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Zurich CEO in line for bumper payday when shares vest in April

Posted On: Mar. 8, 2019 8:05 AM CST

Zurich CEO Mario Greco

(Reuters) — Zurich Insurance Group Ltd.’s Mario Greco is in line for a 13.4 million Swiss franc ($13.3 million) payday when shares granted him are unlocked next month, Europe’s fifth-biggest insurer said Friday.

Zurich — Switzerland’s most valuable financial company with a market capitalization of nearly 50 billion Swiss francs — will allow the chief executive access to shares worth an estimated 8.2 million francs.

The shares — part of the company’s long-term share incentive program, awarded in 2016 — will vest in April and lift the 59-year-old Italian executive’s 2018 compensation to 13.4 million francs.

Mr. Greco’s 2018 package rose to 8.8 million francs from 8.6 million franc in 2017 due to an increase in the value of short-term incentives. The 2018 figure included a 3.6 million franc contribution to the long-term payout which will vest in 2021.

Mr. Greco has overseen an overhaul at Zurich since he joined from Assicurazioni Generali SpA in March 2016, lifting its share price by almost half.

Earlier this year, Zurich announced a dividend increase following a 24% jump in annual profit, and said that would set a floor for future payouts.

It said its cost savings plan was on track and business operating profit rose 20% last year to $4.6 billion, driven by underlying growth across the business, particularly in life, and underwriting improvements in property/casualty.