Zurich snaps up RSA’s financial comms chief

Switzerland: Zurich Financial Services, the Swiss insurance giant, has poached Royal & Sun Alliance (RSA) director of financial communication Malcolm Gilbert to become its group head of investor relations.

Gilbert, who has been in charge of RSA’s investor relations since 1998, joins at the insurer’s headquarters in Zurich next month. His hiring follows the promotion of Donna Galer to executive vice-president in the office of Zurich North America CEO John Amore.

Gilbert joined RSA through the company’s takeover of Dominion Assurance, where he had been managing director and finance director.

Gilbert’s appointment brings to an end the uncertainty that has surrounded the group chief investor relations post following last year’s departure of Pierre Guigui to Swiss banking giant UBS after only six months in the post. Since then, Galer has held the IR position on an interim basis.

Reporting to group financial director Patrick O’Sullivan, Gilbert will be in charge of the group’s international IR effort and responsible for a team of three. His key task will be to oversee the group’s transition from a restructuring to what is hoped will be sustained growth.

Zurich’s next results will be published on 19 February.

‘We need to build a platform for sustained profitability in the future, which we hope to achieve by making sure we maintain a constant dialogue with the main financial centres of the UK and the US,’ said the group’s head of media and public relations, Daniel Hofmann.

Last August Zurich Financial Services closed Zurich Life and sold the operation to the Swiss reinsurer Swiss Re. The group sells life insurance and related products in the UK through its Allied Dunbar arm.

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