Zurich_Financial_Services

Zurich Financial Services

Zurich Financial Services Group is a major financial services group based in Zürich, Switzerland.

Global operations

North America

The US consumer market is served primarily by Farmers Insurance Group the third largest personal lines property & casualty insurance group in America. Founded in 1928, the Farmers Exchanges and their subsidiaries, which are Zurich managed but not Zurich owned, operate in 41 states through a network of 17,000 exclusive agents and 1,100 independent agents.

The Chicago area-based Zurich North America is the third largest provider of commercial property-casualty insurance in North America, serving small business, mid-size markets and large corporate customers. In 2005, Zurich North America Commercial produced gross written premiums of USD 12.5 billion.

Other Zurich companies in North America include:

Europe

In Europe, Zurich's key markets are Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.

International

Zurich's International Businesses division includes operations in Latin America, Asia Pacific and Southern Africa. (The Greater China Market On 1961)

Scale

In 2006, Zurich increased its business operating profit (BOP) by 48% to USD 5,9 billion. It is also ranked best in the UK market as the customer base is moving towards this company because of the best customer service provided by this company.

Zurich Financial Services Group (Zurich) is an insurance-based financial services provider with a global network of subsidiaries and offices in North America and Europe as well as in Asia Pacific, Latin America and other markets. Founded in 1872, the Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. It employs approximately 60,000 people serving customers in more than 170 countries.

Zurich combines strong market positions in personal, commercial and corporate insurance on both sides of the Atlantic with strengthening positions in Asia and key emerging markets. We use our global reach across all lines of business. Our customers benefit from our ability to underwrite and provide services on many fronts, and from the combination of our international expertise, global strength and detailed local knowledge.

Charity

Charities and community groups across the UK are set to benefit as Challenge 2008, the annual volunteer event organised by Zurich’s Community Trust, the charitable arm of leading financial services group Zurich in the UK, launches across the country.

Started in 1990, Challenge is one of the largest corporate charity programmes in the UK. Every year Zurich encourages organisations local to its main offices to challenge its 8,000 staff to help make a difference. This year the company received in excess of 200 challenges from organisations based around Zurich's main office locations in Fareham, Farnborough, Swindon, Cheltenham, Leeds and Birmingham.

Details of the challenges were sent to staff in Zurich and staff in Capita working on the Zurich account yesterday and within a couple of hours over 130 of the projects had already been taken up. The challenges range from building a fox-proof chicken house for single homeless people's charity Threshold Housing Link in Swindon to decorating a classroom which hasn’t had a lick of paint for twenty years at Meadows Special School in Birmingham to arranging a day out for people with disabilities for people from Bells Piece in Farnham.

Cheltenham based children’s bereavement charity, Winston’s Wish, which is one of Zurich's Community Trust local charity partners and has benefited from the Challenge initiative for over five years, has challenged staff this year to hand out refreshments and medals at their Family Fun Run and to help run their Wish Upon a Star campaign in the Regent Arcade in Cheltenham where the public are encouraged to purchase a star and dedicate it to someone special.

Commenting, Julie Stokes, Founder of Winston’s Wish said 'The Challenge volunteers are an inspiration to all and we're proud to call them friends as well as supporters'.

Pam Webb, Head of the Zurich Community Trust comments: “Challenge has become a key annual volunteering event at Zurich and very much part of its corporate culture. It is eagerly anticipated and always captures the imagination of Zurich staff, inspiring them to do great things to help local charities and community groups.”

Criticism

In 2006, Zurich Financial Services settled a $171 million case relating to bid rigging and price fixing. "Businesses shopping for commercial insurance were deceived into believing they were getting the best deals available," said Abbott. "The whole anti-competitive scheme was an intentional smoke screen by several insurance players to artificially inflate premiums and pay improper commissions to those who brokered the deals." The states included in the settlement were Texas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Zurich is also required to pay about $122 million in refunds to commercial policyholders in a New Jersey class action lawsuit settlement.

Zurich Financial Services settled a bid-rigging and improper "finite reinsurance" transactions probe. Zurich Financial agreed to pay $153 million in restitution and penalties and agreed to a series of reforms. Zurich apologized and acknowledged that "certain of its employees violated both acceptable business practices and Zurich's own standards of conduct by engaging in improper bidding practices and the ‘finite reinsurance’ transactions described in the Assurance of Discontinuance." The states included in the settlement were New York, Connecticut and Illinois.

In May 2007, Zurich Capital Markets, a subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services, paid $16.8 million to settle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for helping four hedge funds disguise their identities to avoid detection when making frequent trades in mutual fund shares. An SEC director stated, “By knowingly financing their hedge funds clients' deceptive market timing, ZCM reaped substantial fees at the expense of long-term mutual-fund shareholders"

On May 5th 2008 Zurich announced a further 900 job losses in the general insurance sector of their UK operation.

See also

References

External links

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