The Zurich Financial Services Group (ZFS) is Europe's third-largest insurance company. It provides customers with solutions in financial protection and asset accumulation. ZFS was created through the merger of the Zurich Group with the financial services business of BAT Industries.

The group concentrates its activities in four core businesses: non-life, life, Farmers Management Services and asset management.

These business divisions are organised into four regions and one global asset management business. The geographic businesses are Continental Europe; UKISA (United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa)/Asia Pacific; North America Consumer/Latin America; and North America Corporate.

The Group is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and its worldwide presence builds on strong positions in its three home markets - the US, UK and Switzerland.

UK subsidiary operations include Eagle Star Insurance, Allied Dunbar Assurance, Zurich Insurance and Threadneedle Investments.

The Zurich Insurance Group was founded in Switzerland in 1872. Zurich Financial Services was established in September 1998 when the operating entities of the Zurich Group and the financial services business of BAT Industries were combined under a single management team. The ownership of the business was held through a dual holding structure: Swiss-quoted Zurich Allied AG (57%) and London-listed Allied Zurich PLC (43%).

In October 2000, ZFS announced the merger of the two separate businesses that comprised the ZFS Group. Swiss-based Zurich Allied and UK-based Allied Zurich reached agreement on the terms of the plan to simplify and unify the group structure.

In June 2001, ZFS unveiled its first TV ad campaign in the UK. The 60-second creative, created by Joshua, featured Peter O'Toole as a wizard who inspires a little boy to give all his passion to a game of rugby, and was in support of the company's sponsorship of the British Lions' rugby tour of Australia.

Last week, the first ad in the company's new campaign broke on TV. The ad features three pigs trotting along a flight runway. They take off and make a victory swoop over the Dorset countryside. ZFS has opted for flying pigs because it says the public has a 'credibility problem' with financial services. The idea is that people will be so astonished that an insurance company keeps it promises that they will imagine pigs can fly.

Advertising agencies

Grey Worldwide, Joshua, Barrett Cernis, Citigate Albert Frank.

Media agencies

John Ayling & Associates, CIA UK, Coltman Media, MindShare Media, Media Insight.

DM agency

Brann Direct.


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