Generali's Greco Said to Plan Resignation, May Join Zurich

Assicurazioni Generali SpA Chief Executive Officer Mario Greco is close to resigning from Italy’s biggest insurer, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Generali will hold a board meeting to formalize the decision as soon as possible, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Greco, 56, is in talks to become CEO at Zurich Insurance Group AG, replacing Martin Senn, according to one person.

Generali has been in discussions with Greco for weeks to renew his contract, said one of the people, adding that Generali is reviewing both internal and external candidates.

A spokeswoman for Zurich said the company doesn’t comment on market rumors and will inform the market once decision on a new CEO has been made. A spokesman for Generali declined to comment. Greco didn’t return an e-mail and a message left at his office.

Generali’s shares dropped as much as 5 percent and closed 3.2 percent lower at 14.15 euros, the lowest since July 2013, in Milan trading. Zurich’s shares rose 0.6 percent to 221.80 Swiss francs, valuing the insurer at 33.4 billion francs ($32.8 billion).

Greco would be returning to the company that employed him for five years before joining Generali. His experience at Zurich includes stints heading up global life as well as the non-life unit.

Senn left the company last year after the Swiss insurer’s non-life unit posted a third-quarter loss that forced the company to abandon a takeover bid for RSA Insurance Group Plc. Its troubles deepened later in December when three storms pummeled parts of England, Scotland and Ireland. Thousands of homes were flooded, leading the company to warn shareholders last week that it expects a second straight quarterly loss in general insurance.

Il Sole 24 Ore reported the plans earlier on Tuesday.

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