NU Online News Service

Zurich Financial Services Group announced today that it is cutting 400 positions in its North America Commercial unit, calling the move a step to “proactively manage its cost structure.”

“Zurich is positioning itself for continued leadership in the North American marketplace,” the Switzerland-based insurance company said in a press statement.

“It will capture efficiencies in targeted areas while continuing to invest to deliver distinctive customer service and drive profitable growth,” the statement continued, noting that the 400 back office positions account for roughly 4 percent of the staff supporting the North America Commercial division.

“Zurich is committed to winning in the North American market,” said Mike Foley, chief executive officer of NAC. “Our industry-leading approach–particularly in areas of underwriting, claims and risk engineering–is a crucial contributor to our success,” he said in the statement.

Mr. Foley said that because the positions being eliminated are primarily nonmarket-facing roles, the actions will not disrupt customer service. “We are focused on delivering an even stronger experience to our customers and distributors while maintaining our underwriting discipline and reducing expenses in targeted areas,” he said.

Zurich said the actions are part of a broader program designed to enable continued profitable growth while also improving the company’s expense structure over time.

“We will continue to invest in underwriting and claims capabilities, as well as enhanced systems and tools,” Mr. Foley said. “Our operational transformation is an ongoing effort to improve our operating model. We will become more efficient while we invest in areas that will help us pursue new markets and business opportunities and deliver even greater value to our customers and distributors,” he said.