Zurich majors on risk service

Zurich\'s launch into the group risk market will see the provider focusing on group income protection and life lump sums.

Jonathan Plumtree will head up the new business having joined Zurich 11 months ago after nearly 20 years at Unum where he was finance director.

The provider, which is committed to launching a group risk arm early in 2009 that will be known as Zurich Corporate Risk, says it will not offer critical illness cover or dependents’ pensions. Plumtree says Zurich Corporate Risk will look to differentiate itself from competitors through a high level of service. He says existing corporates of all sizes that are already clients of Zurich’s pensions and general insurance businesses will be targeted, along with virgin clients of all sizes.

Former Friends Provident group risk marketing manager Bob Cheesewright takes on the role of proposition director, while Nick Homer, formerly of Norwich Union, becomes proposition development manager.

Former Unum customer solutions director Cheryl Brewer becomes distribution director and Jason Cripps is operations director, moving across from Zurich’s corporate pensions department. John Roberts becomes group risk actuary at the new provider, joining from Canada Life, where he was finance director.

Plumtree says: “We will offer products that are rich in terms of the features they offer. We intend to offer solutions for most parts of the market. To win in this market you have to be competitive on price. But our am is to offer higher levels of service than our competitors. The things that annoy advisers are providers making too many errors and not being proactive enough. We don’t have a legacy book and we expect to be responsive in terms of turning things round when we says we will. We intend to get these little things right.”