SWITZERLAND – Zurich Financial Services has hired Aegon’s Paul van de Geijn as its chief executive of life insurance business, a new role.

He joins on November 1 and will be a member of Zurich’s executive committee. He joins from Aegon where he was an executive board member with responsibility for Aegon USA.

Van de Geijn, 57, will assume global leadership of the company’s life insurance business and will report to group chief executive James Schiro.

"He is charged with providing leadership and financial discipline to our life business, with a sharp focus on cost efficiency and sustainable profitability," Schiro said.

“These are tough times for life insurers,” van de Geijn said. “That is why it is so challenging and exciting for me to be joining Zurich at this moment in time and my career."

Aegon chairman Donald Shepard said: “Our company has benefited over the years from Paul's untiring efforts, dedication and loyalty to Aegon. We will certainly miss his contributions and personal commitment.”