Zurich’s Credit and Political Risk Group Set for Growth as Concern Rises over Global Political and Social Unrest

Zurich opens new locations in Toronto and Houston, makes key appointments to expand underwriting services to global businesses

Schaumburg, Ill. (Oct. 10, 2014) – Zurich Insurance has announced some major moves that position its Credit & Political Risk group for growth just as concern over political and social unrest around the world – stemming largely from the Russia-Ukraine and Iraq-Syria regions – has heightened.

The commercial insurer has opened new divisions in Toronto and Houston bringing Zurich’s total number of Credit & Political Risk offices around the world to 14; and has made key appointments to leadership roles in Singapore, the United Kingdom and the Americas.

“Today’s businesses are ready to take advantage of emerging markets around the world but they need to understand the unique risks in these arenas and how best to manage those exposures,” said Jim Thomas, head of Zurich’s Credit & Political Risk group. “Opening new locations in Toronto and Houston and appointing three knowledgeable individuals to leadership roles adds to our capacity to help our customers who sell or are investing in the developing world manage their credit and political risks.”

Zurich’s Credit & Political Risk expansion in North America includes the launch of its first credit & political risk underwriting presence in the Canadian market providing local service to Zurich’s customers and brokers in the Toronto area. The Canadian market presents particular opportunities in the energy and mining sectors, where emerging market risk is prevalent. Marvin Azzopardi, experienced working with international businesses and who has technical expertise and knowledge of the Canadian market is leading the Credit & Political Risk effort in Canada.

The new office in Houston also adds to Zurich’s large global network of credit & political risk underwriting expertise and brings local credit & political risk services to its longstanding and valued customers in the area. Texas is home to large global companies, as well as countless energy businesses that are operating in challenging political risk environments and taking on diverse credit risks. A native Texan, Matt Albrecht is heading up the office.

Three additional appointments also play a role in positioning Zurich’s credit & political risk group for growth:

  • James Brache is now head of the United Kingdom Credit & Political Risk group after most recently serving as deputy manager of the Americas. He brings extensive experience with emphasis on infrastructure, natural resources, and carbon credit projects and having worked on the ground in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
  • Richard Abizaid is now head of the Americas team and is based in Washington, D.C. Richard recently completed a five year assignment in the Singapore office where he served as regional manager of the Asia-Pacific region for the last two years.
  • Tim Warren is the new Regional Manager of the Asia-Pacific team. Tim has been in Singapore since 2009, having relocated there from the London office, and has been the deputy regional manager of the Asia-Pacific team for the last two years.

Zurich’s Credit & Political Risk insurance business unit is one of the leading providers of trade credit and political risk insurance products. Zurich Credit & Political Risk serves customers through underwriting offices located in 14 cities – Barcelona, Beijing, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Houston, London, New York, Paris, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Washington, DC and Zurich. Zurich provides political risk and trade credit insurance for financial institutions, multinational corporations, investors, exporters, contractors and infrastructure developers globally.

About Zurich

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With more than 55,000 employees, it provides a wide range of general insurance and life insurance products and services. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, including multinational corporations, in more than 170 countries. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at www.zurich.com.

In Canada, Zurich is focused on developing solutions for medium and large corporations, Canadian-based multinationals, and customers in the technology, transportation, public sector, real estate, construction, manufacturing and management industries. For more information about the products and services it offers and people Zurich employs around the world, visit www.zurichcanada.com.