Daily Herald: Zurich executive in it for the long haul

Schaumburg, Ill. - Jan. 23, 2012 - Zurich North America marked its 100th anniversary this month, hosting an event on its Schaumburg campus for its employees. And CEO Mike Foley led the event, unveiling a 100-year timeline and other exhibits during the ceremony.

That event wasn't the 100th anniversary of the company itself, only its time in Chicago and Schaumburg. The parent company is about 140 years old, he said.

“We think of ourselves as an underwriting company and know the risks we're taking,” he said about the longevity.

Foley, a Northwest suburban resident himself, said he's in it for the long haul as well. He joined Zurich in 2006 as chief operating officer and, about two years later, became the CEO. His background involves finance, including stints at Deerpath Group in Lake Forest, Electrocal Inc. in Connecticut, and McKinsey & Co. in Chicago.

When he joined Zurich, he realized its rich history, especially when the company had insured the World's Fair in Chicago in 1933 and other major events.

While the North American unit of the company started in Chicago, it moved to Schaumburg in 1980. Now, Foley oversees about 2,600 workers here, including 350 in Chicago.

While other insurance companies have had troubles over the years, especially during the recession, Foley said Zurich had diversified its risk to help protect its assets, keeping it going to reach this milestone.
“We'll be here for the long haul,” he said.

Used with permission of Daily Herald Copyright© 2012. All rights reserved.