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Zurich to open central and eastern Europe business unit

Swiss-based insurance company Zurich Financial Services has unveiled plans to establish a new business unit named Central and Eastern Europe, to capitalize on the opportunities presented in these growing markets.

Headquartered in Vienna, the unit will be a division of Europe General Insurance (EGI). Initially, it will comprise only of Zurich’s existing business units in Austria and Russia

Lutz Bauer, currently chief claims officer for EGI, has been appointed to the position of CEO of the new unit.

This new business unit is another example of our integrated strategy to leverage existing group strengths and resources to penetrate fast growing insurance markets, said Dieter Wemmer, CEO of EGI. In his new role, Lutz will accelerate the growth plans already in place in Austria and Russia and use our existing foundation of operational excellence in seeking new profitable growth opportunities throughout central and eastern Europe, focusing primarily on retail business.

Zurich Austria is already a part of EGI but the Russian business unit will be transferred to EGI as of January 1, 2007.