Zurich Appoints Alternative Investments Chief Angehrn CIO

Zurich Insurance Group AG, Switzerland’s biggest insurer, appointed Urban Angehrn chief investment officer in a management reshuffle.

Angehrn, head of alternative investments, replaces Cecilia Reyes, who becomes chief risk officer after the departure of Axel Lehmann, the company said in a statement on Thursday. Lehmann will pursue other opportunities, the company said.

Europe’s insurers are seeking ways to bolster earnings as they grapple with a slump in interest rates spurred by central bank policies to stimulate growth. Zurich in May said it would cut costs by more than planned after profit fell in the first three months of the year, the third straight quarterly decline.

Zurich Insurance’s investments totaled $203.2 billion at the end of March, down from $204.9 billion a year earlier, according to its quarterly report. Investments in debt securities fell to $148.1 billion, or 73 percent of total, from $153.7 billion. Equity investments increased to $18.5 billion, or 9.1 percent of total.

Before joining Zurich Insurance in 2007, Angehrn, 50, worked at AXA Winterthur, where he was head of allocation and strategy for asset management. He also worked in derivatives marketing and fixed-income sales at Credit Suisse First Boston and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“His profound knowledge of the capital markets and Zurich’s investment management approach make him the perfect match for this position,” Chief Executive Officer Martin Senn said in the statement.

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