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Amanda Blanc to leave AXA for Zurich — new chairman announced | Insurance Business

In the insurance world, moves between firms don’t get much bigger than this – and today we have a double header.

Zurich Insurance has announced that chief executive officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Gary Shaughnessy, will step down from his role in the fourth quarter of the year, according to Reuters. The move doesn’t come as a surprise as Shaughnessy was suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and is said to be looking for more of a balance between his working life and personal life.

His replacement, however, may raise a few eyebrows in UK insurance circles. Incoming is none other than AXA’s CEO for the UK and Ireland, Amanda Blanc. Blanc became a member of the board at AXA back in 2011 when appointed CEO for AXA insurance commercial lines – but will now assume Shaughnessy’s role. She has previously been president for the Chartered Insurance Institute and also sits on the board of the Association of British Insurers.

In a separate announcement, Zurich Insurance also revealed a new chairman with Michael Lies, former Swiss Re CEO, elected by shareholders and set to serve for one year. He comes in after the retirement of Tom de Swaan who spent five years in the chairman role and 12 years in total on the board.

While at Swiss Re, Lies worked across both the life and non-life segments and has a strong focus on growing business in both South America and Europe. He also spent time as chairman of global partnerships for the firm and worked with international bodies and governments.

We’ll bring you more on both announcements as it becomes available.



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