Zurich Makes Changes to U.K. General Insurance Executive Team

November 19, 2015

Zurich Insurance has announced several changes to the executive line up of its U.K. General Insurance business.

The appointments are as follows:

  • Karl Helgesen was named U.K. chief claims officer, effective December 2015, as Tony Emms leaves the business
  • UKGI Chief Operations Officer Barry Perkins will become program director for IT transformation in Zurich
  • Patrick Cohen was named managing director for personal lines and Endsleigh.

Helgesen, currently motor and casualty claims director, joined Zurich’s U.K. finance department in 2008, becoming motor claims director two years later. In 2013 his role was expanded to include operational and technical responsibility for both motor and casualty claims.

Tony Emms, CCO, has decided to leave the business in December 2015 after 12 years with Zurich, five as CCO. Prior to that his roles within the business included claims supply director and motor claims director. During his time with Zurich, he has led the U.K. claims function, leading innovation, and delivering a number of claims transformation initiatives, most recently the implementation of the new claims system. He is now planning to take a short break before deciding on his next challenge.

Barry Perkins, who has been chief operating officer since 2014, will take on a new role from January 2016 as program director for IT Transformation, EMEA, within Zurich’s global operations and technology team. He will be responsible for managing the extensive IT planning and implementation program across Zurich’s European business units.

Perkins joined Zurich in 2005, working for Farmers Insurance as account executive for the Personal Lines Group. His last two roles were as director of business change and IT for UKGI and then chief operating officer which, among other things, saw him lead the successful delivery of the company’s largest programs including “Guidewire.” (Guidewire is the company’s U.K. claims platform).

Recruitment for his successor is underway, and it is expected that an appointment to this position will be made soon, Zurich said.

Patrick Cohen has moved from his previous Swiss-based role as group head of customer and distribution for General Insurance to take up his new position in the U.K. He takes over from David Nichols, who has been running personal lines and Endsleigh on an interim basis. (Endsleigh Insurance is a Cheltenham, England-based insurance intermediary, which specializes in the student, education, graduate and sports markets).

Nichols will continue in his role as customer operations director.

Cohen, who was previously group head of customer and distribution for General Insurance, joined Zurich in 2012 as head of customer office for GI before becoming chief marketing officer in 2013. Before joining Zurich, Cohen held a number of senior roles with companies including GE Capital, McKinsey and Pepsi Co.

Source: Zurich Insurance

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