(Bloomberg) — Zurich Insurance Group AG, the biggest Swiss insurer, plans to save $250 million annually by cutting as many as 800 jobs after lowering its profit goal in December, the company said.
Zurich plans to remove management layers between the headquarters and the individual business units to reduce costs, the insurer said in a statement today. The company said it would achieve the savings by the end of 2015.
The company’s fourth-quarter profit was below analysts’ estimates because of $600 million of reorganization costs. In December, Zurich said George Quinn will take over as chief financial officer in April, leaving his current position as Swiss Re’s CFO. He will replace Pierre Wauthier, who committed suicide in August.
“We continue to make significant progress toward our strategic goal to make Zurich a focused and more profitable business,” Chief Executive Officer Martin Senn said in the statement. The changes are subject to discussions with employees and their representatives, the insurer said.
The company’s shares rose 0.1 percent to 268.80 Swiss francs by 11:28 a.m. in Zurich trading, bringing the gain since the beginning of the year to 4.2 percent. That compares with a loss of 0.2 percent in the 37-member European STOXX Insurance 600 (Price) Index.