According to chairman Ken Davy, the appointment was part of SimplyBiz’s growth plan for 2016.
Mr Davy said: “Mr Etherington has an illustrious history, most notably as the chief executive of one of the world’s largest insurance providers, and will make an excellent addition. “His insight and vision will prove valuable in developing the services and support we provide to the firms we serve.”
Mr Etherington has worked with SimplyBiz several times since its formation in 2002 and said he “long admired” the company’s ethos.
He said: “The group has an impressive relationship with its customers and suppliers, and works tirelessly for the good of the adviser community.”
Mr Etherington spent nearly a decade with Zurich, where he was chief executive and served as chief growth officer between 2008 and 2012.
He also spent time in senior management and strategic roles at NatWest and UnumProvident, and was instrumental in the launch and growth of software solution company bolero.net.
Mr Etherington is a fellow of several professional bodies, including the chartered Institute of Financial Services and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and the Institute of Export.