January 26, 2016 / 6:47 PM / 2 years ago

Zurich Insurance appoints Mario Greco as chief executive

Mario Greco, Group CEO of Generali, speaks during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos January 24, 2013.Denis Balibouse

ZURICH (Reuters) - Zurich Insurance said on Tuesday it had hired Mario Greco from Italy's biggest insurer Generali to take over as chief executive effective May 1.

"I am honoured to be asked to join Zurich at this critical juncture for the insurance industry," Greco said in a statement. "Like many global players, the company has faced market challenges in recent times but I know that Zurich's strong global franchise, the breadth of talent and the powerful brand provide all of the ingredients for our future success."

Speculation that Generali CEO Greco, who ran Zurich's main general insurance business before joining Generali in August 2012, could return to the Swiss firm has been bubbling since mid-December. Earlier, Reuters reported that Greco was stepping down from Generali and was likely to rejoin Zurich.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin; editing by David Clarke

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