Zurich Insurance is merging its corporate and commercial businesses to form a single unit, dubbed commercial insurance.

The move is part of the company's plan to simplify and strengthen its organization.

Zurich Insurance CEO Mario Greco said: “Combining our Corporate and Commercial businesses will allow us to better utilize our skills, systems and capabilities in the individual countries and across the world, and to unite our customer interaction and go-to-market approach worldwide.”

The new commercial insurance unit is expected to leverage both corporate and commercial insurance expertise on five continents under a single umbrella.

It will assist businesses around the globe to understand and protect themselves from risks.

The insurance company also announced that it would create a new global specialty lines function that would come under the commercial insurance unit. It will include credit lines (political risk, surety and trade credit), marine, aviation and energy.

The new unit will be headed by Canadian James Shea who will take over as CEO. Shea was until recently president of AIG’s Global Financial Lines.

Thomas Hürlimann, who has been the CEO of the group’s Global Corporate, would be stepping down. He will work with Shea towards a smooth transition while continuing to work on special projects and will report to the group CEO Mario Greco.

Apart from Shea, Zurich has also made other appointments that include Latin America CEO Claudia Dill and Asia Pacific CEO as the executive committee members following a transformation which began in June.

Zurich added that the appointments are effective from next month while adding a clause that they are subject to regulatory approval.

Image : Zurich offices in Madrid, Spain. Photo : courtesy of Luis García/Wikipedia.