure of its operations ahead of the RDR.

The cuts were made across sales and marketing, senior management, finance, risk, compliance and operations.

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “In the UK protection market, Zurich is competing on price as much as quality. So if there are management costs to be stripped out, that could boost their profits.

“The risk in doing that is you could lose some very good people and the proposition could become weaker as a result.”

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