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Swiss Life streamlines Group head office and reduces costs

26.11.2008

Swiss Life is changing the division of responsibilities between Group head office and the business units and reducing the number of IT projects. The future Corporate Center will concentrate on Group functions. Strict priorities will be defined for IT projects. With these measures, the company intends to reduce costs by around CHF 90 million up to 2012. One third of the cost savings will be effected by reducing the number of positions in Switzerland by around 200. The existing programme of measures worked out by the social partners is aimed at preventing redundancies.

Following on the various efficiency programmes at the business units in recent years, Swiss Life is now streamlining its Group head office in Zurich. Bruno Pfister, Group CEO: "We want to achieve a clear separation of tasks between head office and the business units. The aim is to make the new Corporate Center as lean as possible and to concentrate on the essentials. This will enable us to lower costs and will enhance flexibility." In Switzerland, moreover, priorities will be set for IT in line with the Swiss Life strategy and the number of IT projects will be scaled back considerably. By 2012, Swiss Life will trim down its cost base compared to 2007 by some CHF 90 million. More than half of these savings will be realised in 2009. The restructuring costs incurred will come to around CHF 40 million, about 80% of which will be charged to the 2008 financial year.

The new Corporate Center will concentrate on Group functions and on delivering shared services for the business units as required. All other tasks will be assumed directly by the business units or will be discontinued. The aim is to increase cost transparency, delegate greater responsibility to the business units and tighten up the cost base.

Swiss Life's Group head office currently has around 900 positions. The new Corporate Center and the Shared Services units are planned to comprise around 650 positions. This includes some 150 positions performing Group functions. Around 500 staff, mainly from investment management and IT, will be assigned to Shared Services. A number of positions will be transferred to the Swiss market organisation. Around 200 will be discontinued in the next few years, roughly two thirds of them in 2009. Some of these cuts can be achieved by not filling vacancies, by natural staff turnover and by early retirements. The programme of measures jointly agreed on by the social partners is intended to prevent redundancies occurring for structural reasons. Swiss Life will provide support to employees affected by the staff reductions, helping them to identify new career prospects inside or outside the company as quickly as possible.
Swiss Life
The Swiss Life Group is one of Europe's leading providers of life insurance and pension solutions. The Group offers individuals and corporations a broad range of products combined with comprehensive advice through its own sales force as well as brokers and banks in Switzerland, France and Germany. It provides internationally operating corporations with employee benefits solutions from a single source, and is among the global leaders in structured life and pension products for high net worth individuals with its centres of competence in Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Singapore.

Swiss Life is the majority shareholder of the Hanover-based AWD Group, one of Europe's top financial services providers for the medium- and high-income customer segments. AWD offers its clients independent financial advisory services. Around 6300 advisors and intermediaries work for the AWD Group in ten European countries.

Swiss Life Holding Ltd, registered in Zurich, was founded in 1857 as Schweizerische Rentenanstalt. The shares of Swiss Life Holding Ltd are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SLHN). The Swiss Life Group employs a staff of around 9000.
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking information
This publication contains specific forward-looking statements, e.g. statements including terms like “believe”, “assume”, “expect” or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may result in a substantial divergence between the actual results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and those explicitly or implicitly presumed in these statements. Against the background of these uncertainties, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The company assumes no responsibility to update forward-looking statements or to adapt them to future events or developments.
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