Zurich Insurance Group has appointed a new chief executive officer for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, following the departure of Amanda Blanc after just eight months in the role.
Alison Martin will take up the position after Ms Blanc’s sudden departure became the subject of speculation that there had been disagreements among the leadership team.
On Tuesday (9 July) FTAdviser’s sister publication, the Financial Times, reported that Blanc’s departure was the result of a personality clash with chief executive Mario Greco.
In a statement, Mr Greco said newly appointed Ms Martin was "perfectly suited" for the role.
He said: "She is an enthusiastic leader who combines industry expertise with the right mix of customer focus, people management and commercial experience.
"She is a mature leader with a strong international background. I am confident she will successfully expand our capabilities to meet customer needs in the region. She knows our culture, she knows our business and is well suited to take our EMEA business to the next level."
Ms Martin joined Zurich in October 2017 and became group chief risk officer in January 2018, when she was recognised for her role in influencing the company’s sustainability agenda. She will retain her responsibilities in this area in her new position, the company stated.
She joined from Swiss Re, where she was head of life and health business management in the four years prior to her departure. She had been with Swiss Re for 14 years in total.
Patrick Connolly, head of communications at Chase de Vere, said: "Life and insurance companies face many challenges as their competition and the needs of their customers continue to change.
"They can no longer attempt to be everything to everyone and instead need a focused strategy and the direction for this must come from the top.
"This is why we are seeing regular leadership changes, as these companies attempt to position themselves in the best way for the future."
Zurich Insurance Group currently employs about 54,000 people around the world, offering property and casualty and life & pension products in some 210 countries and territories around the world.
The business was founded in 1872 and is listed on the SIX Swiss Stock Exchange.