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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Leading insurers to shed more than 2000 jobs

Leading insurer Aviva and reinsurer Swiss Re have both announced plans to shed thousands of jobs. In a statement, Aviva said it was proposing to cut 1100 UK jobs this year and will aim to “close” 590 contract positions over the next few months. Meanwhile, reinsurer Swiss Re has announced plans to cut 10% of its 11 560 staff following record losses that led the firm to seek a capital injection from Warren Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway.

Both insurers have reported significant losses for 2008 and both have had their credit ratings downgraded in recent months. Swiss Re has suggested that the reduction will save the company SFr400m ($350m) by the end of 2010, however, trade union Unite has suggested that Aviva’s plans are unrelated to the current economic downturn.

A spokesperson for Swiss Re declined to comment when asked whether or not UK staff will be affected. Unite expects staff at the Aviva group’s York and Norwich offices to be in the front line, although job losses at Aviva’s other UK sites are expected. Aviva employs approximately 30 000 people in the UK currently.