Zurich Financial Services Business Information, Profile, and History
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History of Zurich Financial Services
Zurich Financial Services is one of the largest Europe-based insurance firms. The group has strong positions in the property and casualty insurance markets of Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In life insurance, Zurich focuses on the same three nations, with particularly strong positions in the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The group's key insurance brands include Zurich Insurance (in Europe), Allied Dunbar and Eagle Star (both in the United Kingdom), and Farmers Group and Universal Underwriters (both in the United States). Zurich Financial Services was formed in 1998 from the merger of Swiss-based Zurich Insurance Company and the financial services operations of U.K.-based B.A.T. Industries PLC, the latter of which included Allied Dunbar, Eagle Star, and Farmers. In addition to its main insurance operations, Zurich was also involved in other sectors of the financial services industry as of mid-2001, including reinsurance and asset management, but the group's reinsurance unit, Zurich Re, was in the process of being spun off into a separate, independent firm, and Zurich Scudder Investments, the group's main asset management business, was on the verge of being sold off in whole or in part.
Early Years: Focusing on Reinsurance and Marine Insurance
The insurance business developed relatively late in Switzerland but has gone on to achieve great importance. Initially the basic concepts of the business were taken from neighboring countries and adapted to Swiss conditions. Swiss insurance practice, legislation, and expertise reached such a high level, however, that they spread abroad. The forerunners of Zurich Financial Services—including Zürich Versicherungs-Gesellschaft (Zürich Insurance Company)—played a decisive part in the international activities of the Swiss insurance business from the start.
The original phase of growth in the Swiss insurance business took place in the middle of the 19th century. Its development was sustained by the beginning of industrialization, the building of the railway network, the creation of more efficient credit banks, and the enterprising spirit of the time. Switzerland was emerging then as a leading financial center and was set to become one of the most important countries in the insurance industry. Statesman and entrepreneur Alfred Escher made a considerable contribution to the insurance business, and with the founding in 1856 of the Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (Swiss Credit Bank) he paved the way for Zürich's international influence as a financial center.
Initially insurance business was carried out by specialist companies in the individual insurance classes. Two insurance companies in Basel and in St. Gall were already working in marine insurance. As exports were growing, it was felt by Swiss economists and other financial experts that it was necessary to create another marine insurance company in Zürich. Seventeen leading manufacturers and traders became members of the founding committee, formed in June 1869 on the initiative of the board of the Swiss Credit Bank. On October 9, 1869, the statutes of the Schweiz Transport-Versicherungs-Gesellschaft (Switzerland Transport Insurance Company) were approved by the ruling council of the canton of Zürich and on January 15, 1870, the company began trading. The first president of the board was John Syz-Landis and the first managing director Wilhelm Berend Witt. It was intended from the outset that the company should be international in its activities.
It soon became apparent to the young company that it required the support of considerable reinsurance, which could not be covered by existing companies. Schweiz therefore took the decision to found its own reinsurance company. The shareholders in Schweiz were invited to take a share in the proposed company through a circular letter, dated October 23, 1872, from a ten-man founding committee under the leadership of John Syz-Landis. The members of the committee already had collaborated in the founding of Schweiz and belonged to the board of the company. The new company was to be run by the firm Versicherungs-Verein (Insurance Association) and was to take on a part of Schweiz's risks in the manner of a surplus reinsurance. By November 16, 1872, the statutes had already been approved by the ruling council of the canton of Zürich. The licensing document carried the signature of the poet Gottfried Keller, who was first state clerk in Zürich from 1861 to 1876, and in that capacity signed the documents for the ruling council.
Close ties existed between the two companies thanks to the unified personnel in all their divisions, operating from one office. Together with reinsurance, the Versicherungs-Verein from its inception also dealt with direct marine insurance both at home and abroad. Substantial damage claims and fierce competition in the insurance markets caused considerable problems for the young company. The direct marine and reinsurance businesses on their own proved insufficiently profitable to sustain the young company, which consequently looked towards new fields of activity.
Late 19th Century: Switching to Accident and Liability Insurance
On a proposal put forward by the board, it was therefore decided at the Versicherungs-Verein general meeting in April 1874 to extend the company's activities to accident insurance. This class of insurance had grown rapidly in importance as industrialization spread. At first, however, this type of insurance had been limited, covering travel insurance and workers' insurance. Accident insurance first became available in England, where from 1849 the Railway Passengers Assurance Company was the first to provide insurance cover against railway accidents. Later it was to extend cover to other types of transportation. In Germany a law was first passed on June 7, 1871, which took into consideration the greater risks for employees caused by the increasing mechanization of factories. This law forced manufacturers to pay compensation for any personal injury to their workers. The increased liability made it necessary for companies to insure their workforce against accidents in the factory and the requirement brought about the creation of collective workers' insurance (Arbeiterkollektivversicherung).
In view of the high level of industrialization occurring in the Swiss economy, it was evident that similar developments would take place in the confederation. The board of Versicherungs-Verein recognized the sign of the times and broke new ground in Switzerland with its introduction of accident insurance, which occurred in 1875. The significance of this step was underlined by the change in the company's name to the Transport- und Unfall-Versicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft Zürich (Transport and Accident Insurance plc Zürich). The importance that Swiss industry attached to this branch of insurance is shown by the fact that a further accident insurance company was also created in Winterthur in 1875.
Zurich's growth as a separate company only began with the introduction of accident insurance. Transport insurance was discontinued "for the foreseeable future" at the end of 1880, and the company stopped taking on more reinsurance business. For a while the name of the company stayed as it had been, although from 1886 it added an explanatory sentence to clarify its activities, declaring that "the company deals exclusively in accident insurance." When liability insurance began to be developed in Germany as a new branch of insurance alongside accident insurance, with the two branches becoming independent of one another, Zurich also started offering liability insurance. The company was able from then on to offer insurance coverage not only against accidents but also against employers' liabilities for assessment of damages. The expansion of business into these areas led to the company's change of name to the Zürich Allgemeine Unfall- und Haftpflicht-Versicherungs Aktiengesell-schaft (Zurich General Accident and Liability Insurance plc) on December 14, 1894. The company kept this name until 1955. These changes finally brought about the complete separation of Zurich from Schweiz, although friendly relations and business contacts were preserved. Zurich now began to develop into a worldwide company.
The company first had to build up its own independent workforce. Until 1875 Schweiz's staff had also taken care of Zurich's business. The development of accident insurance required a specialized staff, both for internal running of the company and for customer services, since this insurance sector catered to a different clientele and operated within a completely different structure. This was particularly the case for liability insurance, with its complex legal aspects. In 1880 the company had 27 employees. By the turn of the century the number had grown to 140. Business in this branch of insurance was stimulated in Switzerland by laws passed between 1875 and 1881 establishing liability for railway and steamer companies as well as for factories.
Together with its activities in Switzerland, company business was extended to other areas at an early stage. The first step was taken as early as 1875 in Germany, where agencies were opened in Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Reutlingen. Further areas of business to be developed were the Rhineland, Westphalia, Saxony, and Alsace-Lorraine, the latter at that time part of the German empire. In the same year representative offices were opened in Austria-Hungary and in Denmark. Dealings in France followed in 1878. The Berlin branch which was opened in 1880 came to take on a particularly important role in the company's further development, since it was from here that business in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia was coordinated.
Early 20th Century: Entering U.S. and Other Markets
At the end of 1880, with the resignation of W. Witt, Zurich was for the first time given its own chief executive, Heinrich Müller. He was devoted to the business and set the company on a firm footing without neglecting the continued development of its activities abroad. His successor, Fritz Meyer, came from the treasury for the town of Zürich and made sure he consolidated the company's technical reserves. During his time in office, from 1900 to 1918, the company erected its own administrative office building on the Mythenquai in Zürich, where the company headquarters are still to be found. Above all, it also developed its workers' accident insurance business in France and considerably expanded its business in offering insurance against liability in Germany, where the introduction of the Civil Code on January 1, 1900, extended the need for such insurance into numerous new areas. The company's premium income in 1900 was SFr l5.4 million. Business in Switzerland accounted for SFr 3.7 million of this total, while France represented the largest premium income with SFr 5.5 million, followed by Germany with SFr 5 million.
A decisive move for Zurich was engaging in new business in the United States, although Zurich already ran its U.S. subsidiary in Chicago in collaboration with a German fire insurance company. Zurich received the authorization to trade in the state of New York in 1912. The New York insurance commissioner had great influence on other states in the union. The U.S. accident and liability insurance company grew unexpectedly strong and brought in considerable premium income, but was also a heavy burden in terms of provisions and costs. To cover reserves, a large amount of capital was invested in U.S. dollars in the United States; after World War I this capital formed the basis for the further expansion of the U.S. company. Since then it occupied a particularly important central role in the Zurich insurance group's activities. At the same time Zurich gained a foothold in England, Canada, Italy, and Spain. In 1925 an agreement was made with Ford, the largest car manufacturer of that time, whereby preferential insurance terms were offered on Ford cars.
While establishing branches and founding subsidiaries under its own name in foreign countries according to national law, Zurich also acquired domestic insurance companies. This policy, like the starting of activities in the United States and the creation of a life assurance company for the group, dated from the time of August Leonhard Tobler, who first served as vice-director of the company and then became the head of Zurich from 1918 to 1927. It was under his leadership that the company developed into an internationally active insurance group, a status that continued to grow with the acquisition of substantial insurance companies. The continuity in the management of the company contributed to this achievement.
During the first 50 years of its existence, Zurich's activities were limited to damage and accident insurance. As a result of the decline of the German currency because of inflation after World War I, the German life assurance companies that held a strong position in the Swiss insurance markets were no longer able to fulfill their commitments in Swiss francs. They were therefore forced to withdraw from Switzerland. Swiss companies filled the gaps created in the market, with the result that numerous new life assurance companies were founded there. In the course of these developments the Vita Lebensversicherungs-Gesellschaft was created as a subsidiary of Zurich. It soon undertook business abroad, where it grew rapidly. It showed pioneering spirit when in 1926 it introduced a health service which offered regular checkups with a doctor and published medical leaflets giving advice on healthy living.
Numerous Acquisitions in Postwar Era
World War II caused the loss for Zurich of important areas of business in central and Eastern Europe. The rebuilding of Zurich in Germany began in Düsseldorf and Frankfurt. The Frankfurt tower block next to the old opera house became the administrative center for the German Zurich network in 1961. A string of further insurance companies was tied to the German branch of the company. The Deutsche Allgemeine Versicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft (German General Accident Insurance Ltd.), founded in 1923, concentrated particularly on offering motor insurance through direct sales. Zurich resumed its policy of international expansion, which had been halted by the war, in numerous other countries. The company opened many new offices as well as its own life assurance companies, in particular in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
The period after World War II was marked for Zurich by its development into a company dealing in all branches of insurance. Because of the systematic extension of the classes covered by the company, the branch-related balancing-out of risks was put alongside the international one. Until the beginning of the 1950s, the emphasis of activities had lain in the field of accident and liability insurance, whose dominant position was expressed in Zurich's slogan "The world's largest purely accident and liability insurer." The company was innovative in its introduction of these branches of insurance in major countries. The company's expansion into further sectors was reflected in its change of name to Zürich Versicherungs-Gesellschaft (Zurich Insurance Company) in 1955. In 1970 fire insurance was also offered by the company for the first time in Switzerland.
The acquisition of large insurance companies and groups in various foreign countries had a crucial bearing on the scope of the company's business and was a policy carried out under the management of Fritz Gerber, the chairman and for many years director general of the company. Three important examples illustrated this policy. In 1965 Zurich bought the Alpina Versicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft in Switzerland, which had established its own network abroad. In 1969 Agrippina Versicherungs AG was acquired from a private bank. Agrippina had been created in Cologne in 1844 as a marine insurance company and was therefore well established in the German insurance market, with a number of subsidiaries of its own. The acquisition in 1989 of the Maryland Casualty Group, with its headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland, greatly strengthened Zurich's business with private customers as well as doubling premium income in the United States.
1990s and Beyond: Becoming a Global Insurance Power
From 1972, Zurich's centenary year, to 1990, the parent company's gross premiums rose from SFr 2.3 billion to SFr 6.1 billion, and those of the Zurich insurance group from SFr 4 billion to SFr 17.1 billion. By 1990, Zurich did business worldwide in some 80 countries, with a particularly strong presence in its traditional markets in Switzerland, the United States, and Germany. Its successful international development could be attributed largely to the use the company had made of the respected name of the financial center of Zürich together with its historical role in the expansion of accident and personal liability insurance. With a view to future business in the European Common Market, Zurich International companies were established in Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and the Netherlands and offered special Euro-policies for industrial insurance. This type of insurance was supported by computer system Zurinet, ensuring international communication of information.
In 1991 Rolf Hüppi took over as president and CEO of Zürich, with Gerber remaining chairman. Under the leadership of Hüppi, a 28-year veteran of the firm, Zurich in the early 1990s placed an emphasis on targeting specific sectors of the insurance market within the countries in which it operated. Faced with the heightened—and increasingly globalized—competitive landscape of the 1990s, Hüppi believed that his company needed to rein in its sprawling international operations to successfully compete. Peripheral and underperforming businesses were jettisoned in favor of such core niches as the Swiss life insurance market. Hüppi bolstered the latter through the 1991 acquisition of Geneva Insurance and through a 1992 deal with Swiss Bank Corp. (SBC), through which Zurich began selling life insurance at SBC branches. U.S. operations were expanded in 1993 with the establishment of Zurich Reinsurance Center, which quickly became one of the largest reinsurers in the United States.
In the mid- to late 1990s, with the global consolidation of the financial services sector progressing at a rapid clip, Hüppi (who became chairman in 1995) thoroughly transformed Zurich through a series of major transactions. In early 1996 Zurich, through a $2 billion transaction, acquired an 80 percent interest in Kemper Corporation, which was headquartered in Long Grove, Illinois, and a 97 percent interest in Kemper Financial Services, the latter being the asset management unit of the former. By gaining control of Kemper and its two life insurance subsidiaries, Zurich gained its first significant presence in the U.S. life insurance market and increased its overall presence in the life insurance sector, a company goal. The addition of Kemper Financial Services greatly advanced Zurich's position in asset management and gave it a foothold in the U.S. money management business. The group had first entered this sector in 1990 with the establishment of Zurich Investment Management. Kemper, which was renamed Zurich Kemper Investments Inc., managed $42 billion in mutual fund assets at the time of the takeover.
Zurich Kemper was soon greatly expanded with the acquisition of majority control of Scudder, Stevens & Clark Inc., a New York mutual fund firm with about $120 billion in assets under management. In a complicated transaction, Zurich paid about $2 billion to take control of Scudder and merge it into Zurich Kemper to form Scudder Kemper Investments, which initially was 69.5 percent owned by Zurich and 30.5 percent owned by Scudder's senior management. Scudder Kemper (which was later renamed Zurich Scudder Investments) was based in New York.
Further growth occurred in 1998 when Zürich merged with British American Financial Services (BAFS), the financial services unit of U.K.-based B.A.T. Industries PLC, in a $38 billion transaction. The merger created a "new" Zurich, which began operating under the name Zurich Financial Services. A dual holding company structure was set up whereby Zurich was 55 percent owned by Zurich Allied AG, which had a listing on the Swiss Exchange, and 45 percent owned by Allied Zurich p.l.c., which had a listing on the London Stock Exchange. The addition of BAFS increased Zurich's gross premiums written from $23.7 billion to $40 billion and made Zurich the fifth largest insurance group in the world. Among the insurance holdings of BAFS was Los Angeles-based Farmers Group, Inc., one of the largest property-casualty insurance firms in the United States. BAFS also brought to Zurich substantial U.K. insurance operations, including Allied Dunbar Assurance, one of the largest life insurance and pension firms in the United Kingdom, and Eagle Star Holdings, a leading U.K. multiline insurer with strong commercial lines. The enlarged U.K. operations of Zurich led the group to begin speaking of having three "home" markets: the United States, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. Zurich also gained an additional asset management business, that of London-based Threadneedle Asset Management, which increased the group's assets under management from $262 billion to $341.8 billion. This made Zurich one of the top ten asset managers in the world. Overall the newly formed Zurich intended to focus on four core businesses: non-life insurance, life insurance, reinsurance, and asset management.
In October 2000 the complicated structure of Zurich Financial was simplified with the unification of the group under a single Swiss holding company, also called Zurich Financial Services. The new Zurich had a primary stock listing on the Swiss Exchange and a secondary listing in London. Unfortunately, by this time, Zurich was being hurt by poor performance at the Zurich Scudder unit, which was suffering from difficulties integrating the varied corporate cultures that had existed at Scudder and Kemper, as well as from the volatile equity markets of 2000 and 2001.
Disappointing groupwide earnings led to the announcement in early 2001 that Zurich planned to exit from the reinsurance market in order to focus on non-life insurance, life insurance, and asset management. With completion planned by the end of 2001, the reinsurance division, Zurich Re, would be spun off into an independent, separately traded public firm, under a new name. Other underperforming units were slated to be divested as well. Zurich also planned to restructure its head office with the aim of achieving annual savings of $200 million by 2002. Soon after the announcement of the spinoff of Zurich Re, Zurich announced that it was exploring strategic options for its troubled Zurich Scudder unit, options that reportedly ranged from a joint venture to an outright sale of the unit. The most likely scenario appeared to be that Zurich would sell a significant stake in Zurich Scudder to another financial services firm, merge Zurich Scudder into that firm, and retain an ownership stake in the merged entity. Zurich launched further restructuring efforts in July 2001 with the consolidation of its global operations into five divisions, four of which were geographically oriented: Continental Europe, North America Corporate, North America Consumer/Latin America, and United Kingdom, Ireland, Southern Africa, and Asia/Pacific. The other division, Global Asset, included Zurich Scudder and other asset management businesses, such as Zurich Capital Markets, Centre, and Capital Z Partners. Clearly, Zurich Financial Services was working on many fronts in its attempt to accomplish an early 21st-century turnaround.
Principal Subsidiaries: Zurich Argentina; Zurich Iguazú Comp. de Seg. (Argentina); Zurich Australian Insurance; Zurich Australia Ltd.; Zurich Financial Services Australia; Zürich Kosmos (Austria; 99.98%); Micoba Holdings (Bahamas); D.B.V. Algemene Verzekeringsmaatschappij (Belgium); Zurich International (Belgique) (Belgium); Zurich Universal (Belgium; 66.94%); BG Investments (Bermuda); Centre Group Holdings (Bermuda); Centre Life Reinsurance (Bermuda); Centre Reinsurance (Bermuda); Centre Reinsurance (U.S.) (Bermuda); CentreLine Reinsurance (Bermuda); Centre Solutions (Bermuda); Centre Solutions (U.S.) (Bermuda); Coral Shield Insurance (Bermuda); ZCM Holdings (Bermuda); Zurich Asia Holdings (Bermuda; 90%); Zurich Centre Group Holdings (Bermuda); Zurich International (Bermuda); Berfin Ltd. (Bermuda); Capital Z Investments, L.P. (Bermuda; 99.5%); ZG Investments II Ltd. (Bermuda); ZG Investments III Ltd. (Bermuda); ZG Investments Ltd. (Bermuda); Zurich Global Energy Ltd. (Bermuda); La Boliviana Ciacruz de Seguros (Bolivia; 51%); Zurich-Brasil Seguros (Brazil); Zurich Participaçoes e Representaçoes (Brazil); Peopleplus Insurance Company (Canada); World Travel Protection Canada; Zurich Canadian Holdings; Zurich Life Insurance Company of Canada; Zurich Life of Canada Holdings; Chilena Consolidada (Chile; 78.46%); Chilena Consolidada Vida (Chile; 98.94%); Inversiones Suizo Chilena (Chile); Zurich Investments Chile S.A. (99.96%); Rimswell Investments (Cyprus); Zürich Kindlustuse Eest Aktiaselts (Estonia); Eagle Star Vie (France); Zurich Epargne (France); Zurich International (France; 99.98%); ZURITEL (France; 99.99%); DA Deutsche Allgemeine (Germany); DA Deutsche Allgemeine Leben (Germany); Patria Versicherung (Germany; 99.2%); Zürich-Agrippina Beteiligungs-AG (Germany); Zürich-Agrippina Krankenversicherung (Germany); Zürich Investmentgesellschaft mbH (Germany); Zürich Rückversicherung (Köln) (Germany; 98%); Zürich Agrippina Versicherung Aktiegesellschaft (Germany; 99.6%); Zürich Agrippina Lebensversicherungs AG (Germany; 99.2%); Zurich Insurance (Guam; 90%); Paofoong Insurance Company (Hong Kong); Zurich Insurance (Asia), Ltd. (Hong Kong); Centre Representative (Asia) Limited (Hong Kong); Rimswell Hungary Consulting (Hungary); Zürich Biztosító Rt. (Hungary); Zurich Asset Management (India) Ltd. (75%); P.T. Zurich Insurance (Indonesia; 80%); P.T. Zurich PSP Life Insurance (Indonesia; 77.5%); Centre Insurance International (Ireland); Centre Reinsurance International (Ireland); Eagle Star Insurance (Ireland); Eagle Star Life Assurance of Ireland; Orange Stone Holdings (Ireland); Orange Stone Reinsurance (Ireland); Orange Stone Reinsurance Dublin (Ireland); Centre Finance Dublin International (Ireland); Erbasei (Italy); SIAR (Italy); La Sicurtà 1879 (Italy); Zurich International (Italia) (Italy; 99.99%); Zurich Investments Life (Italy); Zurich Investments SGR (Italy); Zurich Investments Sim (Italy); Zurich Investments Gest. SIM (Italy); ZurigoSim S.p.A. (Italy); AAS Zurich Latvia; UADB Zurich Draudimas (Lithuania); Zurich Eurolife (Luxembourg); Zurich Insurance (Malaysia; 90%); Eagle Star Malta; Zurich Finance (Mauritius); Zurich Compañia de Seguros (Mexico; 98.8%); Zurich Vida (Mexico; 99.99%); Zurich Afore (Mexico; 90.9%); Zurich Compagnie Marocaine d'Assurances (Morocco; 96.73%); Zurich International (Nederland) (Netherlands); Zurich Leven (Netherlands); Zurich Atrium B.V. (Netherlands); Z.I.C. International N.V. (Netherlands Antilles); Cursud N.V. (Netherlands Antilles); Zurich Holding Norge (Norway); Zurich Protector Forsikring (Norway); Zurich Pacific Insurance (Papua New Guinea); Zurich General Insurance (Philippines); Zurich Life Insurance (Philippines); Zurich Insurance Company (Poland); Zurich Life Insurance Company (Poland); Zurich Polska Sp.z.o.o. (Poland); Zurich Powszechne (Poland); Zurich Sp.z.o.o. (Poland); Zurich Companhia de Seguros (Portugal); Companhia de Seguros Eagle Star Vida (Portugal); Zurich Insurance (Singapore); Zurich Poistovna (Slovakia); South African Eagle Insurance (83.6%); Zurich España (Spain; 99.78%); Zurich Vida SA (Spain); Eagle Insurance Company (Sri Lanka; 51%); Eagle NDB Fund Management Co. Ltd. (Sri Lanka; 51%); Zurich NDB Fin. Lanka (Private) Ltd. (Sri Lanka; 58.44%); Alpina; Assuricum; Centre Solutions; INZIC; La Genevoise Générale; La Genevoise Vie; Orion (56%); Rüd, Blass & Cie AG; Turegum Versicherungsgesellschaft; Zurich Insurance Company; Zurich Group Holding; Zürich Invest Bank; Zürich Leben; Zurich Insurance (Taiwan; 83.1%); Zurich Securities Inv. Trust (Taiwan); Allied Dunbar Assurance (U.K.); Eagle Star Group Services (U.K.); Eagle Star Holdings (U.K.); Eagle Star Insurance (U.K.); Eagle Star (International Life) (U.K.); Eagle Star Life Assurance (U.K.); Gresham Investment Trust (U.K.); Sterling Assurance (U.K.); Turegum Insurance Company (U.K.); Zurich Financial Services (UKISA) (U.K.); Zurich Financial Services (Jersey) (U.K.); Zurich GSG (U.K.); Zurich Holdings (UK); Zurich Insurance (Jersey) (U.K.); Zurich International (UK); Zurich Life (U.K.); Zurich Specialties London (U.K.); Allied Dunbar International (U.K.); Allied Zurich Holdings Limited (U.K.); Centre Re Representative Ltd. (U.K.); Allied Zurich p.l.c. (U.K.); Zurich Scudder Inv. Holdings (U.K.); ZFS UK IFA Group Limited; Cedar Hill Holdings (U.S.A.; 93.75%); Centre Holdings (Delaware) (U.S.A.); Centre Insurance Company (U.S.A.); Centre Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.); Empire Fire and Marine (U.S.A.); Empire Indemnity (U.S.A.); Farmers Group, Inc. (U.S.A.); Farmers New World Life Insurance (U.S.A.); Farmers Reinsurance (U.S.A.); Federal Kemper Life Assurance (U.S.A.); Kemper Corp. (U.S.A.); Kemper Investors Life Insurance (U.S.A.); Orange Stone Delaware Holdings (U.S.A.); REM (U.S.A.); Zurich Scudder Investments (U.S.A.; 80%); Universal Underwriters (U.S.A.); Universal Underwriters Life (U.S.A.); Universal Underwriters of Texas (U.S.A.); ZC Specialty Insurance (U.S.A.); ZC Sterling Corporation (U.S.A.); Zurich American Insurance Company (U.S.A.); Zurich Finance (USA); Zurich Holding Company of America; Zurich Life Insurance Company of America (U.S.A.); Zurich Reinsurance Centre Holdings (U.S.A.); Zurich Reinsurance (North America) (U.S.A.); Centre Group Holdings (U.S.) Ltd.; ZC Resource LLC (U.S.A.); Zurich Centre Group LLC (U.S.A.); Zurich Payroll Solutions Ltd. (U.S.A.); Seguros Sud America (Venezuela; 68.09%); Zurich International de Venezuela.
Principal Divisions: Continental Europe Business Division; Global Asset Business Division; North American Consumer and Latin America Business Division; North American Corporate Business Division; United Kingdom, Ireland, Southern Africa and Asia/Pacific Business Division.
Principal Competitors: AXA; Allianz AG; American International Group, Inc.; ING Groep N.V.; Citigroup Inc.; Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A.; The Allstate Corporation; State Farm Insurance Companies.
- Key Dates:
- 1872: Versicherungs-Verein (Insurance Association) is formed to provide reinsurance for Switzerland Transport Insurance Company.
- 1875: Company expands into accident insurance and changes its name to Transport- und Unfall-Versicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft Zürich (Transport and Accident Insurance plc Zürich); expansion outside of Switzerland begins as well.
- 1894: Expansion into liability insurance prompts another name change, to: Zürich Allgemeine Unfall- und Haftpflicht-Versicherungs Aktiengesellschaft (Zurich General Accident and Liability Insurance plc).
- 1912: U.S. expansion begins with the formation of an accident and liability insurance firm in New York.
- 1955: Company name is simplified to Zurich Versicherungs-Gesellschaft (Zurich Insurance Company).
- 1965: Alpina Versicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft of Switzerland is acquired.
- 1969: Agrippina Versicherungs AG, based in Germany, is acquired.
- 1989: Baltimore-based Maryland Casualty Group is acquired.
- 1996: Zurich acquires an 80 percent interest in Kemper Corporation, a U.S. life insurance firm, and a 97 percent interest in Kemper Financial Services, which is renamed Zurich Kemper Investments.
- 1997: Zurich gains majority control of Scudder, Stevens & Clark, which is merged into Zurich Kemper to form Scudder Kemper Investments (later renamed Zurich Scudder Investments).
- 1998: Zurich merges with British American Financial Services (BAFS) to form Zurich Financial Services, which is set up with a dual Swiss-U.K. holding company structure.
- 2000: Group is unified under a single Swiss holding company, Zurich Financial Services, which is listed on the Swiss and London exchanges.
- 2001: Zurich announces that it will spin off its reinsurance division into a separate, independent firm, and that it is exploring the sale of all or part of Zurich Scudder.
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