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New chief operating officer at Zurich

Zurich Financial Services welcomed a new operations chief overseeing life and investments, replacing industry veteran Gavin Pearce who has joined a global reinsurer.

Effective this month, Hilary Bates became Zurich's chief operating officer of life and investments.

Her new remit covers all aspects of operations, including customer service, underwriting, claims, technology and the integration of OnePath Life into Zurich.

Bates has been with the executive team since August 2016, joining as chief claims officer.

Her work experience spans insurance, risk management and law. She moved to the insurance industry in 2004, working for global firms such as Chubb, CNA Insurance and QBE Insurance.

She replaces Pearce, who was operations chief for two years. From June 28, Pearce will become the chair of SCOR Global Life Australia (SGLA), taking over incumbent Peter MacKenzie, who was appointed to the post in 2011.

Pearce spent over 10 years with ANZ, finally as its managing director of insurance before taking on the lead operations role following the acquisition by Zurich.

He previously held senior roles at ING Australia, TOWER, MetLife and AMP.

SGLA chief executive Dion Russell commented: "We are absolutely thrilled to have someone of Gavin's calibre leading our board. His life insurance expertise, long history of leadership and strategic thinking make him the ideal person for this role to support and oversee SGLA through the next evolution of our business."

Pearce said: "I am excited and feel privileged to take over this role at a pivotal time for the life (re)insurance industry in Australia. SCOR's purpose in supporting the health of its customers and the broader population, along with its drive to continuously improve the customer journey resonate very strongly with me."

Read more: Gavin PearceZurich Financial ServicesSCOR Global Life AustraliaHilary BatesANZChubbCNA InsuranceDion RussellPeter MacKenzieING AustraliaMetLifeOnePath