Zurich Insurance (ZURN.S) said on May 20 that it has decided to sell its Russian business to members of the local team, as the Swiss insurer became the most recent firm to leave Russia.
Getting an appropriate exit plan has been a challenge, with some businesses saying they are keeping their Russian businesses to ensure assets don’t fall into the hands of the state.
Zurich Insurance said the sale, which continues to be dependent on regulatory approval, would transfer its rebranded Russian business – which accounts for a small fraction of its overall business – to eleven members of the unit’s team. It stated:
“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 Swiss insurance company, which oversees property and casualty insurance in Russia mainly for international customers, said it occupied around 0.3% of Russia’s non-life insurance market.
Zurich, which has deleted its Z logo from social media after the letter became a symbol of support in Russia for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, said in March it no longer accepted new domestic customers in Russia and would not renew existing local operations.
When posting first-quarter data this month, it said that its direct exposure to Russia and Ukraine through its property and casualty business and investment portfolio was predicted to be “immaterial”.
It had gross written premiums of about $34 million in Russia last year, it said on May 20, making up less than 0.1% of the $40.1 billion in gross written premiums its property and casualty business registered for the year.
The bulk of these premiums was from international customers, it said, with just $3 million connected to domestic Russian customers.