Zurich Financial Services has promoted Pierre Wauthier, currently group treasurer and head of centrally managed businesses at the Swiss insurance company, to the position of CFO. His new appointment, replacing the incumbent Dieter Wemmer, who is to leave Zurich by the end of the year, will become effective at the beginning of October, when Wauthier will report to CEO Martin Senn.
Commenting on Wauthier’s appointment in the company’s press release, Senn says: ‘His deep understanding of Zurich’s strategy and culture is underpinned by his extensive experience in a wide range of finance-related roles, making him the ideal person to continue to drive forward our financial management.’
This extensive experience includes the three years Wauthier served as head of investor relations and rating agency management at Zurich, between 1999 and 2002. Immediately after leaving the IR team he became CFO of Zurich’s wholly owned insurance subsidiary, Farmers Group, in the US.
Wauthier first joined Zurich in 1996 in a risk management role. Prior to that, he worked for JPMorgan in London and Paris. He has master’s degrees in law and international finance from the Sorbonne and l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, respectively.
Debra Broek, the current head of investor relations and ratings agencies, was appointed to the CFO position in September last year. She took over leadership of the IR function from Malcolm Gilbert, who moved on to the office of the CEO. Broek leads a 10-person IR team and reports to the CFO.
Zurich was short-listed for two awards at the IR Magazine Europe Awards 2011, held in London in June: best IR in the insurance sector and best IR in Switzerland. The insurance company lost out on the night, coming second to Allianz in insurance and third in the country award, which was won by Nestlé. But it did enter the Euro Top 100 ‒ IR magazine’s inaugural ranking of the companies with the best IR in Europe ‒ at number 50, becoming the third-highest ranked Swiss company in the table, behind Néstle and Novartis. Talking about the IR offering at Zurich, one buy-side analyst said: ‘There seems to be reality in the message and [my clients] are always satisfied after a meeting.’
[Article by James Chambers, Inside Investor Relations]
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