Swiss-headquartered banking and insurance provider Zurich Financial Services has chosen Julian Lopez to take over as chief executive officer of its business in Spain effective April 1, 2006.

Lopez will replace retiring Jose Cela, who has been the CEO in Spain since 1994. Julian Lopez will report to Dieter Wemmer, CEO Europe General Insurance, and be part of the European General Insurance executive committee.

Seven year veteran of Zurich in Spain, Julian Lopez currently serves as head of yrea de Negocio Zurich, where he has been responsible for market management, General Insurance underwriting and distribution for the consumer and small business segments.

In explaining the reasons for choosing Lopez, Dieter Wemmer said: …Julian Lopez is a successor who will assure continuity and bring along the leadership skills to move Zurich Spain forward. I expect Julian to further strengthen our market position in Spain and drive the operation for continued profitable growth.