2,000 jobs to go at Swiss Re


Swiss Re had announced that it plans to cut 2,000 jobs by the end of 2007, with most of the redundancies scheduled to effect positions in Europe.

The reinsurer said that the planned job losses were taking place following its acquisition of Insurance Solutions, the business Swiss Re bought from US firm General Electric (GE) in 2005 for $6.8 billion (£3.5 billion).

Swiss Re said the job cuts follow a comprehensive review of operations at Insurance Solutions since the acquisition in November, with the company expecting its restructuring plans to deliver some $300 million (£157 million) in efficiency gains.

In a statement, Swiss Re said that it hoped that most of the job cuts would be achieved through natural attrition, with the remainder to be implemented through early retirements and redundancies.

The company first indicated plans to reduce its workforce in July, when it announced that it had already cut more than 250 jobs.

Swiss Re's European operations are expected to account for about 55 per cent of the total job losses, with the remainder of cuts to occur across the world.

The company, which has informed its employees of the planned job cuts today, said: "Swiss Re is committed to providing all employees affected with appropriate separation packages including professional career support."

News of the latest job losses comes as many firms within the insurance industry are beginning to streamline their businesses after incurring heavy costs following a series of recent natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina in the US.

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