Exciting future ahead for Zurich as two key executives announced

Michelle Lees, Chief Investment Officer, Claire Powell, Head of Planning and Performance Management

Michelle Lees, Chief Investment Officer, Claire Powell, Head of Planning and Performance Management

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Michelle Lees, chief investment officer, left, and Claire Powell, head of planning and performance management

Claire Powell has taken up the helm as head of planning and performance management while Michelle Lees has been appointed chief investment officer.

Both will report to David Peach, chief financial officer for Zurich.

Claire, formerly chief investment officer at Zurich, will be using her experience and deep knowledge of the organisation and insurance industry to deliver high quality financial analysis and insights, supporting key business decisions.

Claire holds a BA (Hons) degree in Economics from the University of Leeds, a diploma from the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, and has considerable insurance industry experience spanning actuarial, technical support and investments roles.

At Zurich, Claire has held numerous positions, and has been CIO for the past fiveyears, before being appointed to her new role.

Claire also spent a number of years in an economic research position within the Isle of Man Treasury, tasked with economic reporting, statistical research and supporting policy development.

Michelle joined Zurich in 2012 as an investment proposition manager for the corporate savings business, before being promoted to head of proposition.

October saw Michelle elevated to the position of chief investment officer.

This new role sees her heading up the Investment Services team, supporting investment and fund requirements across the international business, with assets under management of over USD10bn.

Michelle holds a BA (Hons) degree in Economics & Management from the University of Leeds, an MSc in International Banking & Finance from Liverpool John Moores University, and has a wealth of investment and fund experience.

Her early career was spent as an investment banking professional in London and Frankfurt working on structured products, and fixed income and equity derivatives control functions. Upon relocating to the Isle of Man and prior to Zurich, past positions include operations and compliance director at Laxey Partners and chief operating officer for Rivington Street Holdings. Michelle also spent two years in Jersey establishing a new hedge fund administration business for Mourant.

David Peach, said: ‘The success of our business is built on the contributions of our highly talented employees like Michelle and Claire – people who work every day to position us at the forefront of the insurance industry.

‘The future looks exciting for Zurich as we continue to grow our presence in our core markets. These appointments create an even stronger and diverse leadership team, which is vital in ensuring we remain equipped to deliver long term sustainable growth. Such appointments demonstrate the strength of our succession planning and our commitment to growing and developing talent from within’.


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