Switzerland-based Zurich Financial Services has announced that Paul van de Geijn, CEO of the group's global life business segment, will retire as planned in 2008, and that Mario Greco will be joining the company to succeed Mr Geijn as CEO after a transition period.

Mr Greco has experience in European life insurance markets. As CEO of Eurizon Financial Group, a unit of Italy-based Sanpaolo IMI Group, he helped increase profitability by over 35% between 2004 and 2006, while more than doubling profits of Italy-based insurer Ras during his tenure as CEO from 2000 to 2004. He has also held senior leadership posts with Allianz, where he was a member of the management board, and McKinsey & Company.

James Schiro, CEO of Zurich, said: Paul’s determination and drive repositioned global life as a valuable contributor to Zurich’s consistent earnings over the past four years. Moreover, our ability to attract someone of Mario’s proven capabilities to help take the operations to the next level of profitable growth is a testament to the fundamental strength and potential of our life business.