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ZURICH (Reuters) – Reinsurer Swiss Re promoted David Cole to finance chief and raised its payout to shareholders after an unexpected rise in annual profit, taking the sting out of falling prices for new business.

Cole, who has been chief risk officer since 2011, will replace Chief Financial Officer George Quinn when he joins Zurich Insurance Group in May.

Swiss Re and rivals such as Hannover and Munich Re help insurance companies cover the cost of major damage claims, such as for hurricanes or earthquakes, in exchange for part of the premiums their customers pay.

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