Zurich to sell Russian business following calls to cut ties

Global insurer Zurich Insurance Group has agreed to sell its business in Russia to 11 members of the unit’s team following mounting pressure on financial institutions and insurers to cut ties with the region.

Under its new owners, the business will operate independently under a different brand, while Zurich will no longer conduct business operations in Russia

The transaction will allow the new company to retain a professional team with accumulated insurance expertise and to continue serving the Russian market.

The sale is subject to approval of the relevant regulatory authorities.

Zurich Russia is a property and casualty insurer with about 0.3% of the Russian non-life insurance market. Its main business has been supporting the activities in Russia of Zurich’s international customers.

Earlier this year, a coalition of NGOs and groups around the world called on financial institutions and insurers to cut ties with Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

In March, according to a report from Reinsurance News, more than 75 organisations wrote to insurers, which include AIG, Allianz, Atradius Re, AXA, Chubb, General Re, Hannover Re, Lloyd’s, Munich Re, Partner Re, SCOR, Swiss Re, Tokio Marine, Travelers, and Zurich, asking them to stop insuring Russian companies.

This was the start of a campaign which set out to target up to 100 financial institutions most exposed to Russian fossil fuels, dubbed the Putin 100.

The letter also reportedly called on financial institutions to suspend all support for TotalEnergies, Fortum/Uniper, Wintershall DEA and other non-Russian fossil fuel companies active in Russia.

Campaigners say the export of coal, oil and gas is essentially funding Putin’s regime and his illegal and inhumane war on Ukraine. Hence Financial institutions should stop supporting the production of these fossil fuels.

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