Swiss insurer Zurich Financial Services Ltd said it will expand its life insurance unit headcount in Hong Kong by 1,400 in the coming years, bringing the total number of agents to 2,400 as it accelerates business development in the city.
Zurich Financial planned to launch a new franchise model called Zurich Insurance Franchise this year to supplement its existing distribution channels, Eleonore Chow, director of agency distribution services Asia, said on Thursday.
The new model would add another 400 people by the end of 2010 and was expected to contribute about a fifth of Zurich Insurance's agency business in Hong Kong, she said.
It would add 1,000 agents to double its existing sales team in the next few years, aiming to be among the top five in the local market in three years, she said.
Zurich Financial, Europe's fourth-largest insurer by market value, said Asia contributed about 7-8 percent of its total sales, with Hong Kong accounting for half of regional sales. (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Chris Lewis)