This decision for head of sales and distribution is part of the Zurich drive for growth in its retail business.

Smith started at Zurich more than 17 years ago, first as a sales and service consultant in the insurer’s Whitely office. Afterwards, she took on several senior roles with the business, including head of broker proposition and initiatives, as well as head of strategic accounts recently.

Her appointment will allow her to continue to boost Zurich’s relationships with strategic partners and deliver on the firm’s ambitions of securing opportunities in the market.

David Nichols, head of retail, said: “I’m incredibly proud to welcome Jacqui to her position on a permanent basis. Her role in leading our fantastic Sales and Distribution team further validates our commitment to nurturing the very best home-grown talent in the market.

“Jacqui’s broad range of experience and persistent drive to deliver for our partners, most recently showcased in the great success of our Club Blue proposition, make her the perfect fit for the job. Having walked the walk for many years, she has already played an integral part in building the team infrastructure, and I’m looking forward to continuing working together as we deliver on our exciting plans.”

Jacqui Kelly, head of sales and distribution, added: “I am thrilled to lead our thriving team and couldn’t be more excited as we continue to expand and broaden our distribution channels, create new partnerships, and deepen our existing relationships in the market.”

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It is not the only people move in Zurich UK recently. Zurich Insurance Group named Hilary Bates as the new chief compliance officer of its UK business.

The appointment is subject to receipt of regulatory and visa approval, the company noted.

Bates was earlier based in Australia, where she held the role of chief operating officer for Australia and New Zealand at Zurich Financial Services.