Zurich promotes Smith to head up Malaysia unit

13 August 2014   Category: News, Asia, Global, Malaysia   By Derek Au

Swiss insurer Zurich Insurance Group has appointed Philip Smith to head its Malaysian subsidiary.

Mr. Smith, a UK-qualified chartered accountant, has been named chief executive officer of Zurich Insurance Malaysia. He will be responsible for strengthening Zurich’s Malaysian business and will report to Mark Hartigan, CEO of Zurich’s life insurance business in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. He replaces Trevor Bull, who left the insurer earlier this year.

Most recently, Mr. Smith was head of business development and strategy for Zurich’s life business in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. He has been with Zurich and its predecessor companies for 20 years, ten of which have been in Asian offices, including Sydney, Beijing and Hong Kong.

Commenting on the appointment, Mr. Hartigan said: “Phil’s extensive experience coupled with his leadership capabilities make him the ideal person to accelerate the work we have started. He will continue to build our presence in Malaysia and drive profitable growth.”

The insurer has recently stepped up efforts to broaden its customer reach. It signed an MOU with Bank of China in January this year to explore bancassurance opportunities in Malaysia. It currently has 39 branches in Malaysia, offering a range of general and life insurance solutions.

Zurich Insurance Malaysia was previously known as Malaysian Assurance Alliance Berhad, until its acquisition by Zurich in 2011.