Lombard Int’l Assurance names ex-Credit Suisse exec to head up distribution, biz development

Lombard Int’l Assurance names ex-Credit Suisse exec to head up distribution, biz development

Lombard International Assurance, the Luxembourg-based provider of life insurance-based investment products for the international high-net-worth market, has named Gabriel Spirig to head up its distribution and business development operations in Switzerland and Northern Europe.

The newly-created role is the company’s eighth senior level hire since its global relaunch in September 2015, which followed its acquisition by the Blackstone private equity group from Friends Life in October 2014.

Spirig, pictured, comes to Lombard International Assurance from Credit Suisse, where he had been head of third party life insurance solutions, the company said in a statement.

In this role, he was responsible for the company’s insurance brokerage business, and the bank’s global offering of third party life insurance products, including private placement and universal life offerings. Spirig’s other previous roles at Credit Suisse included head of sales management where he was responsible for developing and implementing global sales strategies, Lombard International Assurance said.

In his new role, he will be based in Zurich and report to Jurgen Vanhoenacker, Lombard International Assurance’s executive director of sales, marketing and wealth structuring.

Spirig will be responsible for business development in Lombard International’s “core” countries such as Germany, Finland, Sweden and Norway, and will also oversee its business in Switzerland, according to Lombard.

He will also “drive the distribution development of a new suite of high life cover solutions which are currently being developed”, Lombard International Assurance said.

Vanhoenacker described Spirig’s appointment as “pivotal” to the company’s expansion in northern Europe and Switzerland.

On the move

As reported in a series of International Investment  articles in recent months, Lombard International Assurance has been undergoing significant change since the Blackstone group’s acquisition.

Shortly after the takeover, New York-based Blackstone integrated the Lombard International business with that of a US-based insurance company, Philadelphia Financial, that it had bought the previous year, and then set about transforming the business into a global brand, through a combination of organic growth and acquisition.

In April,  it announced the opening of an office in New York, after opening offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, as part of what was said to be the beginning of a larger expansion into the Asian market.

In January it revealed it was to gain a presence in the Belgium market after acquiring Zurich Eurolife Luxembourg SA’s so-called Private Banking Solutions business, which was actually an insurance business aimed at high-net-worth clients.

Global assets under administration exceed US$75bn, according to the company, with a global staff number of more than 500, located in more than 20 jurisdictions.

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