Management Profiles – Zurich Switzerland

Joachim Masur, Chief Executive Officer Zurich Switzerland

Joachim Masur joined Zurich Switzerland as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the beginning of 2012. He joined Zurich as a Group Controller at the end of 2005 and was appointed as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Global Life segment in 2010. Before joining Zurich, Mr. Masur was a partner at KPMG as well as Ernst & Young in Germany. Joachim Masur studied economics at Bamberg University in Germany and is a certified auditor and tax auditor.

Christoph Gaus, Head of Retail Market Management

Christoph Gaus has been Head of Retail Market Management since November 2016. Before being appointed Head of Private Customers in early 2016, Christoph Gaus served as Chief Marketing Officer at Zurich Switzerland from September 2012 to March 2016. He previously spent 14 years in a number of different roles at Schweizerische Mobiliar Versicherungsgesellschaft AG in Berne. Particular career highlights include recently being responsible for mobility insurance in Underwriting, the central region in Agency Sales, and multichannel and customer management in Marketing. Christoph Gaus studied business management and business IT at the University of Berne, Switzerland.

Jörg Bertogg, Head of Commercial Insurance

Jörg Bertogg  has been Head of Commercial Insurance since September 2016. He joined Zurich in 2003 after working for Andersen Business Consulting. He led business development for Global Corporate in Europe until 2007 and built the European Head Office in Dublin while serving as Chief Operating Officer (COO). In November 2009, Jörg Bertogg was appointed COO and member of the management team at Zurich Switzerland. He then became COO for Global Corporate, Zurich’s global corporate insurance business, in 2013. Jörg Bertogg earned a master degree in business administration and economics from the University of Berne, Switzerland.

René Harlacher, Chief Underwriting Officer

René Harlacher has been Chief Underwriting Officer since August 2016. Prior to joining Zurich Switzerland, he served in different leadership roles for Axa Winterthur, including Head of Underwriting, Head of Business Development Property & Casualty and, most recently, Head of Commercial Customers. In addition, René Harlacher previously worked as a consultant in the insurance and IT industries. He has a Master of Science in Business Informatics from Zurich University.

Michael Christen, Chief Investment Officer

Michael Christen has been Chief Investment Officer of Zurich Switzerland since December 2016. He joined Zurich in 2005 as Senior Investment Analyst for Group Investment Management and then served as Regional Investment Manager for the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. Since November 2008, Michael Christen was responsible for developing the investment strategy for the Zurich Group as well as quantifying and analyzing the market risk. Prior to joining Zurich, he was working in asset management for Winterthur Versicherungen. Michael Christen studied economics and business administration at the University of Basel, Switzerland, is a CFA charterholder and certified financial risk manager.

Thomas Steiger, Head of Distribution

Thomas Steiger has been leading Distribution at Zurich Switzerland since February 2017. Before this appointment he led the newly created Chief of Staff department where he was responsible for the business unit’s strategy as well as Marketing, Corporate Responsibility and Communications. Prior to this role, he served as Head of Retail from November 2010 to March 2016. Thomas Steiger started his career in the insurance industry in 1992 where he served in various roles including Head of Insurance Solutions at COMIT AG. He also held different positions within Sales, Product Management, Marketing and Operations. He gained international experience working in Asia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the United States. Thomas Steiger has a degree in insurance management from the University of St. Gallen. He has extensive experience in the fields of life and general insurance, assets, sales and IT/operations, and knows the Swiss banking market inside and out.

Sandro Meyer, Head of Corporate Life & Pensions & Life Technical Function

Sandro Meyer joined Zurich in 1994 and launched his career in what was formerly SBU Life International. Between 2001 and 2006, he built up the Zurich Employee Benefit Network (ZEBN) within Global Corporate, International Program Business. In 2006, he relocated to Chicago for Global Corporate, where he served as Senior Vice President, Customer Relationship Management. In August 2010, Sandro Meyer assumed the role of Head of Corporate Life & Pensions (CLP), before being appointed Head of CLP & Life Technical Function in November 2016.He has a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Ralph Echensperger, Chief Claims Officer

Ralph Echensperger has been Chief Claims Officer for Zurich Switzerland since October 2016. Prior to this role, he was responsible for leading Claims Motor at Zurich. He started his career in 1992 as a commercial trainee and held various positions within Zurich Financial Services until 1999. He then started working as a consultant in London, before returning to Switzerland where he held leadership positions with two insurance companies.

Dr. Christoph Borgmann, Chief Operating Officer

Christoph Borgmann was appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Zurich Switzerland in 2013. He joined Zurich in 2006 as Senior Strategist after leaving consulting firm McKinsey & Company. In 2007, Christoph Borgmann assumed the role of Group Operations Manager in Finance in Zurich Group and has served as Chief Financial Officer at Zurich Germany since 2010.
He studied economics at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and completed an advanced program in leadership development at the Harvard Business School in Boston, United States.

Bettina Bornmann, Chief Financial Officer

Bettina Bornmann joined Zurich Life Switzerland as Chief Financial Officer in spring 2015. She previously worked at Swiss Life Group and between 2009 and 2011 she had been Chief Financial Officer for Swiss Life Private Placement Life Insurance and between 2011 and 2015 she was Head of Group Controlling. Previously, she had gained valuable experience at UBS and thereafter at KPMG, where she worked from 1998 to 2008, most recently as Head of Corporate Finance Switzerland. Bettina Bornmann completed her studies of economics at the University of Zurich with a Master of Arts UZH.

Markus Bechtiger, Head of Human Resources

Markus Bechtiger has been in charge of the Human Resources (HR) division at Zurich Switzerland since March 2015. He began his career in 1980 as an apprentice at Zurich Insurance Company Ltd. After working in various roles both at home and abroad, he moved to UBS. There he held a number of different national and international management positions. In 2014 he returned to Zurich, where he became Head of HR Services, with responsibility for the further development of the HR organization and service model within Switzerland. Markus Bechtiger studied business economics at the Higher School for Economics and Administration and completed an Executive Master in Human Resources Leadership (Rudgers University, New Jersey, and Bocconi University, Milan).

Patricio Verdieri, Chief Risk Officer

Patricio Verdieri has been Chief Risk Officer at Zurich Switzerland since April 2016. He has extensive risk management knowledge and wide experience within the finance industry. Patricio Verdieri has been CRO for Zurich Life Insurance Company (ZLIC) and Zurich Life Switzerland since July 2014, and CRO for Zurich Germany from 2013 until 2014. Before joining Zurich in June 2007 as Risk Officer, he held various risk management positions with UBS and Habib Bank in Switzerland, and was working as Strategy Consultant at McKinsey. Patricio Verdieri is holding a master’s degree in finance from the University of St. Gallen and is a Certified Financial Risk Manager.

Marc Monnier, General Counsel Switzerland

Marc Monnier has been leading the Legal & Compliance department as General Counsel Switzerland since June 2016. Since joining Zurich in 2002, he has taken on various roles in the legal departments of Zurich Switzerland and Zurich Insurance Group, Corporate Center. Most recently, Marc Monnier served as Senior Legal Counsel for Zurich Life Insurance Company Ltd. He received a Master of Laws (lic. iur.) degree from the University of Fribourg in 1998 and was admitted to the bar in Switzerland (Canton of Solothurn) in 2001. He also earned a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2005.