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Martin Senn steps down from Zurich amid problems at Swiss insurer

Martin Senn steps down from Zurich amid problems at Swiss insurer

Martin Senn, CEO of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd., stepped down Tuesday following poor financial results, several other high-profile exits and other problems at the Swiss insurer that have emerged over the past several months.

Mr. Senn, who headed Zurich for six years and whose likely exit has been rumoured for weeks, will be replaced by Tom de Swaan as interim CEO while a replacement for Mr. Senn is found, the insurer announced Tuesday. Mr. de Swaan, a Dutch national, is chairman of the board of management of Zurich Insurance.

Mr. Senn, who was chief investment officer of Zurich before being named CEO, is stepping down by mutual consent and will leave the insurer at the end of the year, a Zurich statement said.

“After 10 very intense years with Zurich, I have decided to step down as CEO and make way for new leadership,” Mr. Senn said in the statement. “There have been some setbacks in recent months, but I am convinced that we have put in place the right measures for Zurich to reach it targets.”

Zurich Insurance announced earlier this fall that it was reviewing its property/casualty insurance operations after its third-quarter profits plunged nearly 80%.

That followed several other announcements from the insurer that observers said signaled problems. The insurer pulled out of a bid to buy London-based rival RSA Insurance Group P.L.C., and announced last week that it was pulling out of nonlife business in the Middle East.

And last month, the insurer announced job cuts in its U.K. operations.

In addition, Mike Kerner, head of Zurich’s general insurance operations, and Dan Riordan, CEO of global corporate in North America, have left the insurer.

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