The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Insurance - Zurich: Diversification works

Zurich reported net income of $3 billion for 2008. More impressive was its return of 1% on its investments. Helen Avery spoke to Martin Senn, CIO.

Martin Senn, Zurich

"We avoid concentration risk"

Martin Senn, Zurich

To what do you attribute Zurich’s ability to be profitable over 2008, and remain well capitalized, while others in the insurance industry are having to raise capital or turn to state funding?
The companies that have been forced to take those routes have different reasons for doing so but the biggest issue seems to be where their focus shifted to non-core activities. Zurich’s business model is diversified, and that has worked. Our business mix is about two-thirds general insurance and one-third life insurance. The property and casualty business is a much more defensive business to be in during a financial crisis. We also have a strict investment philosophy, which has benefited us substantially.

How has diversification helped?


Zurich is well balanced geographically, through life, general and farmers and has adopted a disciplined approach to investments and risk management.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree